The @BehindTheRhyme Freshman List Breakdown 2016

So, off top, the Internet is saying “This is the worst Freshman List Ever!” So, I’m not here to sell anyone on anything. I’m just going to talk what I know and what I foresee happening for these young cats.

Anderson.Paak: The guy with the super dope joints with Game, Dr. Dre and by himself. I like Anderson.Paak. He’s the hands down best artist on this list. He makes dope records so he’ll be fine.

21 Savage: The name alone sounds like trouble and I had to Google this young cat, cause I had no idea who he was. From the songs I heard, 21 Savage is a very accurate name. I just hope he never has to prove it. Sounds like that could be the wrong move. Remember when “Drill Music” first hit the mainstream scene and the world stopped, looked and said “Who is that group of young, crazy, high ni**as over there!?!”…..Yeah…he sounds a lot like that.

Kodak Black: Possibly a victim of some of the right messages but just the wrong sender. People shouldn’t be smoking Flocka. However, is this the person that’s going to make you stop? Other than that joint, it’s nothing you haven’t heard the last 5-6 years.

Lil Uzi Vert: Honestly after that Hot 97 interview and Freestyle, I haven’t really cared about anything he’s doing. The young cat is popular though and a lot of people are stamping him, so he’s going to be around for at least a minute. I want to say he sounds like a lot of other artist, but technically, he doesn’t. He’s a 808Kanye/Future baby and he has style and charisma. I see the appeal, but will it ever translate into great music?

Lil Dicky: The best lyricist on this list. I affectionately classify what he does as “white boy rap” because face it, that’s what’s going to keep him afloat. Young, college white boys that live the broke, vulgar, but well mannered life. He’s better than Asher Roth, Riff Raff, Slim Jesus and this era doesn’t care enough to compare him to Eminem, so Dicky’s going to prosper. May end up being the biggest star this list produces.

Dave East: The “New New York sound” emcee with a Nas stamp. He can go traditional hip-hop and he definitely dabbles in the new sounds of rap today. With Maino and Murda holding the streets, Dave being a better overall emcee than any A$AP MOB member, Troy Ave seemingly committing career suicide and Desiiner, being Desiigner, there’s no reason Dave East should lose. He’s actually dope too so that helps. See “The Offering.”

Denzel Curry: I had to Google this kid too. Honestly never heard of him till the list dropped. I listened to ULT. Video was actually really good, but again, nothing you haven’t heard the last 5-6 years. I definitely expected a different look with a name like Denzel Curry.

Desiigner: Panda. G.O.O.D Music. The Freshman List committee just never overlooks the biggest record from the new artist; So no shock here. Does he have another one? With Kanye behind him we can’t say no. Brooklyn doesn’t seem too happy. This is why they shouldn’t take Fabolous for granted.

G Herbo: Herbo should have been on this list when Lil Bibby was on this list. Glad to see him getting recognized finally. G Herbo is actually a very solid emcee and his sound is growing. Hope he makes some great things happen.

Lil Yachty: I actually heard “1 Night” on Snapchat, thanks to the homegirl, Krista. He also came up in a conversation last week and the bottomline was “his song was played at this prom and the kids went crazy and knew every word.” The official video has the “bouncing ball with lyrics” on it. A simple but effective W. Especially when the common question for new songs is “What is he saying?”

What’s to be understood about this years list? That Chief Keef and the Drill Music wave is a bigger influence than people want to accept. Had he not made the Freshmen List, signed that multi-million dollar deal, even if it was slightly janky and if certain outlets wouldn’t have said things like “Chief Keef selling 50K is great in this climate”, you probably wouldn’t hear half of these young cats rapping the way they do. Not just this list, but in general.

Overall, This is what happens when labels have no control over what comes out. The only thing you have to do is be popular to a big enough audience of young people in this era. Yeah, there are some bright spots and yeah the masses have seemingly written off half of the list; But when was the last time the masses bought 10 albums in 1 year? Bottomline, artist have no excuse  and it’s on the artist and their team to be heard and get popping. You need a booth and a budget and the world is yours.

Dreezy hasn’t made a Freshman List again huh? She’s a better rapper than the last few women to make the last few Freshman List. She’s definitely better than a lot of the dudes that made it too.

Just realized Rae Sremmurd and Young Dolph didn’t make the last two Freshman list. Wow…No Torey Lanez or Bryson Tiller and right now, their the bigger overall stars than everybody on this years list. I’ll have to look into that. That just doesn’t make sense at all.

Read More: 2016 XXL Freshman Class Cover – XXL | http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2016/06/xxl-freshman-class-cover-2016/?trackback=tsmclip

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