The American hip-hop magazine published its annual list on Wednesday spotlighting 12 artists: Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke, Rob49, Fridayy, GloRilla, 2Rare, SleazyWorld Go, Central Cee, Real Boston Richey, Luh Tyler, TiaCorine and 10th Spot Winner DC The Don.
This year’s list comes ahead of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary this August.
“Sounds, musical landscapes, cadences, lyricism, delivery of rhymes and more have changed throughout the last six decades,” the magazine states. “And staying true to XXL’s yearly tradition, the Freshman class for 2023 was selected based on the artists’ undeniable impact.”
XXL’s past freshman classes have included acclaimed musicians like Chance the Rapper, Ty Dolla $ign, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Macklemore, Future, Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion.
XXL states it will release “freestyles, cyphers, interviews and more” with each of this year’s freshmen over the next month. The Freshman issue hits stands July 18.
“These talents have not only been the cream that has risen to the top, but serve as a representation of the current pulse of this year’s sound: inimitable, eclectic, vibe-y, nostalgic and damn good,” the magazine says. “Navigating the industry’s obstacle course, these newcomers have taken on the task by releasing mixtapes and EPs, ultimately leading to debut albums, creating and maintaining momentum among fans and touring numerous cities.”