Here’s the 2015 XXL Freshman Year-End Report Card
What happened with the XXL Freshman class of 2015?
Words: Miranda Johnson
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.
Shortly after the cover dropped, DeJ Loaf put out her first EP, ...And See That’s the Thing. The project included “Back Up,” a moderately successful single featuring fellow Detroit native Big Sean. Later in the year, DeJ was in a high profile relationship with 2014 XXL Freshman Lil Durk. Most recently, she released the All Jokes Aside mixtape in April of 2016 and is said to be working on her major label debut album.
Fetty Wap ended last year on a high note with his self-titled debut album earning the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. The New Jersey native made history when his first four singles were all on the top 10 Hot Rap Songs chart at the same time. His debut record, “Trap Queen,” stayed on the Hot Rap Songs chart for 31 weeks, spending 25 weeks in one of the top three spots. If that’s not enough, the new jack was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2016 and is currently crafting his sophomore LP.
The remainder of 2015 was pretty solid for GoldLink. The Washington D.C. rapper became Rick Rubin’s protégé and dropped his debut album, And After That, We Didn’t Talk. Released through Los Angeles-based label Soulection, the LP was preceded by a series of vignettes in which the rapper explored relationships discussed on the album. Additionally, GoldLink hit the road for an 18-date nationwide U.S. tour and unveiled a documentary chronicling the journey.
Two and a half months after the release of the Freshmen cover, ATL artist K Camp dropped his debut album, Only Way Is Up, which landed at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart with the lead single “Comfortable” reaching No. 54 on the Hot 100. The Interscope-released LP didn’t live up to the buzz of Camp’s previous projects, but helped the rapper set a tone for his music. Fans got two more mixtapes after the album and more recently, Camp dropped his new record “5 Minutes,” which is rumored to be the lead single off his sophomore effort.
The G-Unit rapper’s legal troubles didn’t seem to cease upon the unveiling of the 2015 Freshmen class. Kidd Kidd was arrested right before XXL’s New York Freshmen concert last June, but was released after 50 Cent put up $105,000 for bail. Before the summer ended, Kidd Kidd had put out New Warleans: Katrina 10 Years Later, a documentary that took a look back at the tragic effects of Hurricane Katrina. In September 2015, Kidd dropped Fuk Da Fame, a mixtape with a load of high profile features including 50, Lil Wayne, Young Buck and Kevin Gates. This past February, Kidd Kidd pleaded guilty to a harassment violation in New York against his ex-girlfriend and is facing similar charges from an incident with the same woman in New Orleans.
The Quality Control Records signee has put out a ton of music this past year but has yet to connect with a song as big as his debut single, “U Guessed It.” Still, the Atlanta native pushes on, releasing the 10 Moons 2 EP since the cover dropped, following his first EP, 15. In 2016, so far OG Maco released the long-awaited, Lord of Rage EP and his 7FRVR mixtape plus, hit the road for a European tour. Despite some drama with Future—which has been squashed—Maco continues to stay busy recording.
Three and a half months after the cover, A-Town’s Raury released his debut album, All We Need, via Columbia Records, which received disappointing sales. Still the “Trap Tears” rapper pushed on with a controversial performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, in which he rocked an anti-Donald Trump shirt, which garnered some attention. This past February, Raury dropped his first new track in months, “Home” featuring Take A Daytrip. Shortly after, he embarked on a world tour that wraps up in July.
The DMV rhymer has had a quiet 2016, but ended 2015 on a fair note. Shy Glizzy released the Glizzy Gang mixtape Be Careful in June and several singles last summer including “Head Honcho” featuring Quavo and Offset, and the “Poppin (Remix).” Unfortunately in July, Shy was arrested for disorderly conduct and the footage went viral. The next time fans heard from him was with For Trappers Only, a tape Glizzy released with Zaytoven in September. The young rapper remained fairly quiet until this past April when he put out “Too Far,” featuring 2016 XXL Freshman G Herbo.
Tink has been the most stagnant of the bunch while in preparation mode for her debut LP. Shortly after the unveiling of the 2015’s Freshmen Cover, she dropped her Winter’s Diary 3 mixtape, the third project off the Epic Records signee’s raved series. The 10-track offering included production from mentor Timbaland, C-Sick, Cookin Soul, Jelan Abrams, among others.
It’s been a busy year for Vince Staples who doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Last June, his Def Jam Recordings debut, Summertime ’06, sold 13,000 copies in its opening week. Following the LP’s press run, Vince appeared on the Creed soundtrack. After making controversial comments about 1990s hip-hop being overrated and causing a bit of an uproar, Staples hit the road for an international tour. This past March, the Long Beach MC got a good look when he appeared in a Sprite ad. Look out for Staples this summer, he plans to perform at festivals all over the country.
Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2016 issue, on stands now.
See Every XXL Freshman Class Cover Over the Years