With every new Freshman class, we take a look back at the previous year's freshman and ask: How did last year’s Freshman Class perform on the big stage? Click through our gallery to find out. To read about this year's Freshmen, pick up the new issue of XXL, on newsstands now. Or get XXL right now on your tablet




Kid Ink


The 2012 XXL Freshman has driven the web wild over the past few years, releasing singles to YouTube, all of which have garnered millions of views. His first proper studio album, Up & Away, was released via Alumni Music Group and peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200. He's since signed to RCA Records.

Future - "Bitches & Bottles"


"Let's get it started, let's go dumb and retarded / Let's get as high as we wanna, let's go and burn up a forest."

Roscoe Dash


"San Fran and the packers 2 most well rounded juggernaut teams in the nfl"

Don Trip


Sadly, Don Trip has probably had the worst year of any of the 2012 Fresh- men. The heartfelt rhymes that fueled his breakthrough single, “Letter to My Son,” showed the world his huge potential, but the Memphis rapper has yet to make good on it. He dropped a mixtape, Help Is on the Way, in October, but it made little ripple in rap’s big pond. Despite the fact that he’s been signed to Interscope for nearly three years, what was once a highly antici- pated major-label debut doesn’t seem to be coming out anytime soon.


Cleveland’s Machine Gun Kelly was a standout per- former at the Freshman showcase concert in New York last year, but since then, he’s had a hard time matching the energy level of his live act. After a summer mixtape, EST 4 Life, his debut Bad Boy/Interscope album, Lace Up, started out strong in October, bowing at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 with 51,000 first week sales. But it’s only sold 77,000 since then, for a not-so- terrific 128,000 copies total. Still, thanks to his raucous live show and a strong online presence, MGK still has a devoted fanbase. The video for “Champions,” the Diddy- featuring first single from his upcoming mixtape, Black Flag, has racked up more than a million YouTube view since its February launch.



Coming off his Freshman cover coronation, Hopsin followed the path laid out by his mentor, Tech N9ne, eschewing mainstream commercial opportunities in favor of building a devoted cult audience via heavy touring and a heavier web presence. In July 2012, the Los Angeles native released the fifth installment of his “Ill Mind of Hopsin” video series and garnered more than a million views in less than 24 hours—at press time had amassed nearly 25 million. He also appeared on the 2012 Cypher at the BET Hip-Hop Awards alongside 2011 Freshman Mac Miller, Mystikal, and 2013 Freshman ScHoolboy Q. He is currently preparing a new album, Knock Madness, and a collaborative EP with fellow Southern California native, drummer Travis Barker.

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea

The great Australian hope followed up her Freshman cover turn with a series of highlights: Signing to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records and dropping the single “Murda Bizness,” with her new boss; rapping on Steve Aoki’s and Angger Dimas’ “Beat Down,” a dance hit in the U.K., where Iggy signed a distribu- tion deal with Mercury Records; spitting a verse in the 2012 Cypher at the BET Hip-Hop Awards; making a mixtape, Trap Gold, and a free EP, Glory; touring with the likes of Rita Ora, Tyga and Kirko Bangz; and even landing a deal with presti- gious talent agency Wilhelmina Models. But with no release date for her major label debut, The New Classic—it’s unclear whether or not Grand Hustle has secured distribution for it in the U.S. yet—her stateside buzz seems to be taking a hit.