In the last few years, the hip-hop magazine XXL‘s annual Freshman Class list has become a little like The L‘s own 8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear list, in that it generally makes for a good who’s who of up-and-coming rap artists—last year, for instance, the list featured Wale, Kid Cudi and B.O.B., among others. XXL‘s accuracy at predicting the most influential young MCs has garnered this annual tradition a lot of attention, and on Saturday rumors started spreading on rap blogs that the Freshman Class list for 2010 had leaked (pictured).
The issue doesn’t hit stands until next month, and XXL released a statement claiming this wasn’t the real list, but looking over the names it looks like it probably is. All these artists have been generating big buzz with mixtapes over the last couple years and, in a few cases (Big Sean, J.Cole, Nicki Minaj, Jay Rock) already have major label contracts. I don’t really care if the surprise is ruined, so long as we get another excellent Freshman Class Mixtape this year.