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Instagram / Shareif Ziyadat, Getty Images
Instagram / Shareif Ziyadat, Getty Images
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20 Mixtape Phenoms That Didn’t Live Up to Expectations

XXL highlights 20 mixtape phenoms who had all of the skills to be the next big thing in rap, but ultimately failed to meet those expectations.

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Pascal Le Segretain/ Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain/ Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images
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Hip-Hop Reacts to Leonardo DiCaprio’s First Oscar Win

A number of rappers congratulated Leonardo DiCaprio for his first ever Oscar win.

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Beats by Dre
Beats by Dre
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Beats by Dr. Dre Launches New Pill+ Speaker

Earlier today, Beats by Dre introduced consumers to their new and improved Pill+ speakers.

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Category: Lifestyle, Tech Tags: , ,
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Shady Records x Distinct Life x Beats By Dre Pill Speaker

Detroit based creative agency, Distinct Life have come together with Beats by Dre and Shady Records for a limited edition of the Beats Pill Speaker...

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Beats By Dre Pill XL White And Sky Blue

Beats by Dre introduces the masses to two brand new colorways of their highly successful Beats Pill XL.

The Pill XL is bigger, louder, and has a built-in handle so you can still pick up and go...

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rick ross throwback spread
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Rick Ross And Maybach Music Group Are As Real As It Gets

Is Rick Ross fake? It doesn't matter. His music, his money and his growing empire are all as real as it gets.

Words: Ben Detrick
Images: Travis Shinn

“WE NEED TO GET IN THERE BEFORE THEY GET TO US...

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bizarre-image
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7 Rappers Who Fought With Their Bosses And Left Their Crews

Being in a rap clique has its pro and cons. The pro is that if you can get the right backing, you'll also gain momentum. But being in a clique can be frustrating, with more people and egos to deal with...

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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
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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
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22 Former XXL Freshmen Have Advice For The 2014 Class

freshmen selfies intro
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The 100 Best Selfies By XXL Freshmen

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