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XXL Freshman Class 2017: making of the cover, freestyle cyphers and more

Shaheem Reid

 // Jun 13, 2017

Time to get the debates going. XXL magazine released their annual Freshman list of who they feel are the dopest newcomers in hip-hop. For months, MCs on the rise (and their respective record companies) have lobbied to get on the coveted event cover of the magazine. The results were announced today. There are some surprises who made it and some who did not make it.

Featured on the 2017 Freshman cover are: Amine, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, MadeinTYO, Kap G, Playboi Carti, PnB Rock, Kyle, Kamaiyah, Ugly God, and the guy who has been at the center of controversy lately, XXXtencion.

At the cover shoot, all of the Freshmen got to be around each other: socializing, rapping, and of course, posing for the cover. Watch below for a behind-the-scenes look at the cover shoot and a peek at the always hotly-anticipated Freshman Cyphers.

XXL Freshman Class 2017: making of the cover, freestyle cyphers and more
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"It feels good, PnB Rock said after laying down his Freshman freestyle. "It came out great. Came out perfect, just how I wanted it to come out. "

"The photo shoot went great, "Ugly God gushed. "I was sitting there for 25 minutes, it was straight. I posed the whole time. I love taking pictures. I love the camera. I'm ready for the cypher part."

Last year's class consisted of Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Desiigner, Dave East, G Herbo, Denzel Curry, Lil Dicky and Kodak Black; most of them have built careers that are blossoming.

This year is XXL's 10th year of highlighting the future of hip-hop. In 2007, it all started with Saigon, Plies, Rich Boy, Gorilla Zoe, Joel Ortiz, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Boosie, Crooked I, Papoose and Young Dro. In 2009, the cover was officially titled "Freshman." Since then, a myriad of superstars has graduated from the XXL Freshmen class.

Wale , Meek Mill, Fetty Wap, Travis Scott, French Montana, Macklemore, MGK, J. Cole, Action Bronson, Nipsey Hussel, Chief Keef and Kendrick Lamar are all former Freshmen who have made good on XXL's printed prophecy.

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