Pursuing a dream takes guts, especially when life's obstacles emerge. Pushing through those tough moments can change an artist's career trajectory, and 22-year-old Memphis rapper Big30 is a perfect example of doing just that. The 2022 XXL Freshman's success in hip-hop has grown stronger with every release. As he makes his next move, 30 is prepared for whatever comes his way. Watch his Freshman freestyle to see what he's got in store.

Big30 has always made it clear that he knows how to navigate the street. "I know niggas kill muthafuckas and still snitchin'/So my nigga you can keep yo' killa, them niggas' bitches," he rhymes.

Backing down has never been part of the plan either: "Nigga know what's up with me, ain't never tuck my tail/Every day I'm steady sinnin' like we already in Hell."

And he plans to win the battle: "Runnin' up on Big30 gon' be an epic fail/Got the AR with the coolant and the neck to catch the shell."


Big30's authenticity, coupled with his talent and commitment to music has taken him far in a few short years. His approach to the freestyle showcases one of many reasons why he deserved the opportunity to be a 2022 XXL Freshman.

Four years ago, 30, whose rap name is inspired by a Glock 30, started rapping for fun alongside his close friend Pooh Shiesty, a 2021 XXL Freshman and 1017 Records artist. At the time, 30 knew he was talented, but wasn't sure he could "make it." With some urging from Pooh, and the local success of 30's early songs "Breaking News" in 2018, and "No Vouch" the next year, 30 opened his eyes to the reality that he could take music and run up a career with it.

When it comes to his music, Big30's first song, "Breaking News" featuring Pooh Shiesty racked up 100,000 YouTube views in its first week of release. Then "No Vouch" scored 2 million views in a month. 30's name was really ringing off. His flows and delivery, unrelenting but crystal clear, helped him round out his style. Few new street rappers are as vivid and authentic as Big30 and have his ability to get in and out of flows at will.

After signing to Moneybagg Yo's Bread Gang Entertainment and Marcus “Head” Howell's N-Less Entertainment in 2019, Big30 never looked back. Moving into 2020, the rhymer released tracks "Neighborhood Heroes" and "Allegations," two Pooh Shiesty-assisted songs that have over 23 million and 43 million YouTube views, respectively. 30's work led to a scene-stealing verse on Shiesty's 2021 single, "Neighbors," which went gold. Then 30's first project, King of Killbranch, dropped in September of last year. The effort is a solid showing of his skills and growth over the years. Now, he's preparing to release his debut album.

Watch Big30's 2022 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by Puma, below.

Read the 2022 XXL Freshman cover story featuring BabyTronCochiseSaucy SantanaBabyface RayKenTheManSoFaygoBig ScarrBig30KayCyyDoechiiKali and Nardo Wick when the Freshman issue hits newsstands everywhere on July 13. The issue includes additional interviews with Lupe FiascoKevin GatesPi’erre BourneNLE ChoppaYvngxchris, producer DJ Dahi, engineer Teezio and singer Chlöe, plus a breakdown of every Freshman Class from a numbers standpoint, a look back at what the 2021 XXL Freshman Class is doing, the story of why the 2016 XXL Freshman Class gets so much respect now, a deep dive into the world of NFTs through hip-hop’s lens and exploring rappers’ most valuable collections. You can also buy the 2022 XXL Freshman Class issue here.

See Every Artist in the 2022 XXL Freshman Class

Which rapper is your favorite?

More From XXL