“Ok I was gone for a minute, but I’m back now!” Sorry for the long absence, but I am back, and the last time I checked, it’s Music Monday. One of the most popular debates going on in the rap game currently is which artists are going to grace the cover of XXL for their XXL Freshmen List. Last year, we saw Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, and many others get the exposure needed for their music to get noticed by mainstream media. I became a fan of most of these artists after I saw them on the cover. This year, I want to get ahead of the curve and make my own XXL Freshmen 2017 predictions of who I think will make the cover. I will post a link of one of the artist’s songs so you guys can get a taste of what their music sounds like (link in their name). There are a lot of artists I had in mind for this list, so don’t be offended if your favorite new artist isn’t on here. Let’s embrace the debate, and let me know who you think should be on the cover!

1.) Playboi Carti– In all honesty, this dude deserved to be on the cover last year. But, now with a full length project under his belt that is blowing up online, he will be on the cover for sure. Carti opened up the rap game to a new style that many artists have adopted themselves. He has this energy to his music that just gets you hyped and vibes. Let’s just say Carti will be in NY milly-rocking when he finds out he’s on the cover.

2.) Smokepurpp– Coming from the way of South Florida, Smokepurpp has been putting out some quality bangers that have been on repeat for me the past month. His song “Ski Mask” is his most popular currently, but Smokepurpp doesn’t like to have the same sound in all his music. He likes to explore new sounds, and that’s what I think is going to help him in the future when working with other artists. Don’t be surprised if you see him on this list.

3.) Famous Dex– ENERGY. That’s the first word that comes to mind when you see Famous Dex. I saw this man in concert a few months back, and he seems more happy to be there than his fans do! His music expresses his energy very well, and it’s hard not to smile when you listen to one of his songs. Dex grows on you after awhile, so don’t be shocked if you see yourself bumping his music in a few months.

4.) A Boogie Wit the Hoodie– The singing rappers are the new wave for rap music. A Boogie is headlining the new wave for this year’s XXL class as being the singing rapper. I saw him back in October when he was just starting to get some buzz while opening for ScHoolBoy Q and Joey Bada$$. Now, after dropping two projects, he’s starting to put New York rappers back on the map like Dave East did last year for the XXL class.

5.) J.I.D – Now this is more of a personal pick for myself, but I do believe this man should be a no-doubter for the cover. J.I.D is J. Cole’s newest signee to Dreamville this year, and he dropped his first project “The Never Story” a couple months back. I haven’t stopped listening to it since. He is a pure lyricist which has been hard to find in the new wave of artists coming out. If you mess with rappers just spitting straight bars and tweet-able lyrics, J.I.D is the guy for you. He’s my favorite new artist this year, and I hope he gets the credit deserved for the cover.

6.) KYLE– I heard about KYLE almost four years ago, and I’m not sure why it took this long for him to get noticed, because he’s been putting out quality music for a while now. The song that everyone has heard so far by him is iSpy with Yachty. It’s a good song, but everyone needs to start exploring KYLE’s music to see what he is capable of. The dude has a nice range for his rap voice and singing voice and has been putting in the work for a good amount of time. I hope to see him get blessed with a chance to get some mainstream exposure for once.

7.) MadeinTYO – Once he makes the cover, he can Uber Anywhere he wants! MadeinTYO has dropped two quality projects in the past year and has been keeping his name buzzing with features. His flow is one of my favorites in rap right now, because he just knows how to ride the beat which some artists have trouble doing. I think with the XXL cover, he will be able to use his talents to get himself more mainstream buzz.

8.) Ugly God – This dude just makes me laugh every time I listen to his music. His raps might be goofy as hell, but he can spit for real, and his beats have been some of the hottest of the past year. I think putting someone like him on the cover will show artists that they accept creativity and different types of audiences. Ugly God brings a new type of fan base to rap, and he can have an entertainment factor in his music similar to when Lil Dicky made the cover last year.

9.) Nav – This man blew up it seems like overnight. One day I found him on YouTube and all of a sudden he was on tour with The Weeknd and Uzi. The Brown Boy from the Rex is not only a fantastic rapper, his beats are on another level. He’s already worked with the likes of Travis Scott and The Weeknd, so this XXL cover can only help his stock with the rap game. His music has this wavy feeling with hard-hitting bass that can get anyone moving.

10.) XxxTentacion – Despite not having much music out, X has been keeping his name buzzing even with himself being in jail. He tried to start some drama with Drake when it was shown that Drake allegedly stole X’s flow from “Look at Me!” on his song “KMT”. X fans have been trying to keep his name buzzing, but he needs to start dropping more music for everyone to start taking him seriously. This is more of a “who I think will make it” pick than anything, but I think X has a chance to be a star with the range he has on his music ability.

First 3 out who could make it:

PnB Rock– I haven’t heard much of him, but I like what I heard. He has a chance to make it since he’s been making noise for a while with that singing rap style.

Young M.A – I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes the cover. She can spit bars for real and having a woman on the cover would be dope as hell for XXL.

Lil Pump – The crazy 16-year old is a year away from this cover. Once he starts to put out consistent music his name will get more buzz, and he will be a no-doubter for next year. His energy is crazy, he’s crazy, his raps are elementary, but he still puts out some heat with the way he rides the beat and how he presents himself.

Thank you all for reading and Happy Music Monday!

JTA (@jtapersources)




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