In accordance with annual tradition, XXL’s freshman class offer short solo freestyles.
XXL Magazine announced their annual XXL Freshman class June 16. The list seeks to compile hip-hop’s best up-and-comers and predict rap’s future stars. This year’s freshman class includes 42 Dugg, Toosii, DDG, Blxst, Coi Leray, Lakeyah, Pooh Shiesty, Morray, iann dior and Rubi Rose.
Being named an XXL Freshman comes with “getting to know you” video segments about your favorite rappers, favorite albums and reading some mean tweets — while also doing a freestyle and eventual cypher. XXL began posting the individual freestyles on June 28, doing one per day, starting with 42 Dugg.
Most of these freestyles are very brief, only taking around 30-45 seconds. Dugg’s lasts exactly 30 seconds, as he’s ushered in with his trademark whistle and finds his groove quickly. He primarily spits about having money even before gaining clout as a rapper while switching rhyme schemes a few times in his half-minute performance.
Alabamian Flo Milli lights up whichever dark room XXL hosts these freestyles in, in a hurry. Her energy and confidence coupled with bars about never needing a man, her luxurious status and sexual prowess makes her 30-second performance leave a lasting impression.
On June 30, Morray’s freestyle dropped where he seemingly has one of the the longest verses at over a minute. He showcases his strong melodic voice while using the chip on his shoulder to come with flexes about how his money is up, proving his relevance as an XXL Freshman.
The next day, July 1, Pooh Shiesty stepped up in the midst of his legal battle to offer some bars to XXL. He opens his freestyle with cash in his hands and his trademark “blrrrd” ad-lib, then delivers bars about doing the dash in fast cars and getting to the bag.
Quality Control’s Lakeyah brings grit and edge to her freestyle as she immediately brings fire to her 40-second verse. Bars like, “they say Lakeyah heating’ up, that’s cause the summer is mine” prove Lakeyah packs a punch with her assertive lyricism.
Toosii puts his strong suit storytelling on full display during his freestyle. He explained that he dedicated this freestyle to his mother after her lupus diagnosis, and with arms over his head, he cherishes his mother in his life in his powerful, reminiscent verse.
With West Coast flair, Blxst spits about how motivation can lead to success in his XXL freestyle. While he snaps to develop a rhythm, Blxst offers impressive bars like, “crazy what dedication, planning and some passion do / planting seeds, life finna be sweeter than a passionfruit.”
Coming off an incredible surge of popularity, Coi Leray takes full advantage of her pedestal on her unique sung freestyle. Lyrics about paranoia and fashion incorporated into multiple flow switches prove Leray belongs as one hip-hop’s next stars.
Youtuber-boxer-rapper DDG seems to have the limelight following him everywhere he goes. In his XXL Freestyle, DDG comes with an up-tempo verse about his woman problems, but explains that his money bandages his life’s issues.
Last but not least, Rubi Rose comes with sass and aggression in her XXL freestyle. Composed, but intense, Rose spits bars about feeling herself in terms of her body, her bank account and her talent, certainly making her mark.
Iann dior declined to give a freestyle, as some XXL freshman in the past have elected to do. However, the class still has the upcoming cyphers on the horizon, so it will be interesting to see how XXL goes about grouping these young artists together.