XXL unveiled the highly anticipated 2015 Freshman Class of rising rappers on the cover of their Summer 2015 issue today. The eighth annual class features nine MCs selected by XXL’s staff: Fetty Wap, DeJ Loaf, Tink, GoldLink, K Camp, G Maco, Raury, Shy Gilzzy and Vince Staples. One ,Kidd Kidd, was selected by audience vote.
The list has historically been the source of both praise and criticism, being credited for breaking superstars like Kid Cudi (2009) and Kendrick Lamar (2011) while also ignoring important MCs or prioritizing the wrong ones (most notably, Iggy Azalea in 2012). This year XXL has already been criticized along the same lines, as well as for including Kidd Kidd despite his having worked in the music industry for more than a decade, primarily with Young Money and Lil Wayne.