Many rappers, old and new, have a deep reverence for their predecessors. This respect and admiration is sometimes rooted in commonalities of upbringings or personal interests that are displayed on wax. But not all rhymers look up to the same artists that are likely on the next person's top rappers list. For others, their musical curiosity can stem from home, be it a family member or a sibling. For 2021 XXL Freshman Toosii, his top five favorite rappers range from blood relatives to heavyweight spitters from the north side of the map.

As said during an interview with The Breakfast Club back in May, growing up, Toosii adopted his tougher exterior from his father and his ability to understand and resonate with women from his mother, allowing him to produce music that speaks to both ends of that spectrum. But don't be fooled, the Syracuse, N.Y.-born, Raleigh, N.C.-raised artist's wheelhouse extends beyond melodic love songs. He raps about his struggles, trials, tribulations and traumas, too, which explains the kinds of rappers he's drawn to for inspiration.

The Thank You for Believing singer kicks off his list with his brother and father. Toosii told XXL last year that his primary musical influences are these two male figures. "If it wasn't for them two, it wouldn't be no Toosii making music," he tells candidly. "Feel me?"

He goes on to name a top-tier, venomous spitter from Yonkers, N.Y. Jadakiss, who amassed success as a member of The LOX and also as a solo artist, flawlessly delivers clever wordplay, using his distinctive tone whether it's on a track for the streets or a joint for the ladies. "Jadakiss... Bar for bar... Ain't nobody messing with Jada," Toosii says.

Next up is a rap great from the Queensbridge section of Queens, N.Y. Nas, a hip-hop veteran who creates introspective songs about adversity and beating the odds. "Nas, too," the South Coast Music Group artist adds. "Same way. Bars."

Lastly, Toosii caps off his list with himself. "And then me because I feel like I'm versatile," he concludes. "I'm ahead of my time."

Check out Toosii speaking on his top five favorite rappers below.

2021 XXL Freshman Class
Travis Shinn for XXL

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Welcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.

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