Big30 – 2022 XXL Freshman
- GOV'T NAME: Rodney Lamont Wright Jr.
- AGE: 22
- REPPIN': Memphis
- TWITTER: @BigThirty375
- INSTAGRAM: @ceobig30
- TIKTOK: @ceobig30
- NOTABLE RELEASES: Songs: “Allegations” featuring Pooh Shiesty, “Free Shiest Life” featuring Pooh Shiesty, “Whatever Come With It” featuring Future; Album: King Of Killbranch; Guest Appearances: Pooh Shiesty’s “Neighbors,” Pooh Shiesty’s “Monday To Sunday” featuring Lil Baby, Gucci Mane’s “Shit Crazy,” Moneybagg Yo’s “Go!”
- LABEL: Bread Gang Entertainment/N-Less Entertainment/Interscope
- CURRENTLY WORKING ON: As-yet-untitled album due this summer.
- WHO ELSE SHOULD BE PART OF THIS YEAR'S CLASS: “Hotboii, because he a real star. I feel like he an instrument. He a real artist. I feel like Nardo Wick, ’cause he came in and attacked the game. EST Gee. I recommend a couple people like that, like Lil Jairmy, from Houston. Not one of them overhyped artists. They got good music. They doing they thing just as well as I’m doing my thing, but I’m thankful to be here, too. It’s just a couple faces I thought was going to be here.”
- INFLUENCED BY: “Pooh Shiesty. We started rapping at the same time and he would tell me like, ‘30, we come from the same shit, same area. If they like me, they’ll love you, bro. You a star just like I’m a star. It’s in you, bro.’ He pushed me to not quit. And I thank him forever for that. Look at the situation we in now. What if I would’ve quit? Who coulda kept the dream going?”
- AS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL: “I was that dude. I can’t go for nothing. I can’t go for no dirty shoes, for nobody checking me. You probably call it roasting, right? We call it checking. I’ma check the shit out a nigga. That’s what I do in school. I was a class clown, but the teachers love me. They want to see me pass because they love my personality and I used to have teachers laughing. I promise to God, I had a teacher who used to make me check the students who ain’t trying to work. They love and cared for me. I was into like science. The stuff we was reading about and the creatures we were seeing in the books, like, ‘This is weird.’ And they be real facts!”
[If] I would’ve quit, I probably never make it this far. This a milestone for me. I’ll never forget this. I made the Freshman Class this year. No matter how many years, I remember watching it on TV and now I’m on it. That’s amazing to me. You know, I got bigger footsteps to take, but every step count, right?
I just knew I was supposed to be on there last year with Shiesty, I just knew that was my class. I just played my role. Made me feel like I ain’t big as I think, but then a big half of me made me feel like, go hard! Did my part, stayed down, pushed him to the fullest till my turn. Now look. No matter if it’s the first,second or third, we keep doing it from Memphis.
When we get the cover photo, I want to get a big-ass picture. I don’t know where I’m going to get it from, but I want to get it blown up. I’m sticking it in my house, by my plaques. My mama gon’ have this 20, 40 years. It’s just like my graduation. You shouldn’t take it for granted.”
BIG30'S 2022 XXL FRESHMAN FREESTYLE
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.
—Robby Seabrook III
BIG30'S 2022 XXL FRESHMAN CYPHER
The 2022 XXL Freshman Class is here. You’ve seen their ABCs, listened to them respond to trolls for the Mean Comments segment and heard them spit in their individual freestyles. Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the 2022 XXL Freshman cyphers. Jacksonville, Fla. native Nardo Wick, Memphis' Big Scarr and Big30, and KenTheMan, who hails from Houston, grab the mic to showcase the skills that got them inducted into the class in the first place.
This year, Mississippi native Wheezy Outta Here provides the soundtrack that all four Freshman slide on. Wheezy has been on the fast track to production superstardom lately as the man behind the boards on trap-style anthems like Lil Baby and Drake’s "Yes Indeed," Young Thug and Gunna’s "Hot," YSL’s "Ski" and more. The Freshman quartet deliver Southern-fried bars over the "Pushin P" producer’s bass-heavy, hi-hat-laced score.
This year’s youngest Freshman Nardo Wick bombs first, igniting his freestyle with the explosive bars, "Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang/Big brother always tryna touch a nigga brain," the soft-spoken 20-year-old artist raps. "Leave him neckless, he try reachin' for my chain/Izzy always tryna hit a fuckin' stain/Brush my teeth with Scope, but promise I got Aim." From there, Nardo speeds things up a bit, showing impressive versatility.
Sliding in behind Nardo, Big30 brings big energy to the cypher. He doesn’t let off the gas in his lengthy rap, which stays true to character in pushing the rapper’s gangsta persona. "50 racks on me right now and this Dior is made of silk/Nigga spin my block incorrect than somebody gettin' killed," 30 spits. "My young nigga 15 with four bodies, can’t even buy a fifth/He ain't even old enough to vote, that lil boy bangin' Crip," he adds, later shouting out incarcerated fellow Memphis rhymer and 2021 XXL Freshman Pooh Shiesty.
1017's Big Scarr delivers what might be the shortest cypher verse in Freshman history, with his mic drop moment in the cypher clocking in at less than 10 bars. "I'm in the eggshell coupe, this bitch here a hatchback/I don’t do the basic bitches, Hemi here a Scat Pack/I don’t do no talkin', roll a nigga in the outback/I’m with your main bitch, we eatin' steak, chillin' at Outback," Scarr rhymes. In and out.
KenTheMan is the show closer. Putting on for H-Town, TheMan is small in stature, but big on bars. She slips in and out of flows over the menacing track with ease. "ATL, hopped off a plane and hit the stage with Kali/I'ma P, I got some hoes that's ducked off in the valley/Ask about me, I been 100, my card super valid/I drop a ho, I get another one like DJ Khaled."
Man, oh, man. It's up.
Watch Nardo Wick, Big Scarr, Big30 and KenTheMan's 2022 XXL Freshman Cypher
—C. Vernon Coleman II