There are very few up-and-coming rappers in the current state of hip-hop who exude the type of raw emotion that ScarLip brings in the booth. The 23-year-old New York City native personifies the harsh realities of a young Black woman being raised in the gritty streets of the Bronx. ScarLip has faced unimaginable trauma throughout her life, and she uses those wounds as motivation to flip the script in the form of a blossoming rap career. She poignantly pours her heart out in her 2024 XXL Freshman freestyle.

With powerful passion delivered via her dynamic vocal ability, ScarLip's freestyle is a tattered yet inspirational self-portrait painted across an a cappella canvas. The sheer pain in her voice matched with harrowing tales of an unfair life are masterfully crafted to evoke compassion from even the most hardened souls. Alongside an underlying portrayal of self-driven hope, Scar joins the 2024 XXL Freshman Class with a vehemently visceral autobiography in rhyme form.

"As a Black girl in the system, I was taught to hate myself," ScarLip painfully recalls before rapping about the horrors of foster care that she faced following her mother's untimely death when she was just 12 years old. "Raised in a Black home, if you talk back, they grab the belt/I was jumped from house to house, you don't know how that made me felt/Two years later, I grabbed the knife, I was ready to kill myself."

Much like a phoenix rising from the ashes, ScarLip lays it all on the line with fire and ferocity—the same attributes that have carried her along her disadvantageous path to success. "You don't know sh*t about my life, stop saying that you care/Where was you at when he was touchin' me? None of y'all was there/Where was you at when my mother died? None of y'all was there/I used to have this spark in me, you see, they took that glow in me/Want me to tell you ’bout my life without you even knowing me?" she spits.

As ScarLip's lyrical ode to her unfavorable upbringing continues throughout the verse, she shines a light on the sad societal norms people in similar situations face all too often. "Ain't no happy ending, ain't no happiness for me/Told my uncle I want to rap, he told me that was just a dream/And dreams told come true for Black girls that look like me/So, therapist, please tell me, what do you see when you look at me?" Scar continues.

The Big Apple MC is very much aware that her dark depictions of deep-rooted despair, while relatable to so many, set her apart from other rhymers in a hip-hop landscape full of lavish lifestyles and rich flexes. When asked what she brings to the rap game as part of this year's XXL Freshman Class, Scar says, "I'm bringing a realness. I'm bringing the pain, and I'm bringing the ugly truth to XXL." 

She also understands the type of impact her story can have on a sector of rap fans who can often be overlooked. "If you're not confident in who you are and how you look, and there's no voice for people that's just young girls that look like me, they're going to be insecure thinking they have to look like this and look like that," ScarLip tells XXL at the Freshman cover shoot this past May. "That's why it's always good when artists and musicians represent themselves confidently and as themselves because it just shows us we can be ourselves."

However, through all that, it isn't necessarily all struggle and strife for ScarLip at this moment in her blossoming career. In fact, through her grimy bars and boisterous voice, ScarLip has been able to quickly align herself with some of hip-hop's most elite players of all time including crucial cosigns from Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Jadakiss and her high-profile mentor, Swizz Beatz.

After breaking through to the rap game's mainstream in 2023, with "This Is New York," ScarLip was invited to perform the menacing Big Apple anthem in her home borough alongside Snoop Dogg at last year's Hip-Hop 50 Live concert at Yankee Stadium. The look made way for ScarLip to slide on standout collabs with the likes of Benny The Butcher and Jadakiss, both of whom she matches lyrically on the song "Take ’Em Out." Her most successful song to date, "No Statements," has raked in nearly 4.5 million Spotify streams and earned ScarLip her first appearance on Billboard's Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.

Watch ScarLip cathartically triumph over tragedy in her 2024 XXL Freshman freestyle below.

The Freshman issue is on newsstands everywhere. In addition to interviews with the 2024 Freshman Class and producer Southside, there are also conversations with Sexyy Red, Ski Mask The Slump God, Mustard, Rubi Rose, Ken Carson, Ghostface Killah, Lola Brooke and more, plus, a look back at what the 2023 XXL Freshman Class has been doing. Also, there are stories on the ongoing scamming and fraud plaguing hip-hop, and how podcasters and streamers are playing a major role in rap beef. The issue is on sale here, along with some exclusive Freshmen merch.

Watch ScarLip's 2024 XXL Freshman Freestyle

See the 2024 XXL Freshman Class Artists and Producer

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