Get to Know the ‘XXL’ Freshman Class of 2017
Every year, XXL selects 10 rising rappers on track to have their breakout year. This year in particular is a big one; it is the 10th anniversary of the ‘XXL Freshman’ series, and it has been riotously scrutinized online. This could mainly be due to the ascension of artists like the extremely controversial XXXTentacion, himself only admitted thanks to a fan vote.
Even after casting him aside, this year’s Freshman class is arguably the most unrecognizable yet for the more casual hip-hop fan, especially compared to last year’s list which saw a huge roster of familiar names admitted (Lil Yachty anyone?). But fear not, we’re here to guide you through why these 10 artists have earned their right to be on the cover. Get to know this year’s ‘XXL Freshman’ below.
Aminé’s “Caroline” was undoubtedly his breakthrough – fusing a video showcasing his wry humor, an utterly joyous instrumental and lyrics geared toward the generation he’s grown up in. This year, he’s gone on to receive support from Tyler, the Creator, who recorded music for his new video, Kehlani, with whom he released the brilliant “Heebiejeebies” alongside, and received a remix of his slapper “Red Mercedes” by none other than Missy Elliot and the biggest up-and-comer in Grime – AJ Tracey. He’s as capable at making heaters as he is R&B jams – and it’s this versatility which has been recognized by XXL as a punctuating point for his inevitable rise this year.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Much has been written on the shift of hip-hop’s biggest hitters from Atlanta to New York, but A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is making sure New York progresses with the times – despite being far from the same mould as the city’s biggest hitters. He has no intention of trying to be typecast into that New York sound – he’s “in his own bag.”
A Boogie’s melodic, autotune heavy trap stylings are full of infectious hooks and acerbic one-liners. A Boogie rolls closely with fellow Freshman class member PnB Rock and has a hit with last year’s alumni, Kodak Black, on “Drowning.” “Bag On Me” alongside fellow bubbling NYC rapper Don Q is also gold, but it’s “Timeless” which is the definitive track which punctuates his potential in 2017.
You’ll be hearing a lot more of Kamaiyah’s slick, West Coast drawls this summer. She is both humble and confident, and abruptly straightforward. She blew up as a result of her single “How Does it Feel,” which served as an antidote to the slew of more insecure hip-hop that was popularized by 2016 Freshman like Yachty and Uzi Vert. She’s very tight with YG, providing the hook for his Drake-assisted hit “Why You Alway Hatin” and who starred on her breakthrough mixtape from last year, A Good Night in the Ghetto – which remains one of the most criminally underrated projects of recent years (and a favorite of ours). It might now finally start getting its shine as she continues through 2017.
When Kap G landed a spot on the Freshman list, Twitter recognized him from his appearance in the film Dope – to which Awful Records’ Father responded with “y’all gone stop comin’ for Kap G like he not sauced up tho.” This much is true. His background as a Latino rapper makes a welcome addition toward the diversity of the list alongside sole female inductee Kamiayah. His most high-profile link up is getting that Young Thug feature, where the chemistry between the pair’s flow is undeniably gold. “Freakin ‘N’ Geekin” is the Mexican’s other surefire heater.
“iSpy” featuring Lil Yachty undoubtedly paved the way for Kyle to feature on the list, but the rapper has a back catalogue full of potential that goes beyond one of summer’s most uplifting anthems. He shares Yachty’s infectious positivity, which definitely underpins his climb to the top. Nor can his link up with Chance on “Remember Me?” be forgotten in his rise, as do the array of bubbly beats that make up his back catalogue.
Absolutely everyone has heard “Uber Everywhere,” but quite a few hip-hop heads would have raised their eyes at Maedityo’s placement in this year’s Freshman list. In reality, the Japan-raised singer has been making some of the freshest and diverse sounding hip-hop to come out of ATL in the last few years. Alongside big shouts from the likes of 2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa, he received La Flame himself’s seal of approval for his breakthrough, taxi-related hit. After dropping two solid projects last year, this year has seen Big Sean remix his latest hit “Skateboard P” in what’s set to see him ascend to new levels.
The name on the list that people are probably most hyped / familiar with by now, Playboi Carti has been very much manufactured into becoming a star. Dropping a few heaters in the form of “Broke Boi” and “FETTI,” Carti largely remained relevant by dressing well and hanging with the right people. He’s been tight with A$AP for a minute, good friends with Lil Uzi Vert and has one of the song’s of the summer in “Magnolia.” After dropping his self-titled tape back in April – met with wide critical acclaim – the ATL rapper has a slew of unreleased heat to drop in 2017.
Philly is a city going through a serious rap resurgence through the likes of Meek Mill, Lil Uzi Vert and the more R&B-orineted croonings of PnB Rock. PnB comes from the Fetty Wap and Young Thug school of utilizing ones voice as an instrumental, and has frequently been shown a lot of love from last year’s Freshman, Kodak Black. His features have probably got him the most attention, but his individual style is perfectly encapsulated by his track “Selfish” – which toys on all the feels he had for “a woman he doesn’t even talk to any more.”
The most jokes rapper on the list by a long shot, Ugly God’s viral tendencies with lizards and nonchalantly brilliant tunes like “Beat My Meat” and “Water” have seen him put numbers on the board on SoundCloud – where the Houston rapper racks up multi-million hits on every track he uploads. Ugly God fuses all the nostalgia of growing up as a ’90s kid in his songs, with Nintendo references aplenty and even a track dedicated to the political choice of the US Youth – Bernie Sanders.
Easily the least jokes rapper on this list by a long shot, XXXTentacion is a contender for the most controversial rapper of the decade. He is currently serving probation and is awaiting court date for a series of disturbingly violent offenses, including abuse of a pregnant girlfriend. XXX was the fan choice for this year’s Freshman class, and not one made by the publication outright. Take a look at our breakdown on his unprecedented rise right here.
Watch the official announcement of ‘XXL’s Freshmen Class of 2017 right here, and check out our playlist of their best tracks below.
#RHoA: Lights, Camera, Action! ‘RHOA’ Starts Shooting Season 10!
Cameras are already rolling as the ladies of RHOA sip tea. Take a peek for yourself.
The peaches are in formation as Bravo has already started filming season 10 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
It was barely two months ago that season 9 of RHOA wrapped up with an explosive reunion. The cliffs notes? There was a lot of crying, a lot of yelling, and Phaedra Parks was allegedly caught in a scandalous lie about Kandi Burruss.
Well, Bravo didn’t waste any time getting the cast back to work. Pics and videos that cropped up on Instagram this weekend showed the ladies shooting scenes at Shamea Morton‘s Tea Party themed bridal shower.
Kandi and her girl Toya Wright were there for the event as were Porsha Williams and her sister. Everyone was done up in flowy, floral dresses and skirts that were topped off by the frilliest hats and fascinators.
Kandi and Porsha didn’t appear to pose for any shots together, but they were seated at the same table. Cameras also spotted them playing party games. Here’s hoping they were able to put last season’s drama behind them. It looked like a perfectly lovely time was had by all.
We’ll have to wait until fall to see the new season of RHOA, but you know we’ll be tuned in!
#EMPIRE: What will happen to Lucious in Season 4?
Our friends at Deadline spoke to EMPIRE Chief Ilene Chaiken about Lucious role next season. Here’s some of what she said.
DEADLINE: Fueling that, will Lucious’ apparent memory loss last over the season or be dealt with pretty quickly in Season 4?
CHAIKEN: I don’t want to go too deep into this because of course this is story for us in Season 4 and I’m not going to give any of it away. But suffice to say that Lucious in Season 4 is going to be dealing with the aftermath of this event, the damage to his mind and his body. Whether or not his memory is permanently or just temporally impaired is certainly one of the questions we’d begin the new season with.
Who is Lucious now? What is he dealing with? How has it affected him? How has it changed him? And how has does effect every member of his family depending what the answers to those questions are. That is a big part of our story in Season 4 and that is a real reset. I’ve done serialized drama before…
WOW…Stay tuned for tidbit around TEAM EMPIRE!
#MUSICNEWS: Jill Scott To Headline 3rd Annual Chicago Summer Block Party Festival
Three-time Grammy Award-Winning singer/songwriter and actress Jill Scott has officially sold out her 3rd Annual (Chicago) Summer Block Party on July 22nd at the Huntington Bank Pavilion. The summer concert is slated to offer performances from artists such as Kelly Rowland, Nelly, Bell Biv Devoe, SWV and more. Imagined by Scott and longtime business partner Shawn Gee in 2015, the Summer Block Party is produced by Live Nation Urban in partnership with V103 and fills a much-needed void in the Urban Adult Contemporary live music space. The festival is quickly becoming the premier music event for R&B devotees and past performers have included Erykah Badu, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jazmine Sullivan, Ledisi, Tank, and many more.
Ever since its initial 2015 kickoff in Chicago, the Block Party series has been gaining popularity and acclaim. The producers have taken note and have now successfully expanded the brand to its second market – announcing the 1st Annual Summer Block Party in Houston, TX. This event is slated for Friday, July 2nd at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in partnership with Majic 102.1 and Live Nation Urban. The lineup includes special performances by Jill Scott, Brandy, Bell Biv Devoe, SWV, Ro James and DJ Kid Cupri. Tickets are on sale now via LiveNation.com.
Currently, plans are underway for further expansion of the successful R& B platform into other markets in 2018.
#HIPHOPNEWS: Macklemore Parts Ways With Ryan Lewis, Announces Solo Album
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are parting ways.
The Grammy-winning duo behind The Heist and This Unruly Mess I’ve Made has decided to amicably cut musical ties for the time being, according to Mack, who just announced his yet-to-be-named solo album.
“After the last tour, Ryan and I agreed that some creative space would be good for the both of us,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption. “Ryan Lewis is my brother forever. We have been working together damn near every day for 9 years and it felt like the right time. This decision came from a place of love for one another.”
NEW MUSIC… GLORIOUS (LINK IN BIO) And so it begins… When I finished touring last fall, I wanted to keep making music. I didn't know what that would look like but I had an immediate urge to write. To record. Not out of a desire to “keep up” with the music industry – or out of some self-imposed pressure – but rather to create for the sake of creating. After the last tour, Ryan and I agreed that some creative space would be good for the both of us. Ryan Lewis is my brother forever. We have been working together damn near every day for 9 years and it felt like the right time. This decision came from a place of love for one another. I’m the best man at his wedding next month. There will be more M&RL music to come when the time is right. And you'll be hearing from Ryan very, very soon (he has some incredible records that are about to drop with other artists). So, last November, I built a studio in the basement of my home and got back to the basics. I was able to find a balance with my art, recovery and being a dad. I felt the perfect amount of removal from an industry that can be tricky to spiritually navigate. I wanted to be around Sloane and Tricia as much as possible. I wanted to make an album and raise my baby girl. So here it is. The first song from my new album is “Glorious”. It features the incredibly talented Skylar Grey and was produced by Budo with additional production from Tyler Dopps (Aka "DAMN DUDE"!). It felt like the right record to come back with, embarking on this new chapter of life. I just want to thank you guys for always supporting and riding with me. I appreciate your endless love and words more than I could ever express. You’re the reason I’m still able to do what I love around the world. "Glorious" is just the start… Ben
A post shared by Ben Haggerty (@macklemore) on Jun 15, 2017 at 9:06am PDT
Macklemore continued, explaining that there is no bad blood between the longtime collaborators. “I’m the best man at his wedding next month,” he added. “There will be more M&RL music to come when the time is right. And you’ll be hearing from Ryan very, very soon (he has some incredible records that are about to drop with other artists).”
Fans will be hearing more from Macklemore too. In fact, the first single from his next album, “Glorious,” was released today. The triumphant banger features Skylar Grey and production by Budo and Tyler Dopps. “It felt like the right record to come back with,” the MC wrote. “Embarking on this new chapter of life.”
In 2012, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dropped their platinum-selling debut, The Heist, which went on to spawn three multi-platinum singles, including “Can’t Hold Us,” “Same Love,” and “Thrift Shop.” The latter was the highest-seller, going 10x platinum.
The twosome returned to the spotlight in 2015 with This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Despite two platinum-selling tracks (“Downtown” and “White Walls”), the album peaked at No. 4 and failed to go gold. It was also met with mixed reviews.
Macklemore’s next solo album will not be his debut. In 2005, years before blasting to superstardom, the Seattle MC released 2005’s The Language of My World.
Steve Harvey tells Flint resident to 'enjoy your nice brown glass of water'
FLINT, MI -Social media has been abuzz about comments comedian Steve Harvey made about the Flint Water crisis on his morning radio talk show after the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in game five of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.
Harvey, who is a Cleveland fan and once lived in Ohio, took a call from a man who said he was from Flint, who told Harvey that Cleveland didn't 'deserve jack.'
Harvey apparently made reference to the man's lack of having clean water to shower in due to the Flint crisis, according to many Facebook posts.
A user on Facebook recorded the aftermath of the conversation. In the video the words "Steve Harvey" could be seen on the vehicle's radio screen.
Harvey's co-hosts could be heard telling him that he should apologize.
"I wasn't talking about the city of Flint," Harvey told his co-hosts, "I was talking about him."
Harvey continued on to say, "He gone call in and say Cleveland don't deserve jack and he over there bathing in all that silver water."
The caller was still on the line at this point and told Harvey he was "Dee from Flinttown."
Before taking the next caller, Harvey told the caller there was "one more thing."
"Go ahead," the caller said.
"Enjoy your nice brown glass of water," Harvey said.
After the backlash said he was only joking when he made comments on his morning radio show asking a caller from Flint, Mich. "When the last time you touched water and it didn't have lead in it?"
"The caller and I were talking trash about our teams and cities," a statement from the comic reads.
"I made a joke directed at him, as he is from Flint, a city for which I have great affection and respect. So much so that I devoted a full hour on my daytime talk show to raising awareness for the Flint water crisis."
Danai Gurira & Kat Graham Join Demetrius Shipp Jr. At 'All Eyez On Me' Premiere!
Demetrius Shipp Jr. is dapper in a suit while hitting the carpet at the premiere of his anticipated film All Eyez On Me held at the Westwood Village Theatres on Wednesday (June 14) in Los Angeles.
The 28-year-old actor, who plays prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur in the flick, was joined at the event by his co-stars Danai Gurira, Kat Graham and DeRay Davis.
Also in attendance to show their support was Big Boi, Luke Hemsworth and his wife Samantha, Tara Reid, Keyshia Cole and Tia Mowry.
All Eyez On Me is hitting theaters on Friday (June 16)!
Karrueche Tran Granted Five Year Restraining Order Against Chris Brown.
Karrueche catches a break granted a five year restraining order against Chris Brown.
Back in May, Chris Brown was finally served with a restraining order from his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran after she accused him of stalking and physically abusing her.
Now Karrueche is ready to testify against Chris Brown in court.
Here’s an update on that. According to TMZ reports, Karrueche took the stand Thursday in her restraining order case against Chris, telling a judge after she broke up with the singer … he demanded diamond rings he bought for her to be returned. When she refused … Karrueche says Chris became aggressive.
Karrueche explained that in text messages between herself and Chris post-breakup, he would say things like “I’m not being nice to you no more, if I see you out in public again and I’m there I will make you hate me even more, don’t be anywhere I’m out in public, I’m going to ban you from all events.”
She claims he also texted her more violent threats like … “I can get my money back and I’m tired of playing games” as well as “Bitch I will beat the s**t out of you” and “I promise you I will make your life hell.” She says he also once wrote “Imma kill blood” under a photo of her and actor Michael B. Jordan.
Karrueche also testified that Chris had beaten her before.
12:01 PM PT — The judge just sided with Tran … ordering the restraining order stay in place for the next 5 years.
Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor Fight Set For August
Ladies and Gents, it’s really happening.
The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight has been set for August 26 in Las Vegas.
Here’s the scoop via Yahoo! Sports: According to UFC president Dana White, the fight will be at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be contested at 154 pounds. It will be a standard, 12-round boxing match with 10-ounce gloves.
The Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday approved the request from Mayweather Promotions to put on a boxing card on Aug. 26 at the MGM Grand. The venue could change, however, to T-Mobile.
The bout will be distributed via Showtime pay-per-view. It will be an entirely boxing card. Mayweather Promotions will be the lead promoter.
Are you interested in seeing these gents face off in the ring?
A Bald Lebron James Returns To Instagram ON FIRE!
Heaven has no fury like an angry baller scorn! LeBron James is already back in the gym working it out and prepping for revenge after losing the 2017 NBA championship to the Warriors.
He shaved his head, and baldy Bron is in full effect. In one of his first posts since his social media break for the playoffs, he had to let folks know! Check it:
By the way, this was posted around the same time the Warriors kicked off their championship parade in Oakland. HA!
Tamar Braxton’s Hubby Vincent Herbert Ex Partners On Hunt to Collect 360k Debt
According to our friends at theJasmineBRAND.com exclusively reports, Tamar Braxton’s husband Vince Herbert’s former business partners on the hunt for his assets, attempting to collect on a $360,000 judgement he has yet to pay.
Here’s the latest: On June 6th, the judge presiding over the New York case came back and granted LDNX Records motion. The order grants a summary judgement allowing it to be registered in NY. It also allows them to begin the process of going after Vince’s assets until they collect on their $360,762.83 which continues to grow with interest until paid off.
Here’s the backstory: Earlier this year, LDNX Records filed court docs in New York over a massive judgement they won against Vince.
The company sued Vince due to him refusing to pay up on money owed to them stemming from a joint venture.
LDNX Records originally sued Vince in Los Angeles court. Vince was served with the legal docs but did not respond and the company was awarded a default judgement in the amount of $360,762.83
They accused Vince of not paying since they won the judgement. They filed docs in New York to register the judgement in a different state, due to Vince having a large share of his assets and property in NY.
AND FINALLY FROM “THE CRAZY PEOPLE SHOPPING AT WALMART” FILES
Playing everyone’s least favorite Walmart game: Peak-A-Booty.
#EGGPLANT NATION! Meet Donovan!
Meet Donovan Well to see more you can GO HERE TO SEE THE PICS! And remember they’re NSWF!
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HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!