ATL's Donnis is one of the biggest flops in XXL Freshman history, and unfortunately for him, his freestyle doesn't do much to suggest that this dropoff was unfair. Just listen to that first bar: "Couple months ago, couldn't imagine this at all/Now you hangin' with a star like Spongebob, Patrick." There's really no way to dig yourself out of a hole that big, and Donnis definitely isn't able to with his remaining lyrics.
The Ten Worst XXL Freshman Freestyles
Fetty simply isn't that great of a freestyler to begin with, but the prospect of an acapella cypher is an additional hurdle considering his usual approach of weaving vocal harmonies around melodic beats. Get Yung Lan to back this up with an instrumental and I'm sure it wouldn't be quite as bad, but as it stands now, this is pretty flat.
Kirko is the type of rapper you think would succeed in this sort of setup, but for some reason, he falls on his face here. The main problem boils down to rhyming the same word with itself on multiple occasions, which sometimes can be a clever trick, but not in this case.
Kodak's bars aren't that bad here-- in fact, by his standards, they're pretty outstanding. The one problem is that they're taken from his previously-released track "Slayed," and using pre-written bars is an automatic disqualification.
Wouldn't you know it, here's another dude using bars from one of his songs. Dicky very slightly alters some words his song "Bruh," but not nearly enough to reveal any sort of creativity that'd boost his freestyle score.
Maco adopts a conversational flow into this one, adding some odd pauses and "um"s into otherwise decent bars. Especially in acapella battles, flow really matters, and Maco's awkward stumbles makes his freestyle a bit hard to listen to.
We didn't opt to rank these from worst to best, but if we did, OJ's would definitely be last. It doesn't even seem like he's trying! He literally raps four bars. If this was a contest in not-giving-a-fuck, he'd definitely win, but unfortunately it's not.
I really fuck with Glizzy's music, but again, he's another rapper who just doesn't translate that well to acapella freestyling. If he sped this up a bit, it might be a bit more impressive, but right now it just sounds half-assed.
I don't think anyone's ever considered Trinidad James a great rapper, and he does literally nothing to change that here. His rhymes are lazy, flow is all over the place, and even his "All Gold Everything" charisma can't carry this.
Stream Episode 41 Of OVO Sound Radio
Tune into OVO Sound Radio, featuring a guest mix from MTL producer Jacques Greene.
We count down the ten worst freestyles by XXL Freshman from 2009 to 2016.
Ah, the XXL Freshman Freestyle, in which up-and-coming rappers get 90 seconds or less to prove their worth with 16 bars. As meaningless as the entire XXL Freshman issue is, this is possibly the most inconsequential part of the whole charade.
Here we have singers and swag-rappers trying to go toe-to-toe with guys who are battle rappers looking to advance their careers-- it's just apples and oranges at a certain point. How are you going to try to hold OJ Da Juiceman to the same standards as Cory Gunz?
Be that as it may, guys who have never touched a cypher in their lives often accept spots on the XXL cover, only to look like complete fools when their turn comes to spit 16. Sometimes it's guys who will eventually flop, other times it's perfectly successful rappers in their own right just being out of their element.
Read on to get the ten most embarrassing, low-grade freestyles in XXL Freshman history, presented in alphabetical order. The class of 2012 is exempt because the magazine opted to do BET Awards-style group cyphers that year, so consider yourself lucky, Iggy Azalea.