DJ Drama Says the 2015 XXL Freshman Class Breaks New Ground
Flicka Da Wrist
DJ Drama’s back again to host the XXL Freshman Class and reflect on this year’s selects.
As told to Roger Krastz
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of XXL Magazine featuring our 2015 XXL Freshman Class. Check out everything from our Freshman issue right here.
DJ Drama: We’ve got a good and interesting class this year. First and foremost there’s two females on the cover, which is kind of exciting to see two women in one class. We’re definitely breaking new ground with two girls that can really spit. One who had a huge record this year and one who has a major co-sign and really has a couple of co-signs that have been the buzz and talk for some time.
We have an artist on the cover that has one of the biggest records in the country with Fetty Wap. You know K Camp is somebody that I felt like could’ve even been in the contentions last year and he went strong this year and proved himself. He had a bigger year than possibly even some of the people that were on the cover last year. Then you have some real standouts. GoldLink is a standout. Raury is a standout. Shy Glizzy has been somebody who has been putting in work for a long time. So this year, I think it’s an interesting class.
I’m really interested to see what the future holds for them, because I felt like this year, in a sense, there was a lot of contenders for this class but there were a few people based upon their records that stood out from the pack. Like a Fetty Wap and like a DeJ Loaf, they had really huge, successful records. I think it’s a fun year in a lot of ways for the cover because XXL really had to put themselves a couple feet forward in this one, you know, bringing the runs down to 10 in comparison to other years where you just had kind of some people that you knew were that far ahead of the rest of the crop.
[As for advice for this class], one thing that has been proven is that if you look at who’s running rap today, a good percentage of those people have been on that cover, so people are watching and people are paying attention. People are lurking for those spots, you know? Treat it like the League. You got drafted, so look where you take that cover and use it to your advantage. You’ve gotta go even harder with the cover, but make the connections and hopefully a couple of good records will come from this and it’ll make people that aren’t aware of you, be aware of you.
All these kids on this cover in a lot of ways have their own fanbases that are really strong. But one group may not be familiar with another, like Raury’s fanbase is different from DeJ’s fanbase, who might be different from GoldLink’s fanbase, who might be different from Fetty Wap’s and his success is in radio format. So it’s just a lot of ways to build a lot of bridges and a lot of gaps to just hitting the mainstream and being the next Kendrick Lamar or the next Big Sean or the next Meek Mill or the next Wiz Khalifa, all who have graced the [XXL Freshman] cover. —As told to Roger Krastz