The always anticipated XXL freshmen magazine cover has revealed 10 fresh new faces that you should be on the lookout for during the course of this year. Past covers have had the likes of J. Cole, Meek Mill, Big Sean, Wale, B.O.B., Lupe Fiasco and many others who have made a name for themselves. The bottom row of this cover from L to R are Roscoe Dash and Iggy Azalea. In the middle standing from L to R are Future, French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly, and Hopsin. And the last row from L to R consists of Kid Ink, Danny Brown, Macklemore, and Don Trip.
The buzz from these two artist above, French Montana and MGK, had them receiving offers from just about every record label in existence. Big names like Kanye West and Rick Ross all wanted a chance to sign French Montana after seeing his grind and mixtape hustle. He decided to go with Diddy and the Bad Boy/Interscope family instead, but Rick Ross will be an executive producer of French Montana's upcoming debut album "Excuse My French." MGK had a lot of buzz after the release of his "Lace Up" mixtape and was selling out shows on his own before labels started running to him. He also signed with Diddy and the Bad Boy family and has gained many fans with is 'Wild Boy' record featuring Waka Flocka Flame off of his "Rage Pack" mixtape. MGK's album entitled the same name as his former mixtape "Lace Up" is scheduled to be released this summer.
I was a little surprised that Roscoe Dash made this list because of all the work he had already did including his single with Soulja Boy "All The Way Turnt Up," and his features with Big Sean ("Marvin and Chardonnay"), Waka and Wale ("No Hands"), and DJ Drama ("Oh My"). But after releasing his first album "Ready, Set, Go!" and an EP "J.U.I.C.E." last year, we still don't know who Roscoe really is so hopefully his next album will get in-depth with that. Iggy Azalea, a Australian-born female rapper, built a crazy buzz and fan-base last year to get this spot. It was news that Iggy would let T.I. executive produce this album, but Azalea just announce that she signed with T.I.'s label Grand Hustle with Interscope Records. The 21-year-old's debut album "The New Classic" is slated to drop this summer.
I remember being told a while back to watch some Youtube videos of a rapper named Hopsin. He definitely had thousands of views and was making a name for himself. He was formally signed to Easy E's label Ruthless Records but left due to differences. He even dissed Easy's wife, who now runs the label. Hopsin started his own label Funk Volume and plans to release an album sometime this year. Future is no stranger to buzz now a days. He has been on the mixtape circuit for a while but he really got his foot in the the door for his verse on the club banger 'Racks' with YC. He has openly hinted that he ghostwrote the entire song and gave it to YC. Future then splashed again with his catchy song 'Tony Montana' which many artists decided to remix including Drake, Meek Mill, and Tyga. All of Future's success got him a record deal with Epic Records under L.A. Reid. Future's album "Pluto" will be out this summer.
These next four artist I really don't know too much about. I did know about Don Trip, Kid Ink and Danny Brown's mixtape buzz. Don Trip has signed with Cool & Dre's imprint Epidemic Music under Interscope Records. He has been grinding for a long time in Memphis and has a single out called "Letter To My Son" featuring Cee-lo Green. Kid Ink is a Los Angeles rapper that I've heard much about through his mixtapes, especially his most recent one "Wheels Up." He has been selling out shows and has built quite a large fan-base. Danny Brown is someone I first discovered from Youtube videos and I dug a little deeper into his mixtape work and became a fan. You should check out this Detroit rapper's "XXX" mixtape, it's worth the listen. Macklemore is a Seattle-born rapper who has been putting out his music independently. I first ran across him when I saw him featured in the Unsigned Hype section of XXL magazine. Keep an eye out for his album later this year.
Who did I think should have made the list... ASAP Rocky (although I heard that he actually turned down the cover), Chris Webby, 2Chainz, and many others. There are always some people that I think are left out, but there is only room for ten, and I will stay on the lookout for all ten of these artists and see what they have to offer to the music community for years to come. Make sure you pick up the magazine which hits shelves on March 5th.