And the 2014 XXL Freshmen Are…

blame it on Meka May 5, 2014

It may be a couple months after were used to, but XXL has finally revealed the list of artists that have made their coveted XXL Freshmen list.

Lil Bibby
Vic Mensa
Isaiah Rashad
Rich Homie Quan
Kevin Gates
Jon Connor
Jarren Benton
August Alsina
Chance The Rapper
Ty Dolla $ign
Troy Ave
Lil Durk

A few observations:

The South has the most representatives with 5 (Isaiah, Quan, Gates, Benton, Alsina), followed by Chicago with 4 (Bibby, Vic, Chance, Durk), with one rep from Detroit (Jon), New York (Troy), and LA (Ty)

No women made the list this year, compared to last year when two women – Iggy Azalea and angel haze – made the list

Most of these choices were “safe,” as each artist has a relative decent buzz going for them

Thoughts? Opinions? Bueller? What would be your choices?

  • Cam TexasBoy Perry

    I thought the list only applied to rappers. August Alsina and Ty Dolla $ign shouldn’t be on this list.

    • Hip-Hop Head

      Read the fine print. “Yeah, we’ve got R&B this year.”

      Additionally, the list is usually only 10 artists. This year, they bumped it to 12 and threw in two R&B artists.

      • Cam TexasBoy Perry

        I said I thought the list applied to rappers only which it should always be.

        • triPAUD

          It might dillute the requirements of the list. They shouldn’t allow it to become top ten artists, but rappers. Its good they added two more but they should make a whole other list for r&b. keep rappers rappers and sanger rappers.

    • Dave

      That shit made me tight. They didnt need to add no rnb artists. Its so many buzzing “hip hop” artists they could of chose from. And i bet they think they changing the game doing that.

  • Tino

    Skeme got robbed. Fuck XXL

    • CMPTN

      True that he been on his hustle long and its been quality, no one showin him the respect he deserves. At least he gets plenty of love here in the west alongside Nip and Dom K.

      • Tino


  • dboss22

    Iggy was 2012…

    PS, where’s Riff Raff?

  • Selorm Amuzu

    This is pretty safe and makes a lot of sense tbh

  • Jorgefacekillah

    They finally got it right and wrong.

    Let’s be honest, looking at this and being a chicago representative, I damn near felt like the home team won the final four. Vic Mensa, especially. Chance could have pulled a Drake, and I still would be happy. Lil Bibby (Or Lil herb; they’re basically Chicago’s Young gunz to me) will prove he deserved it this ongoing year, and Lil Durk? Still on the fence. Project wise, no. I need more content. Buzz wise, yes. If Fredo Santana was on it, then i would be more happy.

    Everyone else Deserved it. Isaiah dropped a “Good” project (In quotations because I wanna hear a more cohesive project next time.) He is a good performer and rapper. Writing and staying on topic, is his only need of improvement. August, Ty, & Quan have everything I expect in freshmen. Buzz, star quality, projects and good single features (They Damn near dominated radio play in 2013 & to now). and now to the con’s…. Mr. Ave. I will call him XXL’s bad guy. He may be on it, but i will put him in the “Meh” section (see OJ Da Juiceman, French Montana). Dude just complained to get on the cover (IMO), His work was ok, but that whole “Anti” everything turned me off him. But hey, it had me talking, so did everyone else. Jon Connor I’m happy for (Detroit, Midwest!) but he probably should have been on in 2013. *Kanye shrug.* I have no idea of a Kevin Gates or Jarren Benton so Put them in the “Who the fuck are these guys” section with Logic and Kid Ink. Maybe this year they will prove why they got on. XXL may have made a very solid “Ok” list since maybe 2010. Let us see what happens in 12 months. Sidenote: Next year I randomly see a big increase of ATL rappers making it next year Just saying. ight, word.

    • disqus_pyrGXaSTDx

      maybe type kevin gates into youtube before dismissing him lol had one of the best mixtapes of last year and consistently dropped 2 more after that.

      • MusicHead

        Kevin Gatea dope, I checked him out last night, def turned me into a believer.

  • marty mcfly

    meh… Id say Troy Ave may be someone to watch but everybody else? Whatever. Why Kay Slay up there next to Lil Bibby though?

  • James Stanford

    This is exactly why I wasn’t excited to see this. Most of these nikkas won’t be major in the game in 3 years. Really Troy Ave, Jason Benton, Vic Mensa who the fuck these nikkas ? For the past 3 years XXL has been finding ways to fuck this up

    • Ted

      Uv really never heard of these dudes? Do u even listen to hiphop? Lame

      • James Stanford

        Them nikkas trash simple as that. And if I didn’t listen to Hip Hop why would I be on this site ? Take this L

    • Dave

      Troy ave is weak but dude made a big name for himself so can’t hate. Vic Mensa had one of the best mixtapes out last year. If you actually listen to music you would know.

      • MusicHead

        Troy another 50 Cent, Vic tape was super dope it just he should be on next year, ppl still don’t know who he is like they know Chance.

    • disqus_xpmwx1oUV3

      You never heard of Jarren Benton or Vic mensa and you are judging them based off a cover? Let me guess do you know who Isaiah Rashad is?

  • Sticky

    Bishop nehru has a project with DOOM coming out… what the fuck?

  • Yung SG

    Okay it makes sense, but fuck no. fuck all dis, fuck everything. im disappointed and salty.

  • Ted

    Good to see jarren benton finally gettin his props,def the best rapper over at funk volume,shouldve been on last year over dizzy wright,by far the best on the whole list,needs to swerve hopsins corny ass and find a better home tho

    • Dave

      You crazy if you think Jarreb is better than Dizzy. Ima funk volume fan but no way is he better. Shit you cant even compare their styles. Jarren is pyscho turn up wordplay. Dizzy is introspective peacemaker genius.

      • Ted

        Yeah i know they got different styles but benton carries funk volume on his back,dizzy does his thing,i remember liking those smokeout joints but i think he gets boring quick,wasnt feeling golden age but maybe i expected something else coz of the name,havnt heard his new shit,hopsin got corny and desperate fast and i dont even have words for swizzzz

    • wat

      You’re joking if you think Jarren is the best.

  • Dave

    Idk why they put Rich Homie Quan. His buzz been died.

    • MusicHead

      HELL NO. Rich Homie still hot dawg homie a walkin catchy hit waiting to happen nigga can make records.

  • People will always think that someone was robbed or excluded. I haven’t heard half of the list. Kind of disappointed that no female was added. Not one! But that is how things are at times. Overall nice list.

  • wat

    Probably the most disappointing list thus far. Why would Ty Dolla $ign and August Alsina even be considered? But at least they have Chance AND Vic. And good to see Isaiah and Jon Connor on there as well.

  • MusicHead

    Ty$ & August Alsina should have been replaced with Casey Veggies & Fat Trel since Young Thug didn’t want to be on the list. The rest of the list was not bad..Vic shudda been on it next year tho. & Jarren shudnt have made the list..just cuz he FunkVolume don’t mean he shud be on the list..but the list was safe & expected as majority thought.

    • wat

      Replace Fat Trel with Vince Staples and I’d agree but Vic definitely deserved this year and Jarren was the fan-voted freshman. Funk Volume’s fanbase’s power is undeniable. I don’t like him or think he should be on but at least he actually earned his spot.

      • MusicHead

        Vince ..fuck no. He damn near overrated he ain’t got the wow factor or anything he just. Fat Trel bigger & has better overall music. And Vic shudda got it next year just cause 1 tape by him that’s dope & him having an affiliation with Chance doesn’t mean he shud be on there this year. But yea FV prolly do got a mean ass fanbase.. But they prolly mostly whites & white surrounded blacks.

        • wat

          I super disagree but whatever, to each his own. I think Fat Trel and his music are trash. And I think Vic has definitely established himself beyond the Chance affiliation which is why he’s there in the first place.

          But yeah, FV’s fanbase is terrible. Not white people necessarily, but people who don’t know shit about hiphop so they think Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, and especially Hopsin are the best rappers of all time. I hate them so much for PRAISING some seriously subpar rappers lol

          • MusicHead

            Go on GLEESH & listen to Rich As Fuck, In My Bag, Fresh, She Fell In Love, Thot Street, What We name some.. Fat Trel is dope. He sound like a dope Fat Wale. Nah because some of my homies when the list dropped was like who is Vic Mensa..I’m like he’s a toned down Chance & Chance homie & he dropped a real dope tape but he gotta have more than just one tape & his buzz not even that big to basing his qualification off one tape. Dizzy dope at times but FV in general are not good musically, especially Hopsin but that’s because he refuses to get help with certain shit from the industry which actually hurts the overall sound of bruh..nigga just be soundin like a waad of cheesy songs/hooks & generic sounds..he can rap tho..just sounds like a piece of generic trash.

          • wat

            Hopsin is one of the most average rappers I’ve ever heard. He’s only famous because he dissed Tyler the Creator and he skateboards.

          • Chris Tobolski

            I’ll give you that Hopsin is overrated. But you can’t hold that against Jarren Benton. He’s got 2 dope mixtapes and a dope album. He’s also got a ton of great singles. Gimmie the Loot goes hard. And he’s got a flow that is sick as fuck. I think he deserves to be on the list this year.

            And, you can’t say everyone who likes Jarren or FV doesn’t know shit about hip hop because you don’t like them. Is Jarren the best rapper ever? No. But is he dope? Yes. He doesn’t have to be the best rapper ever to be hot, have some buzz and have real hip hop fans enjoy his shit.

          • wat

            I don’t relate my dislike for Hopsin with my dislike for Jarren. I don’t like Jarren because his music has no substance. It’s basically just his best early Eminem shock value impression, except early Eminem had substance to balance out the shock value. And putting his lyrics aside because lyrics aren’t everything, I don’t like his music either. They’re ultimately generic “bangers.” He’s not wack but I just do not like him.

            You HAVE to admit at LEAST 90% of Funk Volume fans are kids who don’t listen to hip hop but discovered Hopsin and only cosign Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton by association. Hell, they even praise SWIZZZ as a dope rapper. He’s garbage as fuck. Not just his terrible voice and delivery, but lyrically. The entire Funk Volume team is weak collectively. I like Dizzy Wright (well, not so much lately, his new delivery is a bit weird) but I definitely think he’s a subpar rapper.

            Anyway, I’m not telling you not to enjoy Jarren’s shit and I didn’t say “real hip hop fans” can’t enjoy it either. What I was saying is that the majority of his fanbase are clueless Hopsin fans who like Jarren by association. But ultimately, fanbase is fanbase. Whatever works, works. It got him the cover, after all.

  • leutrim


  • LIV3

    at least replace august wit IAMSU

  • Your Best Friend

    Jon Connor, Chance, Jarren Benton & Kevin Gates.

  • Guest
  • Pizza Steve

    Im not surprised by this bullshit.. smh Politics as usual. Oh well.

  • DIesel

    Easily the worst group of the past few years

    • wat


    • MusicHead

      Are they the worse by who got picked or group of talent? Cuz I think they not bad, yea a few missteps talent wise but that’s every year. If anything 2012 the worse.

      • wat

        I actually think this is worse than 2012.

        • MusicHead

          No lol, 2012 had a mixture of Danny Brown weird rap music ass, Macklemore, a non rappin horrible cypher verse Future, French Montana & Iggy (no shade) Roscoe Dash, Kid Ink..but what makes it crazy..some of the niggas I named are dope but they talented in the MC department lol & the ones who was on the list, music wasn’t so good lol every other list was balanced & had firepower..especially 09-11. Them 3 years were on point especially 2009&10. Of course 11 excluding Diggy & Twist. (yes Lil B was coo to be on the list, he had hella buzz doin that fried based music lol

          • wat

            2012 was terrible at the time but XXL hit the lottery by predicting Macklemore but the inclusion of Roscoe Dash and Iggy were their biggest mistakes of that class. Future and Montana had the buzz so they deserved it. I’m not a fan of Kid Ink and he was a nobody when he made the list so I kinda disagree with him being on it but that’s about it for that class. I disagree with like 80% of this list lol

          • MusicHead

            I’m talking rappin talent wise now buzz of course French & Future deserved but so did Kid Ink, homie was comin off Wheels Up, which is FIRE MIXTAPE please go check that just Kid Ink always tap into that commercial sound easily so when he got signed that’s exactly what he did that’s why it don’t seem like a good pick now & Macklemore I can’t even knock dudes grind & success..& he still independent, salute.

  • My list:
    Vic Mensa
    Vince Staples
    L ! Z
    Luke Christopher
    Shawn Chrystopher
    Sicko Mobb
    Tito Lopez
    (wouldn’t refer to Chance as a freshman, and not sure if Isaiah Rashad should be consider a freshman either since he is inked with TDE)
    *not a list of my favorite artists; this is a list of artists I predict are blowing up in 2014.

  • ADrey Goldie

    why chin chilla meek aint on here to rep for the ladies and chicago as well is beyond me but in others new CHICAGO… NIGGA WE MADE IT

  • Stevie Janowski

    Skeme, Snow Tha Product, Problem, Iamsu?

  • someguy

    damn, chicago is all over this list.

  • mpls612

    Hopefully next year we get Cozz, Snow Tha Product, Phinale, Young Money Yawn, Kidd Kidd, Earna, LEP, Chinx, VeeBo1200 and Bishop Nehru!

    • wat

      The list isn’t just people you like, it’s rappers that actually have some sort of buzz at the time or show signs of a promising career.



  • wikig1itch

    LOL 2014 looking like it gonna be mad weak…

  • Adrian

    Good list as far as buzz goes but don’t think it has much skill i would have liked to see more lyrical people but it would have been riskier. Only listen to three people on the list and checked out the others but really wasn’t impressed, this years list definitely needed more diversity.

  • When’s the XXL got something right about rap? Yall act suprised this list was garbage. This list of the Top 10 Mixtapes from last month official tho..

    • wat

      Uhhhh, they’ve gotten it right TONS of times. More times than they’ve dropped the ball, actually.

  • fonzo517

    to be honest I don’t think this list is all that bad. theres a couple dudes I would replace but all in all its pretty solid. btw jon connor is from flint not detroit

  • Rodmatic

    why they play my boy skeme tho?!
    he been droppin fire non stop and hes been around longer then half these dudes

  • Andy Ramirez

    My List:
    Bodega bamz
    Troy ave
    Vince stapels
    Chance da rapper
    Rich homie quan
    Ty dolla sign
    Riff raff
    Jon Conner

  • Cameron Graham

    “don’t put me on freshman covers Im posing with lunch” -Isaiah Rashad

  • Jarren and Jon Connor are the only ones i really fuck with, Chance is straight too. But no Vince Staples???

    • Chris Tobolski

      I agree Jarren and Connor are the best two on the list this year. I would have loved to see Tito Lopez on there. Or maybe even King Los.

  • Alex

    Chance should’ve turned this wack ass cover down

  • Ohms