Feeling Right About the 10 Freshmen For ’10

Keeping a secret in hip-hop is nearly impossible these days. Between blabbermouths from the planning inner circle and bloggers dying to get any possible gossip (made-up or leaked) posted on their sites ASAP, it’s a huge fight to keep a lid on things. For XXL’s third Freshman Class, folks online made fake lists and circulated them on the Net. Wannabe Freshmen created rumors that they were picked for the list,
before it was even confirmed to exist. They hung around like vultures just to leak names, then dissed us on Twitter and had their followers retweet their disses. How old are we?

I don’t get anybody trying to ruin something other people are working hard on. It’s not really the best way to make friends, but whatever. I guess this is all a good thing. Being part of the XXL Freshman Class means something significant, I see, based on the response, and that’s beautiful. We pride ourselves on our work, our magazine, our Web site and the picks for our Freshmen lists. And this year’s 10 Freshmen for ’10 is a group we stand by. We are prepared for any flak. Yeah, there aren’t any New York artists on the list, and that’s gonna piss some of you (purists) off, but we hope it inspires a few of the artists from the Rotten Apple, the only place I’ve ever lived and known, for next year. We also know there might be one or two new MCs out there making serious noise who aren’t part of this cover. (I see the blog posts and comments now, so I’m answering here.) That was their decision not to be a part of it, and that’s all good. They don’t feel like Freshmen. Doesn’t mean I will tell you who wouldn’t have made the list if those one or two people didn’t say no. Because we believe that these are 10 MCs with a future to watch out for.

This was the best Freshmen gathering to date. Our photo director, Rebecca Fain,
and creative director, Davina Lennard, did a great job making the shoot run like a well-oiled machine, while having everyone feel comfortable and helping squeeze every bit of visual content out of the day. Video director Travis Satten and crew killed it with the clips of the Freshmen freestyles, which they knocked out expertly, with limited resources and time, while fashion coordinators Coffey, Smiley and fashion assistant Neli Rodriguez made the clothing area look kind of like a store, with all the newest, hottest items. The staff covered all the bases, got every interview done, made a strong team (definitely drank a few Heinekens and ate some BBQ), and held back giggles when OJ Da Juiceman was talking really fast in his Atlanta-Boulder Creek language at one point during the roundtable. I applaud them. Except for the folks off to the side of the shoot. Now, you guys, I saw. MTV2/Sucker Free also joined us for the day and were eventually the first to break the official 10 Freshmen for ’10 list. Always go to true news sources for the real info, folks. We’re all trusted for a reason. The rest should be mostly used for entertainment, speculation and to get that hater side of you out, which so many of you seem to be hiding.

I have no favorites on this year’s list. It’s still too soon to like one or two way more than the rest. Some, their skills and styles are more honed than others’. Some have a lot to prove, but I know they can work, based on their lane and what hip-hop likes right now. All I know is that Nipsey Hu$$le really reminds me of Snoop Dogg in person. (And since I’m 5-foot-1, he’s about as tall as Snoop to me.) I think maybe he’s actually the child of Snoop and some White lady. It’s possible, right? Is that fucked up to say? Regardless, he’s got some great hair and is pretty cool. As was everyone else, really.

Predicting the future is hard, but we don’t care. We took a shot and believe in the 10 guys pictured on the cover of this month’s issue. Support hip-hop and new artists. Give them all a fair listen and open your minds to some new stuff, if you haven’t heard some of these artists yet. You know they’re touring (that’s one of the major things artists have left), so they’ll be live in a town near you soon enough. Or go to XXLMag.com…

Puff, puff, no passing (get your own),

Vanessa Satten

CLICK HERE for all Freshmen 10 info

CLICK HERE to download the Freshmen For 10 Mixtape

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for the Freshmen 10 concert

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  • b-dogg

    Nipsey is the only one with ANY skills on this cover… the rest of these cats is garbage.

    • Dontell

      hahaa iz u crazyy, freddie gibbs would murder that dude

      • Slymm

        Agreed. Gibbs is a MONSTER. J. Cole is nice as well.

    • Anonymous

      Shout out to Big Sean JCole and Wiz Khalifa!!!

      • T-Zak

        thats whats up. these 3 and nipsey are the only nice ones

    • David

      sounds like to me you’re hearin the music, but not really listening. let me guess, you’re from the west coast (props on your regional pride), but really, open your ears man. J cole is a beast. I cant really say anything about these other cats, cause I haven’t tried to hear ‘em yet. But that’s just it, I’m not gonna call somebody garbage if I haven’t LISTENED to ‘em yet. how’s your skillz homie (probably don’t have any huh?) Anyway, keep hatin man, I’m sure someday you’ll gain somethin from it.

    • wiff-o-piff

      Fashawn is the dopest on the cover…yet i dunno how hes a freshmen.. he dropped projects with alchemist and exile last year. im on the west and nipsey makes me yawn…id rather listen to snoop. jay rock is even a larger yawn…but hes got the connects…thats why he’s here..then theres j.cole who can lead the mainstream into hellfire for all i care…and take wiz and gibbs wit you! (theyre like the west coast craig maks)..big sean(go cop cons mixtape instead)…OJ Da Juiceman (no commment needed)..Pill and Donnis should make a collab project…..

      and thats it for 2010…

      did u-n-i turn this shit down?


    • MusicIsLife

      First off,Wiz & J. Cole(Tied) Big Sean (3rd) BY FAR exceed all expectations and are the future,wheather they make it idk,main stream music is alot different now a days,it really matters whos connected the most,big sean got lucky
      big sean-backed by rock nation will go far
      Donnis,his song “Gone” is decent,ok artist,
      Fashawn,reminds me of the good old hip hop days,flow’s smooth like the OG’s (KRS,GAngstarr,Binary Star)cant say he will make it,depends
      Freddie Gibbs,reminds me of a young buck, hes a RAPPER.Roncht OG shit,couple of years ago,when this style got radio play,would have been good,not my steex but some will enjoy him if they like the Bon Thugs N Harmony,
      J. Cole,Best Of This Class,listen to “The Warm UP”well put together mix tape,best ive heard in a while
      Jay Rock,good main stream artist hell have a desent song in the future
      Nipsey Hussle,hes a skilled atrist hes a smart gangster,(only way i can explain him)have a good understanding of the buisness (compare hustle in the house adn his new joint on the radio COMPLETELY DIFFERRENT)
      OJ Da Juiceman,cant say anything,sounds like a gucci man tho,
      pill,i havnt done my homework on this kid
      Wiz Khalifa,Best Of This Class,listen to “Thrill of it,Ink MY Whole Body,Name on a cloud,well put together versatile artist, i give it up for him wanting his own style adn turning down drizzys and rick ross’s offers, i respect that he wants to make it on his on based on his OWN style and steez,
      -Do Your Homework and find sum real music

  • General

    “Being part of the XXL Freshman Class means something significant”

    Yeah it usually means disaster for your career, lol…

    If I was one of these cats I would have declined be named in XXL’s Freshmen 10. How did that work out for Charles Hamilton, Asher Roth, and Ace Hood???

    I do think this is probably the best class you have picked so far though.

    I think Nipsey, J. Cole, Donnis, Fashawn and Pill all have great potential.

    • JihaD

      You can’t blam XXL for the Hindenburg-like descent known as Charles Hamilton’s career. Plus, was ANYBODY actually buying an Ace hood record? He dropped 2 in the same year and sold the same amount as Wale and Asher Roth.

      As far as Freshman, Gangsta Gibbs, Jay Rock, Pill, and Neighborhood Nip are the only ones I have followed since the beginning, and they still spit the music I like to hear. J. Cole is boring to me, although he is dope and will find his niche. The other guys are worthless– Fashawn sounds like Blu Lite, WTF is a Donnis, and the other three niggas ain’t worth mentioning.


  • b-dogg

    actually, every freshman class has only had one talented rapper. 08′–Lupe, 09′–Cory Gunz[soooo slept on] and maybe Cudi[if you want to call him a "rapper"]and 10′–Nipsey… I love that XXL keeps its ears to the street, but i dont know what the fuck ya’ll be hearin!!!

    • Sincere

      Whoa Joell Ortiz was on that 08 class too, and not to many paople could rap with that guy. And I am a fan of Peter’s son but B.O.B is on another planet talent wise. Haven’t really heard Corey craft a hot song, hot freestyles and verses yes. Oh and Cole is going to surprise a lot of people with his debut. And Wiz is going to be alright if he keeps making that tree chopping music. Yeaaah Bitch.

    • T-Zak

      who da fuck do u listen to? 09 was for sure curren$y and 10 is deff sean or wiz. grow up son

  • Deadly MIME

    man this whole freshmen 10 is wack as fuck. Seriously it a bunch of one hit, now you see them now you dont type rappers. All these dudes on this list dont excite me at all. Half of em are decent, but even with that hip-hop is too fucked up to be decent

  • Jaydc

    lol,so your saying joell ortiz and crooked i arent talented?Are you kidding me?And fashawn is a hundred times the artist nipsey is,nipsey is boring and cliche westcoast.


    Its a tie for me between Nipsey Hu$$le, Freddie Gibbs, & Jay Rock.

  • b-dogg

    Jaydc—> Crooked I will never blow. [or maybe he always will] pun intended… lol

  • Kingroy

    Ay listen to the rappers other mixtape before calling them ass. Everybody on hear truly is good except OJ IMO.

  • Jon Dog

    It’s official, Vanessa Satten is gonna ruin XXL. Why the fuck do you, or anybody, care about what these cats are wearin’, and Nipsey’s hair. BITCH, THEY’RE MC’S!!!! I know style is a huge part of hip hop, but lets be honest, TALLENT FIRST, IMAGE LAST!!! Some rappers take the opposite rout, and those guys are called gimicks. I can’t stand a fuckin’ things this chick writes, sounds like some rich city girl to me, and probably knows NOTHING ABOUT HIP HOP!! This years freshman class was fuckin’ pathetic, and if you really read these blogs and shit, like you claim you do Ms. Satten, you would take some of what we say into consideration, and it’s obvious you don’t. Once again, and forever, fuck Vanessa Satten!!! You’re a joke. Go “giggle” at Oj Da Juice Man!! DUMB ASS!

    • Anonymous


  • harmen

    this is the best freshmen for HIP HOP but comercially…the original was the best it was balanced : lupe, plies, joell, crooked i, dro, papoose and the G.O.A.T. gorilla zoe! haha naaat
    *leans back and turns how to rob 09′ and original up*

  • j-money

    j.cole go hard..hustle go hard too,,he bring west cost bak…j.cole i c tho

  • Hussle’s Way

    J.Cole easily!!! Put my $$ on son for real

    next is Nip Hu$$le! I dont care bout the rest

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk stop

    nipsey and j cole best rappers on list with most potential

  • Anonymous


  • AD

    Lol.. ness Its Bouldercrest not creek huni, lol.

  • beaver

    this list is whackk..
    sum are decent..
    lik fashawn nipsey and cole..
    but da rest whack..

    last year list was better..

    b.o.b asher charles wale..dope

    oj..u fuckin guys must have been drunkk or sumthin..
    y oj..
    nigga whack as fuckk

  • D LOC

    Bread in my kitchen by SO Gay Da Deuche Bag is the sorriest shit i’ve ever heard. The 2010 Mixtape was alright, Jay Rock and Nip Heezy went the hardest.

  • hiphopisdead

    LIL B

  • 3LS

    Wiz khalifa go in i mean i knw about half the class but good music wise its khalifa man 410 G.D.R all day

  • http://www.bboycult.com Don ‘$yk’ McCaine

    I’ma actually say that this years crop of freshmen actually have it better than the rest. A larger viral promotion, free mixtape, promo tour. That’s a very good look for all involved. Some of the other guys who don’t have the exposure can get it now, their strength may be in performing.

    I’m not mad at all. I’ve only skimmed thru the mixtape so I’m not qualified to speak on who’s what (no I didn’t listen to OJ yet). Some of these guys I haven’t heard a peep of music from them.

    Pass that blunt ‘Nessa! LOL

  • bus-a-bus

    i heard enough of aot of these cats to comment on but what iv heard of J.Cole i like the boys got bars and is nice onda mic i dislike OJ Da Juiceman im not really a fan i had a feeling he would be on there or waka flocka whatever his name is gucci manes friend so far theres been some talented dudes onda lists like Lupe Fiasco Kid Cudi N Crooked I def be looking out for the new guys now tho see wat they are like

  • Axeo

    I skimmed through the mixtape. I liked j.cole fashawn and Nipsey.I was fans of theirs before this list though. $yk i did hear the OJ tracks and don’t bother! The only parts of the song you’ll remember is Aye, damm, ok. I could tolerate him a lot better if he never had those 3 words going the entire song ever again.

  • DK

    I’m liking the list this year (except OJ), definitely gotta check some of these dudes out

    J. Cole all day

  • Anonymous

    where was drake on last years cover?

  • Nard34

    I like OJ he go-hard with the hood tracks. the boy got alot of haters Ic must be gettn to tha money>>>>>>>.

    • Axeo

      it’s not hating. I couldn’t count at least 9 tracks he’s done (I bet more)the whole song is the same bullshit trap songs. Im tired of hearing after every bar hearing OK,Yeah,Damm.

  • theBUTLERdiditWVU

    Okaayyy!!!(WizKhalifavoice) Wiz and Big Sean are without a doubt the most talented and most likely to blow up. Big Sean is just insane with the rhymes and has the GOOD music backing of Kanye. Wiz has a nack for making hits with his catchy flow and great choruses and mass appeal. The other freshmen are good (J.Cole and Nipsey mainly and OJ has his hits), but Wiz and Big Sean will show and prove their way to being finally famous!!!

  • Anonymous

    nvr heard of any of em besides wizzy haha i aint hatin on none of em but wizzy go hard no lie im actually listenin to his skinny ass nowww hahaha
    taylor gang or D.I.E

  • Pingback: Wiz Khalifa : 1League Blog

  • Mike


  • Mike


  • Anonymous

    wow this list is rediculous. JCole is the only worthy one

  • Wil Hokage

    I’m from the east and I gotta say that Nipsey is the best of the bunch. Some of these dudes I’ve never heard of so I gotta some get my download game right today.

  • Stonerboy

    All of you are wrong, and most of you always are, God your all so dumb. The best out of this group are
    Wiz Khalifa, J.Cole, and Big Sean the rest aren’t going to make it, sure a single here and hen but not a long career, and this is not the best list 09 was the best every single artist on that list was some what dope, beside Ace Hood (so played out.

  • Tyler

    Yo whoever made this list dont know shit how the fuck does my nigga Vado not make the cover that nigga is better thn everyone on that list the only other dudes on that list that are any good are J. Cole,Nipsey,and jay rock those other dudes is wacl.

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