XXL created the “XXL Freshman cover” in 2008 to showcase hip hops most promising up and comers. XXL has been one of the most influential magazines since their beginnings in 1997. At a time when magazine were still major outlets of news, this was a good way of showing of hip hops most promising talents. But over the years and the advancement of the internet i ask myself, Do artist really need the help of the XXL freshman list? The answer is Yes and No. Depending on an artist situation, the List is either a major key in your advancement as a artist or Completely irrelevant. At the worst it is just irrelevant to you. The internet has basically erased the need for magazines. The internet also has made it easier to create, and spread music. In the beginning print was still a major factor in how people got their news, and hip hop publications were a key factor in getting rappers to a mass audience. XXL has had some major hits on their list and people who weren’t so lucky and either fell off, or just fizzled out over time . Artist such as OJ da Juiceman, pill, Gorilla Zoe, Asher Roth, while somewhat promising artist have completely fell off . Many artist have turned down the list. Artist such as Young Thug, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Drake, Nicki Minaj, more recently Tory Lanez has even turned down the list. Were in a different time where artist can just post their sound cloud links and get their buzz that way. People are going to find their music anyway they can, now i personally think that i wouldn’t hurt being on the cover. XXL hasn’t ever hurt any artist, that have been on their cover. The XXL creates buzz and hype around names on the list. XXL has had some of the best talent out right now on their list, including Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, Schoolboy Q, Logic, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Mac Miller and Many More have all prospered after making the list. Does the XXL freshman list help, of course, but is the list necessary in a artist career, absolutely not. But it’s always nice to get recognition from major publications on your craft. I urge artist to branch out to these publications and create a name for yourself. One aspect of the music industry is creating buzz around yourself and marketing. No one including XXL can predict artist longevity. Artist that were somewhat relevant in any class can be irrelevant at any time. No one Knows where these artist will be after the list. People have to be familiar with you and somewhat like you to actually support you. The list is always fun for debates and classic barbershop conversations and i think that it is what the list has always been about. Not just buzz about people for the list , but artist that people think should be on the list. It’ll be interesting seeing where everyone lands in the long run . Nothing is promised in this industry and No one really knows whats going to happen , so for the time being just enjoy the ride.
I hope everyone is having a productive week and all is well. God Bless