After what’s seemed like a much longer wait than usual, the XXL team revealed their picks for the coveted annual “Freshman Class” issue, and the Internet is still picking at it. The Freshman List, of course, exists to shine a spotlight on the up-and-comers who’ve been grinding like crazy in order to be recognized as the next generation of hip-hop, and all things considered, there are a lot of good choices this year. “Trap Queen” superstar Fetty Wap, OGG figurehead OG Maco, and consistently snubbed Long Beach wordsmith Vince Staples seem like obvious and well-deserved additions, but picks like Detroit’s DeJ Loaf, Illinois drill singer/emcee Tink, DC eccentric GoldLink and eclectic singer/songwriter Raury show that XXL isn’t completely out of touch… and then Kidd Kidd showed up on the list.

The supposedly fan-voted New Orleans rapper has been around since the early days of Young Money, and the Internet has been clowning him so hard that he’s still the third highest trending topic on Twitter. It’s hard for many to believe that Kidd Kidd was voted on to the list thanks to them, especially since these eight emcees all deserve a spot more than he does.

Snow Tha Product

Snow has built a fairly large following off nothing more than decent releases and a non-stop slew of nationwide tours. What more can you ask for from a potential Freshman?


Even setting aside her killer verse on “Complexion” from Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A ButterflyRapsody’s been at the mixtape game for years now. It’s sad that now’s not her time, especially because her latest, the EP Beauty and the Beast, is one of the best hip-hop projects of the year so far.

Mick Jenkins

The Water[s] was on everyone’s radar last year. Given his new single “P’s & Q’s” and his forthcoming debut album, it’s criminal that Mick wasn’t included on the list this year. These judges need to drink more water.

Rae Sremmurd

Sremmlife has taken this Virginia-based group a long way this year: all around the world, every festival you can think of, and even on the road as a part of Nicki Minaj’s Pinkprint Tour. So why are they not on the XXL cover?

Denzel Curry

One of hip-hop’s most abstract and risk-taking young MCs, Curry would have made the fresh air on this list fresher with him on it.

Boedga Bamz

Pal of Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers, Boedga finally got his own shot at the big leagues with his debut album Sidewalk Exec just a few months ago. He’s fierce and hungry, so why leave him starving?

Lil’ Herb

One of Chicago’s biggest rising stars who isn’t Chance the Rapper, Herb’s been at the center of hip-hop scene in his city for a few years now. Many were under the impression that it was his time to shine. Not even Ballin’ Like I’m Kobe was enough, we guess.

Your Old Droog

Droog caught a lot of buzz last year because of his eerie resemblance to Nas in terms of flow and voice, but he proved his individual worth with the Kinison EP earlier this year. With a handful of singles, an album on the horizon and a razor-sharp wit, Droog seemed like a shoe-in for the list.


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