Today XXL magazine revealed the freshman class cover for 2016. This year’s lineup includes 10 up-and-coming rappers who the magazine hails as “the new wave of hip-hop.” Desiigner, Dave East, Denzel Curry, G Herbo, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Dicky, Anderson .Paak, 21 Savage & Kodak Black. Taking the 10th spot on this year’s cover, fan-voted, is ATL’s Lil Yachty. Overall, this years cover is colorful both in style and sound. Vanessa Stanten, XXL’s editor-in-chief, takes us behind the scenes of what it takes to put together the prestigious issue. After choosing the top 10, each rapper goes through a 12-hour day consisting of cyphers, freestyles, interviews and various photoshoots. “Most rappers tell us this is the longest day they’ve had,” she explains. The behind the scenes footage for the shoot is very interesting and gives a very good insight as to what it takes to put together the prestigious cover.
“There’s been some controversy going into it. It’s always about ‘who you gonna picked, who you missed, who did you get. Who fits in with who, who’s a rapper, who’s a singer?’ But overall I think that this is a great reflection of 2016 hip-hop,” she continued. In my opinion, this cover may be the weakest cover thus far. While a handful of the rappers (ie. Lil Dicky, Dave East, Desiigner, Lil Uzi, Kodak Black) have been creating buzz for a while now, the other half are virtually unknown in my book. However, that doesn’t mean that any one on the cover falls short of the title and won’t impact the culture in a huge way in the future. If you look at the previous XXL freshman class covers, you’ll notice while some rappers, such as Future, Big Sean, J Cole and Kendrick Lamar, grew making an overall impact on hip-hop culture, others, such as Trinidad James and Lil Twist, fall short, making their freshman year one of the biggest of their career! What do you think of this year’s cover? Who will rise and who will fall short? The XXL 2016 Freshman Class Cover hits store June 28th. Check out the behind the scenes footage of the shoot and previous XXL magazine covers below!
Go Behind The Scenes Of The 2016 XXL Freshman Cover