The XXL cover has long been a platform for new artists to boost their career and solidify their spot in the crowded scene. We review our picks for the most promising XXL Freshman this year.
5. Rico Nasty
Since her buzz in 2016 from her track ‘Iggady (Remix)’, to Lil Yatchy remixing Rico’s melodic track ‘Hey Arnold’, we’ve seen her evolve as an artist. Rico has since been elaborating on her ‘nasty’ style on her 2018 album plainly titled ‘Nasty’, as well as her collab album ‘Anger management’ with Kenny Beats. Her edgy punk style has caught the interest of many rap and metal listeners alike, raging at both Pitchfork Music Festival and Coachella this year.
4. Megan Thee Stallion
The 24 year old Texas native has been breaking ground in the music scene. Being active in her craft as early as 2013, taking part in freestyle battles around Houston to build a name for herself. Megan eventually inked a deal with 300 Entertainment months after her second project, ‘Tina Snow’, in November 2018 becoming the first female on the label’s roster. May 17th marked the release date of Megan’s first full length album titled ‘Fever’, opening at #10 on the Billboard 200 chart gaining over 30 million streams in its first week. This alone made her a perfect choice for XXL 2019 cover.
3. Roddy Ricch
Since his XXXTENTACION tribute ‘Die Young’ in 2018, Compton rapper Roddy Ricch has been establishing his name in the industry. Ricch’s flawless melodic delivery on any instrumental he touches is the reason he caught the attention of Meek Mill, being a guest performer at his PowerHouse concert in Philadelphia. Most notably being featured on Nipsey Hustle’s ‘Racks in the Middle’, delivering a heart filled melodic hook. The late Nipsey Hustle was his main inspiration for making music, and with the impact Ricch has made in just the past year there is no way XXL would’ve missed him for this year’s cover.
2. Tierra Whack
One of the most creative Freshman on the list, Tierra’s sick sense of humor has been her source of inspiration, rather than a cause for concern. With her unorthodox, vibrant style Tierra sets herself apart from the rest of the list. She shook social media with her 15 minute ‘Whack World’ album in 2018, and continues to push her boundaries beyond the genres norms. After earning a spot at Pitchfork Music Festival to a Grammy nomination for ‘MUMBO JUMBO’ in the ‘best music video’ category, Tierra show’s the impact her artistry has made. XXL is in fact lucky to have her on their 2019 cypher.
1. YBN Cordae
Our XXL 2019 most promising Freshman spot without a doubt goes to YBN Cordae. Hailed as the most lyrical member of the YBN crew, Cordae has brought lyricism back to a trap saturated industry. He has been featured by lyrical powerhouses such as Logic on the track ‘Mama/Show Love’, and will be sharing the stage at Logic’s ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Tour’ alongside J.I.D. Following the steps of fellow YBN member Nahmir after making XXL 2018, Cordae is sure to set the bar high for his fellow Freshman.