When Stefflon Don visited the XXL office in early January for her 2018 Freshman pitch, she never imagined she’d be gracing the 2018 XXL Freshman cover months later. “Even when I did the video pitch and I had to post it, I didn’t want to post my video," she admits. "I swear to God. I thought ’cause this is an American-based thing and not a lot of people know me… And even if they do know me it’s more from ‘Hurtin’ Me,’ not that much from my rap stuff, I think. So I just thought there’s no point; this is pointless.”

If you’ve been following Stefflon’s story, you understand why the Holland-born, London-raised rhymer is here. The 26-year-old artist turned hip-hop on its mysogynistic head when she dropped “Real Ting” in 2016, and “16 Shots” the following year; two gangsta, patois-tinged tracks laced with lyrics you’d never expect to come from the Jamaican bombshell’s lips.

Stefflon’s muses are evident; she grew up listening to fearless, old-school female spitters like Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown. “I used to love Destiny’s Child as well," she adds. "And Eve, I can’t forget Eve."

The self-made hustler, born Stephanie Allen, was already a star across the pond before she signed to Quality Control Music Group in early 2017. Soon after, Stefflon Don released her banger “Hurtin Me” with French Montana at the end of the year’s second quarter—which, to date, has over 75 million views on YouTube—then appeared on Lil Yachty’s single “Better” off his sophomore LP, Teenage Emotions, proving her international appeal made for unquestionable crossover success.

These days, Stefflon Don is prepping her forthcoming tape, Real Ting 2, which holds a special guest feature from rap trendsetter Future. And now that the 2018 XXL Freshman cover has been revealed, the Don is ready to celebrate. “I’ma keep posting it every day. Rub it in bitches' faces," she jokes with a laugh. “Nah, I’m just gonna look at it every time I feel like I’m lacking. I’m just gonna be like bro, these people believe in you, they put you on the cover. You better be bringing that hot stuff.”

Press play below to listen to Stefflon Don speak on her family life, musical upbringing and more in her 2018 XXL Freshman profile interview. When you’re done, watch her rip her freestyle and check out some behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot below.

See Photos of Stefflon Don's Behind the Scenes at the 2018 XXL Freshman Class Cover Shoot


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