• 58
    Strength in Numbers
    U-N-I-T-Y in rap ain’t dead. Just ask these duos/groups: Pac Div, Paper Route Gangstaz, Embassy Music Board, Mullage and Hollyweerd.
  • 62
    Sing for the Moment
    R&B’s next generation—Kevin Cossom, Ester Dean, Mike Posner, Shanell and Jarvis—comes well-equipped with dynamite soul.
  • 64 Sound the Alarm Hip-hop’s sound will continue to evolve, with help from these breakthrough producers: Boi-1da, Zaytoven, Tha Bizness, Scoop Deville and 40.
  • 70
    Pursuit of Happiness
    As the money circulating throughout the music industry lessens, so do the opportunities available to new artists. The formula for success has been altered, and it’s harder than ever to understand. XXL asks, now, in this climate, Why would anyone set out to be a rapper?
  • 76 Old Times’ Sake Without guidance, the life of a young MC can be a trial of many errors. That’s why XXL assembled 20 veterans to offer lessons learned firsthand. Each one, teach one.


  • 40
    Just Begun
    The rules of the game have changed, and rap music is in need of some fresh, forward-thinking talent. Meet XXL’s 10 Freshmen for ’10, a new class of MCs rising to the challenge.


  • 31 Show & Prove Waka Flocka Flame, Black Dada, Sen City, Iyaz
  • 84 Eye Candy Mileena lays it all out.
  • 89 The Cool Biker boys and girls head into fashion overdrive. Plus, Apple’s new iPad is put to the test.
  • 101
    Ludacris provides relationship counseling, Yo Gotti plays hip-hop superhero, and Trina reinvents herself.


  • 12 Editorial VS sets ’em straight.
  • 16
    50 Cent is so, so, so respected.
  • 21 360 Cash Money strikes oil.
  • 114 Doin’ Lines Lloyd Banks