Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh.Globe 2012 Freshman List: What the XXL List Should Have Been

Yesterday, the annual XXL Freshman Class was unveiled. Like recent years, the list has been criticized for either having artists who have been doing their thing for enough time where they are nowhere near being "Freshmen" (I'm looking at you Macklemore, French Montana, and Danny Brown) or for obviously having a bias for more of the "industry" players. After seeing this, I decided to construct a list of my own, one that I feel would have been a much better substitute than the one that the geniuses at XXL threw together.

Essential Releases: God of Black (2012), Blackland Radio (2011)

Why He's On Here: Spaceghostpurrp has been a very busy man these days. Coming out of the Florida scene with his seemingly countless affiliates, I can guarantee that you will at least know of this young man's name by the end of 2012. He's good friends with A$AP Rocky too, as he has also contributed production to the New York rapper's 2011 offering LiveLoveA$AP.

Essential Releases: Lone Sharks (2011), 2012: The New Beginning (2009)

Why They're On Here: The Doppelgangaz are perhaps the biggest breath of fresh air in hip-hop today. Mixing amazingly vivid imagery in their lyrics with an ode to old boom-bap, while incorporating astonishingly dark samples and soundscapes to compliment their style. They also make a video for seemingly every song they have. Plus, they wear cloaks. Who wears cloaks these days? Nobody, that's who.

Essential Releases: Well-Done (2011), Dr. Lecter (2011)

Why He's On Here: Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah is a common, almost cliche comparison when discussing the young New York product Action Bronson. The voice is similar, but that's where the similarities end. Bronson mixes humor with street wit in his raps, often name dropping his favorite foods in his verses. He also has an incredible ear for beats, which is evident by his Dr. Lecter tape and his decision to collaborate with producer Statik Selektah for 2011's Well-Done.

Essential Releases: LiveLoveA$AP (2011), Deep Purple (2011)

Why He's On Here: A$AP Rocky probably has the most buzz out of everybody in this list. He made news last year when he signed a $3 Million deal with Polo Grounds/RCA Records and then dropped his critically acclaimed LiveLoveA$AP soon after. Like Spaceghostpurrp, Rocky's list of affiliates seems daunting and if he makes it big, expect him to take all of his boys, the A$AP Mob, with him.

Essential Releases: In Case I Don't Make It (2011), Small Metal Objects (2008)

Why He's On Here: Philly's Has-Lo is a part of the soon-to-be underground giant, Mello Music Group. He combines incredible production with dark, imaginative lyricism. His unique style is most notable on his 2011 concept album, In Case I Don't Make It. Expect him to release new projects with fellow MMG artists and his own outfit, The Wrecking Crew (with Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro).

Essential Releases: Merry ex-Mas & Suck My Dick! (2011), Lost in Translation (2011)

Why He's On Here: eXquire is an interesting fellow. His wide range of styles, from his drunken rants on "Huzzah!" and "Fire Marshall Bill" to his lyrical escapades on "Weight of Water" and "The Gold Watch" make him one of the most unique artists to come out of the new-school breed of do-it-yourself rappers to emerge this generation. eXquire knows how to make dope music and back it by equally dope beats (he's got the hook up with legendary producer El-P). Look for him.

Essential Releases: 808s & Dark Grapes II (2011), Chandelier (2011)

Why They're On Here: Main Attrakionz and Green Ova Records in general are the leaders of the new cloud rap scene that is emerging and thriving right now. California's Main Attrakionz are the deffinition of unique and inventive beats and their honest and often revealing lyrics are a nice compliment to the "swag rap" style that they also often go for. They, like eXquire, released a project presented by MishkaNYC last year that was released to incredible acclaim. They're doing big things over at Green Ova.

Essential Releases: As I Float: The Great John Nash (2011)

Why He's On Here: Like his partner Lil B, Young L absolutely kills it with the production. With Young L, however, he handles the production all by himself and accompanies it with swagged out rhymes that are on cruise control with the beat. With Lil B's audience and cult-fandom increasing exponentially everyday, Young L should see his buzz blow its top just like Lil B did. Who would have known that Imogen Heap would inspire an entirely new generation of rappers?

Honorable Mentions:

That's my list. If you have any comments, complaints, subtractions, or additions, drop a comment. Let us know! Also, this article does not and I repeat, does NOT, serve as disrespect toward anyone in the XXL list. I'm a fan of quite a few of the rappers in the list but I just do not believe that they should be in a "Top Freshman" spotlight.


Anonymous said...

Earl Sweatshirt

Joe Valdez said...

Earl was indeed in my consideration. However, I figured 1 25 minute tape was not enough for him to be on the list.

Anonymous said...

School boy q two dope mixtapes he should def be on it hes tight wit rocky too and they should keep collabing In the future plus he with kdot so he's set

Anonymous said...

Doppelgangaz = dope as fuck. Your list is better just for including them.

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