The 2019 XXL Freshman Cypher and Freestyle series is over for the inductees who made the list. Between the freestyle and cypher there were dope punchlines and also some comical ones that had us laughing or scratching are heads like what the hell did I just watch.
Between the cypher and solo freestyles we ranked the artist from worst to best based on flow, originality, and lyrical prowess all together. Now it is noted that Gunna didn’t preform in either the freestyle or cypher as he stated that’s not his forte. Also some artist didn’t participate in the freestyle as well so that effected there ranking as well(Tierra Whack, and Blueface).
10. Lil Mosey
Starting at the bottom of the list unsurprisingly is Lil Mosey. Lil Mosey earned himself the last spot after his unimaginative, mumble freestyle which only served as an idea of what to expect for his cypher. Lil Mosey opened the very first cypher alongside YK Osiris, Megan Thee Stallion, and Da Baby, setting the bar low. His cypher featured a lazy delivery with incredibly basic lyrics that added up to an unmemorable freestyle.
9. YK Osiris
Second, to last on the freshman list we have YK Osiris, who by just a sliver upped Lil Mosey. Unfortunately for Osiris, he received an overwhelming amount of hate before his freestyle even released, with viewers ranting about the thought of him singing. Confusingly enough Osiris is not even close to the first Freshman to sing on freestyle or cypher of XXL giving him unfair start. Osiris’ freestyle featured an average verse with barely any decent notes to speak off. His cypher was nothing special revolving around nothing more than the most basic ideas you could have in a Rap/ R&B track.
The next freshman needs no introduction, being the most viral off-beat rapper of the century we thought we knew what to expect. While the lack of freestyle was a letdown, Blueface’s cypher following YBN Cordae was more than we asked for (not to mention the pair ‘hitting the woah’ during Rico’s verse). While sharing an old school ‘J Cole’ style instrumental with Cordae, Blueface had memorable bars, a steady cadence and most of all, was on beat. The lack of freestyle is the only factor preventing him from fetching a higher ranking.
7. Tierra Whack
Tierra disappointed us the most with the simple act of not doing a freestyle when it’s not uncommon for her to freestyle at all. While we may never know why Tierra tried compensating for it in her cypher delivering a verse overflowing with bars and flow. She continued the tradition of rapping acapella while coincidentally being the last freshman to rap. Tierra could’ve gotten a higher ranking had she done a freestyle, although many are satisfied with her cypher alone.
Da Baby’s long-winded freestyle and even longer cypher showed DaBaby putting in what he does best, work. His freestyle featured humor, seriousness and outright cold-blooded bars, while at the same time a less memorable flow than he was bragging about. DaBaby’s cypher, on the other hand, offered a speedy delivery and a diverse flow, leaving much to be appreciated. Not much more we could ask for.
Approaching the better half of the freshman class is none other than Comethazine. Starting off Comethazine’s freestyle was disappointing in terms of length, being just over 40 seconds in total. Fortunately, his cypher offered a much better display of what he is capable of, with aggressive delivery and angry tone, he brought his lyrics to life better than most of his fellow freshman. Comethazine’s character alone was definitely a star in his group cypher.
4. Roddy Ricch
Roddy Ricch was definitely one of the more well rounded freshman on the list. Offering a consistently good flow throughout both his freestyle and cypher, Roddy had the viewers attention by adding a new vibe to his group cypher. His melodic style on the beat coupled with his fluid delivery was refreshing all round. The only criticism we could give is a desire for more meaning lyrically, which otherwise would’ve earned him a higher spot.
3. Rico Nasty
Earning the 3rd spot is a female emcee whose style is one of most varied in hip-hop right now. Rico Nasty offered a different definition of what a cypher should be, delivering a rapid-fire flow on a beat made for her solely. Having great chemistry with equally varied artists Cordae and Blueface made their cypher so much more iconic to watch. The only hint of criticism would be the lack of focus in the topic she had on her freestyle which otherwise, was great considering the mediocre competition.
2. YBN Cordae
If there was anything to get excited about with the release of the XXL this year, it was YBN Cordae’s name on the cover. While fans were hoping to see Cordae in the same group as Tierra, we got to see something just as interesting when he shared an instrumental with Blueface. His lyrically conscious cypher lacked… well nothing, it was all we could’ve hoped for! It had the impact Cordae’s bars are known for earning him the runner-up spot. The only factor preventing him from earning the top spot was his underwhelming freestyle, but we can safely say he made up for it in the group cypher.
1. Megan Thee Stallion
In the number 1 spot, we have Megan Thee Stallion, performing higher than the expectations of most and offering a personality that sets her apart. Her freestyle animated her sassy persona making her that much more memorable. Her cypher offered one of the best cadences out of all the freshman and was easily the most well rounded. As opposed to offering solely sexual energy that many expected, she proved her worth delivering a bit of everything. Fortunately for XXL Megan carried what would’ve been a dead beat opening cypher for the 2019 list.