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Here’s What Went Down at the 2017 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles

Leland Hayward for XXL
Leland Hayward for XXL

And just like that, the 2017 XXL Freshman season is over after the cover reveal, freestyles, interviews and cyphers. But before this year’s festivities came to a close, the rappers of the 2017 XXL Freshman Class took over The Novo in downtown Los Angeles on July 12.

The Freshman Class of 2017, announced in early June, includes The Bronx’s A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie; Portland, Ore.’s Aminé; Oakland, Calif.’s Kamaiyah; Atlanta’s Kap G, Ventura, Calif.’s Kyle; Tokyo representer Madeintyo; ATL’s Playboi Carti; Philadelphia’s PnB Rock; Houston’s Ugly God and the 10th Spot winner, Broward County, Fla.’s XXXTentacion.

With 2017 marking the 10th anniversary of the XXL Freshman franchise, kids were lined up and waiting for the L.A. show to start four hours before the doors opened. The energy in the room was contagious and backstage, rappers such as Dreezy and Cousin Stizz were seen chopping it up with those selected for this year’s class.

First up to perform at the Freshman show in Los Angeles was Kamaiyah, who moved through songs from her debut mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, such as “Fuck It Up,” “Out the Bottle” and “I’m On.” The Oakland native had the crowd swaying side to side for her set.

Next to take the stage was ATL’s Kap G, who performed radio hits such as “Girlfriend” and “Freakin ‘N’ Geekin.” In New York City, the i am Other signee brought out  Brooklyn rapper Casanova onstage, but for L.A., he held his own.

One of the highlights of the night was Madeintyo’s set. The Tokyo-bred Private Club Records co-founder performed a number of his hit singles like “I Want” and “Uber Everywhere.” His first special guest was his brother and fellow Private Club Records co-founder 24hrs, who performed his hit single “What You Like.” After Madeintyo came back on and performed “Skateboard P,” Big Sean made a surprise appearance to perform his verse and his hit single “Bounce Back.” Sean Don, a 2010 XXL Freshman, then gave a heartfelt thank you to XXL for the impact the XXL Freshman cover had on his career. He also gave a huge cosign to Madeintyo. 

The internet’s most beloved son Ugly God came up next, urging the crowd to get hype and start moshing. Things got so electric in the venue that while Mississippi-bred rapper was performing “Bitch!” his glasses fell off and he stepped on them by accident. Fans were chanting the chorus to “F*ck Ugly God” all night and things went nuts after he performed his breakout track “Water” to end his set.

Portland’s Aminé was up next and he rattled off his hit singles like “Baba,” “REDMERCERDES” and “Caroline.” The bright upstart previewed new tracks off his upcoming debut album, Good For You, to fan’s enjoyment.

PnB Rock followed up Aminé and had every woman in the audience singing their hearts out. The Philadelphia native grabbed the mic for “Feelings,” “Time” and his breakout single “Selfish.” The latter was a sight to see, as the lights in the venue were shut off completely and the room was lit up entirely by cellphone lights.

When Ventura, Calif.’s Kyle hit the stage, wearing his silky smooth velour jacket, fans were ready to dance. Kyle, joined by his hype man Super Duper Brick, had one of the best sets of the night, displaying dance routines and funny jokes. “My goal tonight is to make everyone smile,” said Kyle before he rattle off his hits like “Really? Yeah,” “Doubt It” and his breakout radio smash “iSpy.”

Closing out the show was Playboi Carti. Cash Carti had the crowd going bonkers, yelling every word for every song he performed. By the time “Magnolia” came on, the audience was in a frenzy.

Unfortunately, XXXTentaction couldn’t make it to perform at the Los Angeles show. XXX has postponed his performances and canceled his Revenge Tour until further notice due to his cousin being shot

Check out exclusive photos of the 2017 XXL Freshman show in Los Angeles below. And if you missed any of the freestyles and interviews featuring this year’s XXL Freshman class, check out their individual pages here: A Boogie Wit Da HoodiePnB RockPlayboi CartiUgly GodMadeintyoKyleKamaiyahKap GAminé and XXXTentacion.

See Photos From the 2017 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles

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