XXL Freshman List 2018 Predictions

Pierre Asamoah, Staff Writer

Every year since 2007 the magazine XXL has made a list of the 10 rappers they think are going to be very successful. Rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, Lil Uzi Vert, and Future have been able to make the list. Each list comes out in June or July, so before it comes out I’m going to try and predict the list for 2018.

The 2017 Freshman List

Lil Pump –

Lil Pump had a very successful 2017 and is only getting bigger. With his hit single, Gucci Gang, Lil Pump broke out of just being popular on SoundCloud to being a mainstream rapper. This is going to make it hard for XXL to not pick him for the list. He is one of the biggest rappers of this generation. Because of his popularity, he signed an eight million dollar record label deal with the Warner Bros. Records. He has also released his self titled debut album, selling 45,000 in the first week.  

Rapper Lil Pump


Famous Dex –

Famous Dex, most well known for his high energy adlibs and colorful hair, has been attempting to make XXL since 2016 but keeps getting snubbed. He has a large fan base and an even larger discography. He has been making music since 2013 and it looks like he is not going away anytime soon.

Rapper Famous Dex

Rich The Kid –

Just like Famous Dex, Rich The Kid has been a contender for the freshman list for a long time. He has also been enjoying a nice 2018 so far, with songs such as New Freezer (Ft Kendrick Lamar) and Plug Walk and Dead Friends. He has also released his debut album The World Is Yours featuring various artists such as Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar and more.

Cover of Rich The Kid’s album,”The World Is Yours.”


BlocBoy JB –

Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB is well known for the song Look Alive which features superstar rapper Drake. The song charted at number 5. Although this song really brought him out to the mainstream attention, BlocBoy JB isn’t a stranger to hip hop. He has been rapping since 2012, releasing his music onto the streaming website, SoundCloud. Other then Look Alive, BlocBoy JB has also released other viral hits such as Rover, Rover 2.0 which features 21 Savage, and Shoot, which sparked a dance craze called the “shoot dance”


Ski Mask The Slump God –

Although he is not as well known as the others on this list, he makes music just as good as or even better than most people on this list. Ski Mask is the rapper who helped XXXTentacion start rapping. Ski Mask is very well known by his fans for his innovative and amazing flow. With an album coming soon, I feel that Ski Mask is someone to watch out for.

Rapper Ski Mask


Cardi B –

In my opinion, Cardi B is a guaranteed nominee. She is the biggest female rapper of the year and her popularity is only going up since she released her debut album Invasion Of Privacy. She is also the second female rapper to ever have a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 without any features.  


Molly Brazy –

This wouldn’t be a complete list if there wasn’t at least one other talented female rapper. With two albums under her belt, Molly Brazy is one of the few talented female rappers out. She also has a large discography with majority of her songs reaching over a million views.  


6ix9ine –

The rainbow haired rapper has made a lot of noise towards the end of 2017 with songs such as Gummo and Keke. His debut album Day69 also did very well and sold over 55,000 copies inside of the first week.

Rapper 6ix9ine


Joyner Lucas –

Massachusetts rapper Joyner Lucas is most well known for his viral song I’m Not Racist which gained millions of views days after it came out. This song talks about race and poverty issues from the perspective of a black and a white man. His rapidly rising popularity is only going up too. He announced a collaborative project with singer Chris Brown  and later released the song Stranger Things with him.

A scene from the song,”I’m Not Racist.”


Smokepurpp –

Smokepurpp would be a nice contender for the 2018 freshman list. With many songs on SoundCloud and a mixtape released, it seems like Smokepurpp has a very nice chance of being included on the list. I think that Lil Pump and Smokepurpp are a package deal and the list would not as good if these two were seperated.


Honorable Mentions

Tay K –

Tay K, the 17 year old rapper from Texas, blew up last year when he released his viral song, The Race, while on the run from police. Tay K was on house arrest as a suspect for capital murder, but he broke out of his ankle monitor. He was on the run for a couple months but was eventually captured by law enforcement. The only reason why I think Tay K won’t be able to make the list is because currently he is jail and being denied bond.

Rapper Tay K


Matt Ox –

Matt Ox, the 13 year old fidget spinning rapper blew up late last year with his viral song Overwhelming. The song has gained over 20 millions views since it was released. He has also released a few other viral hit songs. The only reason why I think Matt Ox would not be on the cover is because his popularity is not as big as it was when he released Overwhelming. So until he can come out with a new hit song, I don’t see him making the cover any time soon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Pierre Asamoah, Staff Writer

Pierre Asamoah is a senior at Manchester High School, where is a member of the indoor and outdoor track team. He runs the sprint events, such as the 55,...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.