One of the last standing rap magazines, XXL, has this annual tradition of picking 10 up-and-coming MCs who will be the next big things, a list which is always a little bloated as if in recognition that they’ll probably only get thirty to fifty percent of the picks right. So last year, we got prescient choices like Wale, B.o.B. and Kid Cudi, but also lame-os like Asher Roth, Blu and Ace Hood. The last of the XXL 2010 Freshmen was announced yesterday, and the list goes like so: OJ Da Juiceman, Jay Rock, Donnis, Pill, Big Sean, Freddie Gibbs, Nipsey Hussle, Fashawn, J. Cole and Wiz Khalifa.
This is slightly different from the supposedly leaked list that floated around the internet in December of last year, the most notable change being the omission of Nicki Minaj, who arguably has more buzz than anyone else on this list right now, and whose absence underlines the predictable yet no less disappointing dearth of female MCs on the Freshmen list. That being said, these are all pretty good bets, my personal favorites being Big Sean (a signee to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label), J. Cole (who made a big splash with a guest verse on Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3), and Donnis who has at least one amazing song that I will use any excuse to listen to again, after the jump.