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xxl freshmen mixtapes

There’s a great deal of preparation that goes into choosing XXL Freshman. Research. Attending shows. Debates over whom are the hottest. However, sometimes the deciding factor is over who has the streets talking with their mixtapes.

Tapes are the best way to gauge how your music is doing. It’s a melting pot of your talents to showcase your progress, as well as who you align yourself with in the rap industry. A lot of the times, tapes that have an MC rapping over other people’s instrumentals catapulted them into the conversation of who’s next. Few of our Freshman picks like Jon Connor and Fashawn have made undeniable classics in the underground by jumping on beats rapped on by Jay Z and Nas.

There are plenty of tapes to choose from when highlighting the best mixtapes by XXL Freshman. Some rappers have year’s worth of mixtape before their debut albums, while others have made a dent in the rap game by having one extremely well received release. The formula for what a mixtape is these days keeps changing rapidly. To be clear though, Isaiah Rashad doesn’t have tape out, so he is excluded from this list. We still fuck with Cilvia Demo heavy.

So, with that said, from Lil Boosie to J. Cole, these are The 73 Best XXL Freshmen Mixtapes.—Complied By Eric Diep, Dan Rys, Marvin Jules And Jeffrey Whaley


The 73 Best XXL Freshmen Mixtapes

nas ny state of mind lyric

“NY State Of Mind”

Producer: DJ Premier
Lyric: “Straight out the fuckin' dungeons of rap/Where fake niggas don’t make it back/I don’t know how to start this shit, yo”
Why It’s Dope: I would be completely remiss to compile a list of the best lyrics from Illmatic without including this gem from the intro to the first full track on the album. You don’t know how to start this shit, Nas? Yes, you do, because you just did and you killed it.


20 Hip-Hop Songs That Reference Nas’ ‘Illmatic’


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