(Photo: XXL Magazine)
The first name listed on XXL’s much-anticipated 2013 Freshman Class cover comes as no surprise to any hip hop fan: ScHoolboy Q (that’s him with the trademark bucket hat pulled down low). And Q’s not the only Top Dawg Entertainment signee to make the cut — his Black Hippy brother, Ab-Soul, can be seen looming over the magazine’s logo, which means that all four members of the Black Hippy collective have now landed a spot on the coveted cover. (Jay Rock appeared in the 2010 Freshman Class and Kendrick Lamar made it in 2011.)
Other notable names on this year’s list include Trinidad James, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson and Chief Keef, who appears to have missed the photo shoot but somehow got his mug slapped on the cover anyway.
Although a spot on XXL’s new artist showcase is no guarantee of future stardom (just ask Charles Hamilton), nobody is second-guessing ScHoolboy’s selection. His major-label debut, Oxymoron, is expected to be released this fall on Interscope / Aftermath, the same team that sent Kendrick Lamar’s release good Kid, m.a.a.d. city soaring to certified-platinum status. With all the buzz and momentum surrounding K-Dot right now, ScHoolboy seems perfectly positioned to blow up in a major way.
Like the rest of his Black Hippy fam, the artist born Quincy Matthew Hanley (on a military base in Germany) is a proud representer of L.A., who raps for the whole world, not just the West Coast. He counts Nas, 50 Cent and Jay-Z among his key influences but possesses a complicated sense of humor all his own, as suggested by the titles of his independent albums, Setbacks and Habits & Contradictions.
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