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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

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


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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

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

freshmen selfies intro

The 100 Best Selfies 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


14 Rappers Who Are Diehard OutKast Fans

OutKast is reuniting and the Grammy-winning duo will go on a reunion run that includes a 40-plus-date festival tour throughout the Spring and Summer...

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Pill, Class of ’10 – Catching Up With the XXL Freshmen

2013 XXL Freshman Class is in full effect and time will tell if this will be the best class ever.

In the meantime, we're taking a look back at each XXL Freshman from past classes to see what they've been up through their music since being a Freshman...

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Category: News, XXL Freshmen Tags: ,

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