Lil B, Yelawolf, Kendrick Lamar Among XXL’s 2011 Freshman Class

XXL 2011 Freshman ClassOver the last few years, XXL’s “Freshman Class” has become a list to watch for among hip-hop fans. The highly anticipated 2011 grads have finally been revealed. Usually, it’s 10, but this year the long-running mag chose 11.

Although the cover leaked nearly a month ago, the official list was just this week.

The 11 rappers XXL thinks you should watch are: Lil Twist, CyHi Da Prynce, Big K.R.I.T., Meek Mill, Diggy Simmons, Kendrick Lamar, Fred the Godson, Lil B, Mac Miller, Yelawolf, and YG.

“This year, during the selection process, we spotted a problem: In the past, some years had been hard getting the list up to 10; in 2011, the difficulty was getting the number down to 10,” the mag said.

“We realized we had more new rap talent to pick from for the 2011 Freshman class than previous years. So we decided to make an exception and chose an extra Freshman this year, because it was clear that 10 just wouldn’t be enough.”

Some of the names on the list could be considered a grade level higher than freshman, but each are definitely deserving of being called the “next” artists to make impacts — some are already doing just that though.

Yelawolf had quite a big 2010. After dropping Trunk Muzik and Trunk Muzik 0-60, the rapper capped off the year by inking a solo deal with Eminem’s Shady Records.

Lil B is an eccentric native of the Bay Area, who started as a member of a group called The Pack. However, over the past year, he’s embraced a weird swag about himself, stirring up things online, via random tweets, and building such a following in the digital world that it could not be denied. He’s invented a new sub-genre of music he calls Based Music. What is it? We still don’t know.

Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T. made numerous year-end Top 10 lists, following the release of two popular mixtapes, and appearances alongside Curren$y’s debut Pilot Talk, and Wiz Khalifa’s uber-popular mixtape, Kush and Orange Juice.

Compton rapper, YG, broke out with his smash single, “Toot It and Boot It,” and even managed to nab heavy hitters for the official remix, such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and E-40. He’s got to be doing something right?

Mac Miller is a white rapper hailing from Pittsburgh, and signed to Rostrum Records, which also boasts Wiz Khalifa. He’s built a fan base online, thanks to the release of two mixtapes in 2010, and constant touring.

Kendrick Lamar, well, he’s been grinding hard over the past few years, becoming a mainstay on hip-hop biggest audio blogs. But, it was Dr. Dre who reached out and co-signed him that helped other fans get hip to the young rapper and his music. There’s no question Dre can pick talent, so pay attention.

Lil Twist, well, he’s from Weezy’s camp, so people are becoming more and more familiar with him. CyHi Da Prynce has gotten more and more shine, thanks his constant hustle, and re-emergence of Kanye West.

Meek Mill just inked a deal with Rick Ross, who has been touted him as the future. Fred the Godson is a Bronx rapper showing a little bit of that New York hustle.

As for Diggy Simmons, well, he had a good start by having Rev. Run as his father and appearing on “Run’s House,” but people were skeptical at first upon hearing that he was pursuing a rap career. However, once hearing a few tracks, you couldn’t deny his skills. He inked a solo deal with Atlantic Records and is currently preparing his debut album.

The 2011 Freshman issue of XXL hits newsstands on March 15.

25 comments
  1. no doubt krit is the best then mac miller then its the rest of them diggy gon be big cuz his dad. i think its safe to say lil b and lil twist sucks anus. i dont even think they like themselves.

  2. I didn’t have much hope for Diggy, but I just peeped his new mixtape…the kid got some lyrical skill. Don’t let the fame and the hype turn you away from him.

    We all know, though, that Yelawolf is gonna be the biggest seller, at least for now. He’s got the Shady Records machine behind him, now.

  3. sorry lames…go to youtube and put in kendrick lamar formerly known as K.Dot “the real k.dot not that wack azz dude from the east coast” kendrick lamar is the BEST lyricist on this list, then yelawolf then diggy …people really need to stop trying to hate on the west coast and think that we only do gangsta rap…no we can get gangsta and really spit some real rhymes…kendrick lamar, is the mix of hood with real rhymes…he’s ice cube,mixed with game, mixed with some mos-def yall need to stop sleeping on the west and on kendrick lamar and wake that azz up…top dawg entertainment is doing it…jay rock, kendrick lamar, school boy q, ab-soul…

  4. oh and by the way i am from the west…but i dont know how in theeee hell did YG make this list…after that wack azz “toot it and boot it” finally fizzle away his career will be over…some on now he is not hip hop he is a gimmick , like 85% of hip hop/rap right now.

  5. Lil B is a homo that talked about raping Kanye, I would never respect him. Now that I know who YG is I know his career will be over by the time this magizine hits the stands.

  6. I’m not hatin’ on the west, I just haven’t peeped Kendrick Lamar yet. But, if he’s as tight as you say he is, I’ll give him a chance. Dope is dope, no matter which coast.

  7. I care about the music and really dont give a fuck about the artist thats comin out the speakers sexual preference..
    Lil B that nigga!!!
    on the beats and the rhymes..
    all that “West coast” “East coast” shit dont matter niether..
    we really aint that far from one another at all..
    niggaz like Cjkasino need to book a flight!!!
    paper planes

  8. Kendrick Lamar most def blew up the cover! Just being honest, kL the hottest newcomer we have! Are yall serious c’mon! if you dnt think so.. god blessed us with him in hip-hop.. He’s exactly what we need. Yelowolf is nice too. He’s going to sell for sure. Another hot and upcoming artist is Ammo Arsenal and eminen is signing him to shady and that guy is a ridiculous problem!hit youtube and check out warrior,westcoast, all around war, and how gangstaz do and you decide???

  9. Every last one a dem motherfuckers is a tax write off except Yelawolf. beleev dat.

  10. :( This list is taited. How much did the offies have to pay to get on the cover? Shame on you XXL. Well, let’s focus on the positive. They got it right with K.R.I.T. And Kendrick is right in the middle; that’s a good look. #TopDawg

  11. We all know Lil B is the only thing that matters on this list, he’s changed rap music forever.

    oh and i love how mac miller is a “white rapper” right off hand they let that one out there, fucking faggots.

    swag.

  12. im mad lil b is leading the polls. cuz everyone knows yelawolf and cyhi da prynce are the best of them right now. but i think mac miller and diggy are gonna be problems in a few years

  13. everyone knows the only ones on this list worth a care are diggy, yelawolf and my nigga lil B

  14. Aight so all ya’ll Mac Miller is killing it having a platnium song and a #1 independent ├ílbum before your 21 now thats Most Dope Shit Ever

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