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xxl freshmen best experiences
The XXL Freshmen photo shoot is done all in one long, exhausting, grueling day, where each of the Freshmen delivers their freestyles and cyphers, conducts multiple interviews, and does their individual photo shoots before everyone comes together for the final cover shot. And for our 62 former Freshmen—as well as our 12 new artists on the cover this year—it can be the longest, yet most rewarding, day of their career to that point. Last week XXL asked 22 former Freshmen for advice that they could give to the current XXL Freshmen, and today we've asked 27 of our former cover stars to share the best moments of their experience at the cover shoot and as a Freshman overall. —As Told To Eric Diep, Miranda Johnson, Emmanuel C.M. and Dan Rys

27 Former XXL Freshmen Name The Best Moments From Their Freshmen Experience

xxl freshmen covers
2014 marks the seventh year in a row that XXL has rolled out its annual Freshman Class, acknowledging the top up-and-coming rappers in the game that particular year. With 62 Freshmen having graced the cover since 2008, there have been plenty of rappers who have gone on to superstardom, selling millions of records and grabbing Grammys and VMAs alongside the top names in the business, and others who haven't quite been able to capitalize on the momentum they'd built before becoming a Freshman.

This year, 12 more artists join the ranks of XXL's Freshmen alums, and they've got a big year ahead of themselves breaking into the mainstream and becoming household names in their own right. But the cover itself won't guarantee success; it's the hard work that goes into building on its momentum that can make or break a star. With that in mind, we asked 22 former XXL Freshmen to share any advice they have for this year's crop of talent. Keep it movin'. —Eric Diep, Miranda Johnson, Emmanuel C.M. and Dan Rys

22 Former XXL Freshmen Have Advice For The 2014 Class

Kid Ink

Kid Ink Sets A New Billboard Record

If you're getting tired of your favorite radio station playing his song every hour, you might have to suck it up because it doesn't look like "Show Me" will be departing from the playlists anytime soon...

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nipsey hussle blu mac miller bbq songs
It's Thursday, which means it's practically already the 4th of July. Whatever plans you've got going on, the next three days officially mark the start of the best part of summer. That means backyard hangouts, weekend block parties and all other wild antics that crop up when the weather gets warm will feature some of your favorite dishes. On the flip side, if you are hosting any one of those public gatherings, let’s hope you have all the necessary tunes to create the perfect playlist. For some suggestions, we asked 14 rappers to give us their favorite songs to play at a BBQ. From known classics like "Summertime" to newer joints like "Move That Dope," here are 21 tracks from 14 rappers that are ideal for an outdoor party. Time to sit back and unwind. —XXL Staff

14 Rappers Name Their Favorite Summer BBQ Songs

freshmen selfies intro

The 100 Best Selfies By XXL Freshmen

Kid Ink Tyga Main Chick Remix

Kid Ink’s New Video Features Chris Brown And Tyga

Kid Ink drops off the visual for "Main Chick (Remix)." With the addition of Tyga, the video features Kid Ink and the YMCMB MC sans Chris Brown...

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XXL Freshmen 2014 featured image

The 52 Best Albums By XXL Freshmen

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


T-Pain Featuring Lil Boosie, Kid Ink And B.o.B “Up Down (Remix)”

T-Pain's "Up Down" is a strong comeback single that's been getting a lot of plays. Today, Teddy grabs Lil Boosie, Kid Ink, and B.o.B for the official remix of "Up Down...

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10 Rappers Caught In Fire and Flames

Rappers seems to have an obsession with fire, stemming all the way from the early days of hip-hop to the present, seems rappers just can't get enough of the flames...

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