XXL magazine has announced its 2018 “Freshman Class,” a list highlighting the publication’s picks for top ten new rappers for the year. Creatives on the list are Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Ski Mask The Slump God, Miami’s Lil Pump and Smokepurpp, Atlanta’s J.I.D, London’s Stefflon Don, Memphis’ BlocBoy JB, Birmingham, Alabama’s YBN Nahmir, West Palm Beach, Florida’s Wifisfuneral and Canton, Ohio’s Trippie Redd.
According to XXL, the 10th spot winner, which is voted on by fans, was Waynesboro, Pennsylvania’s Lil Skies who refused to attend the photoshoot after accepting the spot.
For the 2017 XXL list, our headline read: “XXL Reveals Its Freshman Class, Surprisingly Just Woman Makes Cut.”
The 2018 nominees included 17 women. While Steff is highly deserving, it seems crazy given how much more prominent women have become in the rap game that they’re still repped by a single spot.
That said, it’s possible there were women offered a spot on the cover that turned it down. XXL will sometimes allude to being turned down in follow up interviews, but doesn’t officially name names in press materials.
On “Everyday Struggle” Akademiks, Nadeska and Wayno and company discussed the politics of the list at length. Check out the segment below.