11 Young Rappers Enter the Spotlight as "Freshmen"

Published February 22, 2011

The spotlight shines on 11 up-and-coming rappers starting today, as XXL Magazine has announced the selections for its annual Freshman Class issue. The special issue, now in its fourth year, highlights new hip-hop artists the magazine believes will be a future force in rap. Traditionally, 10 rappers are chosen each year, but this year that number was expanded.

"We realized that the recession in hip-hop seemed over, and there were way more new faces than ever making this music thrive," said Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten in a statement.

The 2011 Freshman Class is: Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Meek Mill, Diggy Simmons, CyHi the Prynce, Lil Twist, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Fred the Godson, and Lil B.

Some of the artists, like Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf, already have record deals under their belts, while others have gotten their name out solely by hustling online. None of the rappers on the list has released an album on a major label.

Those chosen as Freshman have historically become magnets for attention in the blogosphere and music press for the remainder of the year. Alumni include: Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, B.o.B., J. Cole, and Big Sean.

Watch CyHi the Prynce discuss being selected above.

Written by Reggie Ugwu

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