What my Freshman would look like in a hypothetical world.
I'm going to assume everyone's seen the XXL Freshman 2012 list, unless you're seriously out of touch with the internet...in which case you probably wouldn't be on HNHH in the first place. The always controversial list was once again, well, controversial. Many wondered where ASAP Rocky was (he declined) and everyone had their own thoughts about who should or shouldn't have been on the list.
The list sparked mad comments (466 comments to date) and I see a lot of “this is wack,” and “where's so-and-so?” so for this week's Word Up I figured you guys could let us know who you would've picked for Freshmen...and I'll tell you some of my choices. Feel free to agree. But don't disagree. Jokes.
I'm not gunna touch on those rappers who did make the list, because, whatever, they made it and good for them! They've been talked about enough, and I have thoughts in regards to some of them, but I'mma keep it to myself. I'm just gunna give you guys some of my picks who didn't make it, some of which were nominated, but some weren't given a nod. I KNOW my interest tends toward the underground/indie arena of hip-hop but this is JUST my opinion. Please share yours. In no specific order. And this is just a list of six.
Chip Tha Ripper-- Since the XXL Freshman list dropped, Chip's been outspoken about his lack-of-love on the list, he's referenced it in his most recent jam, “Hy As Fuck," so it seems like it kinda got under his skin. Hopefully not too much though, cause Chip's been steady grinding and he's being recognized, if not by XXL, by his growing amount of fans, which is what really counts. He was only recently “verified” on Twitter. This rapper has a laid-back flow and none of that pop-sounding-rap, his beats build and grow on you over time. Maybe he was overlooked because he doesn't drop that many projects a year, but seriously, would you rather have a rapper throwing all these crappy tracks at you, re-using their lyrics over and over, or one or two really dope projects?
Sir Michael Rocks-- Why this man was not even a nomination is beyond me. I guess he's only just been starting to do solo stuff, away from being a Cool Kid with Chuck Inglish. He has released “The Rocks Report,” and most recently “Premiere Politics,” (I hear there is a "Premiere Politics II" on the way), but in the same vein as Chip Tha Rip, he's not giving us a tape every other week or some shit. Quality over quantity my young rappers. Mikey Rocks has dope style along with lyrics and beats.
SchoolBoy Q-- Q has recently been getting more of a buzz, since he dropped “Habits & Contraditions” which was extremely well-received. He has such presense on a track and his flow is seriously insane.TDE-associate Kendrick Lamar graced XXL Freshmen cover last year, and that was a good look (I've seen comments about “why isn't Kendrick Lamar on the cover”...well that's why), but sadly SchoolBoy Q was passed over this year. He has an official album coming up, so there's always hope for next year.
ASAP Rocky-- I know that ASAP Rocky ended up decling the cover, but since this is all hypothetical, in my world, he woulda been on there. Although he barely has a musical catalogue yet, I mean, his only release has been “LiveLoveA$AP,” he still managed to get such a huge movement going, and he's already influenced tons of up & comers. He's been selling out show after show. The power behind this young rapper is huge.
Action Bronson-- New York resident, Action Bronson, definitely doesn't fit your rapper stereotype. He's white and he raps about food a lot. But he has some skills with words and remains low-key which is why I like him. He's not all about the hype. Plus, he has a unique-sounding voice, he doesn't just sound like every other rapper out there; he has a voice you can recognize and pick out after only hearing it a few times. He's released several projects, including two albums in 2011, one of them a collab with Statik Selektah. But I guess he only really got into the rap game in 2010, so maybe next year will be the year for Action.
Tyga-- Not sure why Tyga was looked over, but it definitely seems like he's got next on the YMCMB label. He released his debut album with Young Money only a week ago. Before that though, he gave us plenty of mixtapes. Although I think 'less' is sometimes 'more,' and 'more' is sometimes 'over doing it,' I think Tyga deserves it because he shows growth as an artist and it seems like he's finally found himself. His past projects weren't necessarily unique or his own style, but now I associate a certain sound with Tyga, so I feel like he's starting a movement and it's picking up.
Aight, comment away.