Fridayy has dedicated his life to music, and he's been handsomely rewarded for the time put in. Grammy-nominated, praised by Jay-Z and a few Billboard Hot 100 accolades to his name certainly prove the 26-year-old Philadelphia native made the right decision when he stopped attending a branch of Penn State University during his freshman year in 2016. Hip-hop's latest singing sensation first got on rap's radar when his resonant, mesmerizing vocals blessed DJ Khaled's Grammy-nominated hit "God Did" featuring Hov, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and John Legend last year. Ever since, he's been gifting his rap&B talents through singing, writing and producing for everyone from Lil Baby to Chris Brown. Now, the multi-hyphenate showcases why his mighty voice is in high demand by giving a nod to his church-raised roots in his 2023 XXL Freshman freestyle.

Despite what people may think, there are no rules to these freestyles besides the fact they have to be done a cappella, which means anything else goes. With that in mind, Fridayy welcomes a six-person choir for his Freshman freestyle session. The soulful sounds of "Oh, oh" by one choir singer signals the start of the melody put in place. It's not long before the other members jump in and Fridayy's powerful vocals begin.

"Tell me you love me, did you mean it?/Did you wanna stay ’cause you needed me?/Baby how you treated me/You never believed in me/All the nights that I gave up sleep just to be here now/They won't break me down," Fridayy sings.

Motivation and purpose are the resounding themes here. "They can't take my soul/They can't take my soul/Push through on my own/This the life I chose/They can't take my soul," Fridayy continues before he and the choir end on the impactful statement "This the life I chose."

Fridayy has done just that since growing up in the church, where he was a multi-instrumentalist playing piano, drums and bass. The voices of Boyz II Men, Jamie Foxx, Brian McKnight, Meek Mill, Kanye West and Drake influenced him on the come up. Making melodies and beats at home is where he got his start. A short-lived attempt at college showed him music was where his heart lies, and he continued to pursue his dreams of having a career as an artist in L.A. Ups and downs occurred, but he got his first beat placement with singer Elhae, then signed a publishing deal with Big Noise Music Group in 2020. By 2022, Fridayy was a Def Jam Recordings artist with a debut project, Lost in Melody. Now, he's a 2023 XXL Freshman.

"I'm grateful to be here," Fridayy tells XXL. "It is very important. Especially when you somebody like me that grew up watching hip-hop, you notice it’s important. A lot of my favorite artists came through here. Legends that’s legends today. Let’s just say I’m on a great track and this is a milestone for me, for sure."

Watch Fridayy bring the soul to his 2023 XXL Freshman freestyle below.

Watch Fridayy's 2023 XXL Freshman Freestyle

The Freshman issue of XXL magazine hits stands everywhere on July 18. See Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke, Rob49, Fridayy, GloRilla, 2Rare, SleazyWorld Go, Central Cee, Real Boston Richey, Luh Tyler, TiaCorine and DC The Don's official Freshman pages. In addition to interviews with all 12 artists in the 2023 Class and Freshman cyphers producer Pi'erre Bourne, it includes interviews with Lil Baby, NLE Choppa, Boosie BadAzz, Toosii, DDG, Saba, producer Go Grizzly, engineer Jaycen Joshua, singer Coco Jones, SinceThe80s' President Barry "Hefner" Johnson and AEW wrestler Swerve Strickland, plus a look back at what the 2022 XXL Freshman Class is doing, hip-hop's love for golfing featuring Scarface, OMB Peezy and pro golfer Harold Varner III, conversations with 10 new artists making noise and a deep dive into A.I. hip-hop songs. You can also buy the 2023 XXL Freshman Class issue here.

2023 XXL Freshman
Travis Shinn for XXL

See the 2023 XXL Freshman Class

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