I'm the One
Sonny Digital talks about how it felt to be a part of the 2017 XXL Freshman Class cyphers.
As told to Emmanuel Maduakolam
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

[Being part of the 2017 XXL Freshman Class] was cool, I really appreciate it. It was a cool mood throughout the day. Looking back at how DJ Drama was the DJ, it’s nice to be a part of [the 10th Anniversary Freshman Issue]. [When I found out I was the DJ], I was like, “Damn, that’s crazy. Maybe I am doing something right. XXL could’ve chosen anyone else.”

I didn’t know what I was getting into, honestly. It was so much moving around, go here, go there, it was fun though. It was a great set. It was a great space to be in overall. I knew a lot of the artists who were already there but I met a couple of people on the cover I didn’t know. Nobody on the list was super Hollywood.

Kap G always has been the homie; he the new Migos. He from Atlanta too, but he go hard representing [Latinos]. His music is tight. We haven’t worked together yet but every time I go to the studio, he’s always there already working. Kamaiyah, I’ve known her for a minute. She got the West Coast on lock as far as the records she got going on. She’s a female and she’s from Oakland. Her music makes you feel good. It’s hard to describe, but when I hear her music I just think, West Coast music to get hype to.

Madeintyo is dope, too. Him and I did a couple of records. He makes records that can actually chart. He’s more commercial in his lingo, his music appeal to a huge audience. PnB Rock, that’s my brother. We did a lot of records together. He’s one of the realest niggas in the industry right now. He has kept it 100 percent since the first day I met him ’til now. Music-wise, he raps and sings. He’s an all-around artist. It’s between him and Tyo that can make actual records. They make records to a wider audience. He also got songs for women, too, so he has a big advantage over a lot of people on the list. He’s been selling out shows since he came out of jail. A lot of his shows are a whole bunch of women and they know all his songs word for word. That’s a huge advantage; him and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie got that. A Boogie, that’s the bro, too. He has so many crazy records out within the last year alone.

I met Kyle for the first time at the shoot. He’s really cool. His record “iSpy” was huge. Aminé, I fucks with him, he’s cool like a muthafucka. During [the cypher], we were interacting and he was really involved and not standoffish. Not saying everyone else was but he was the most inviting. XXXTentacion, that was my first time meeting him. He was sick that day but he was a cool kid.

It’s between Playboi Carti and Lil Yachty as the kings of the new generation. I saw Carti at the 2017 Rolling Loud Festival and he had everyone going crazy. He has the new generation’s sound. I knew Ugly God before and he’s really cool. I understand what he’s doing. He’s catering to his crowd. He’s not saying anything out of the woods but he’s doing everything how he wants to do it, which is actually pretty good. He has an excellent brand, too.

XXL Freshman is important in hip-hop because it shows you who’s next; it keeps you ahead of the curve. If you look at last year’s cover, it’s not far off with who popped off. I feel like this was a really good class. A lot of people put in their work. I would [be the Freshman Class DJ] every year if I could. It’s a good look and it gives you a heads-up on what to look out for.

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2017 issue including the cover story with the 2017 XXL Freshman class, our interview with actor Demetrius Shipp Jr.Ski Mask The Slump God's grind for self-made success, Doin' Lines with Yo Gotti, $uicideboy$ and how they use hip-hop as therapy and more.

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