It’s hard to believe it’s already been four years since XXL’s inaugural Freshman class. Dubbed leaders of the new school at the time, in ways, the ’07 edition was more of an old guard than a new generation in comparison to succeeding Freshman classes. When the November 2007 issue hit newsstands, hipster rap was unheard of, the internet had yet to truly boom and mixtapes were slowly transitioning from CDs to zip files. Now veterans, the ’07 class has had to keep up with hip-hop’s perpetually morphing climate. XXL looks back at its first Freshman class to see how the students’ careers turned out.— Dan Reagans

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Lil Boosie
Boosie’s had a hard time recapturing the success that landed him on our cover in the first place. In late 2010, he was sent to prison for a parole violation and released an album, Bad Azz, from behind bars. He was then indicted for first-degree murder last June and other charges ranging from conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution to possession with intent to distribute narcotics. He faces the death penalty if found guilty. Keep ya head up.

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Lupe Fiasco
Lupe released the gold-selling Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool in 2007. After a highly publicized dispute with Atlantic records, which had his fans signing a petition to demand the release of his highly anticipated, Lasers, the CD finally hit stores in early March. The LP debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 204, 200 its first week— making it the highest selling debut of his career.

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Saigon
Major label purgatory is often inescapable. Not for Saigon. After years of industry politics, the Yardfather finally released The Greatest Story Never Told LP in February of this year. Now with the album under his belt, Sai is touring and may have some more guest appearances on the final season of HBO series Entourage.

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Rich Boy
Rich Boy has yet to follow up on his 2007 self-titled debut. He’s dropped two mixtapes, has made several cameos since the cover and is slated to drop a third a third tape, Pharaoh$ & King$, before his sophomore disc, Resurrected in Diamonds, is released later this year. Word is Dr. Dre’s on board to produce on the album.

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Plies

Plies has been putting out LPs at a factory pace since the cover, releasing three albums, including two in 2008. His second album, Definition of Real went gold. He’s also been featured on a boat load of singles, lacing DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood,” ” Usher’s “Hey (Daddy’s Home),” Young Jeezy’s “Lose My Mind,” and more recently DJ Khaled’s “Welcome To My Hood.” His fifth album, The Real Testament Pt.2, is scheduled to drop this year.

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Gorilla Zoe
Zoe dropped a sophomore set, Don't Feed da Animals, which debuted at No.8 on the Billboard 200. The LP produced the hit single "Lost" featuring Lil Wayne. Still on Bad Boy records, his third album, King Kong, hit stores earlier this week.

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Young Dro
Dro's set to release, P.O.L.O. (Players Only Live Once), his first album since the cover, later this year. In preparation for his release he'll be headlining the Grind N’ Hustle tour with label mate Mike Bigga set to kick off in April. He's also rumored to soon be releasing a DJ Drama/DJ Green Lantern hosted- Best of Both Horses mixtape with Vado.

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Joell Ortiz
J-O demanded to be released from his Aftermath contract a few months after the cover hit stands. He joined forces with classmate Crooked I, Joe Budden and Royce Da 5'9" to form Slaughterhouse in 2009 and released a self-titled album with the group that same year. Joell then landed a deal with Steve Rifkind's SRC as a solo artist in August 2010 and his Slaughterhouse was officially announced as the latest addition to Shady Records in this very magazine this past February. Right on cue, Ortiz dropped his long delayed Free Agent album on E1, an EP with Slaughterhouse and is poised to drop Get Rich Homie later this year.

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Papoose
Pap parted ways with Jive Records, but kept busy by feeding the streets several mixtapes a year since our cover. He married femcee Remy Ma in jail in 2008 and though she's still incarcerated, he's planning to release a mixtape with his wife later this year. Pap is also still aligned with long time partner DJ Kay Slay. No word on when The Nacirema Dream will hit stores.

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Crooked I
Since appearing on our cover, Crook's work ethic has only become stronger. The Long Beach lyricist dropped his The Block Obama: Hood Politics in 2008 and later released an EP version that same year. He then teamed up with Ortiz, Budden and Royce to form Slaughterhouse, released a self-titled LP with the super group and dropped another solo EP, Mr. Pig Face Weapon Waist in 2009. He signed with Em's Shady records as part of Slaughterhouse in February and released an EP shortly after. The long awaited Million Dollar Story album is set for a Spring release.