First things first, where’s Lil Baby or Gunna?
So, the 2018 XXL Freshman List was released yesterday, to most people’s, including me, dismay. They really did not hit home with their choices this year, and snubbed a lot of artists that arguably deserved a spot. I wrote a post on here about who I would pick for the list, and only 1 of the artists I chose, (Smokepurpp) was chosen for the final list, which was disappointing.
But beyond the poor choices made by XXL, the way they that behaved and ran the cover this year was terrible; the final list had already been chosen before fans could even place their votes, which just invalidated the whole voting process. Lil Skies shared light on this back in April, and voiced this as his reasoning for declining the 9th spot on the cover. Why even bother with the voting process, if what the fans are voting for doesn’t actually count towards anything? It just doesn’t make sense.
How ironic is it, that the theme of this year’s cover was, ‘We Got Clout’? That’s literally what runs the music industry these days; this facade of ‘clout’, and the warped element of hype. I’m sorry to say, but 80% of the artists on that list are only where they are because of ‘clout’, not because they’re actually talented. XXL might aswell have gone full retard and put guys like 6ix9ine and Boonk there, since they want to name this year’s issue, ‘we got the clout’. This just proves how washed a lot of the US scene is, and why people argue that UK music has been superior to US music for the past few years.
In regards to Steff London, hats off to Quality Control for pushing her to be where she is at right now, because Lord knows that it isn’t through her own hard work. Her music is not good (definitely not better than Saweetie) and she has shown herself to have a terrible personality, but the way in which her image has been marketed has been top notch. I guess she fits the look and style of this year’s cover better than any of the other female artists nominated for the cover spot; the list is full of troublesome artists who chart well, and Steff London, unfortunately, fits that description well (well, she charts well in the UK at least). But in saying that, her music has not scratched the surface of the US scene AT ALL, so how she made it onto that list can only be put down to the work of Quality Control, who were lucky enough to have two artists on this year’s list, the other one being Trippie Redd.
I like Blocboy JB a lot, and I feel like he is going to go far, but I feel like his entry on this list came way too early. He literally only came out as a major artist back in February when Look Alive dropped, and literally a couple months later, he’s thrown onto the cover of what was once the most eagerly awaited music magazine issue of the year. Wouldn’t you say that’s a bit of a slap in the face to artists like Tee Grizzley, who have been out for a good couple of years now, releasing good music that actually charts well? I can guarantee the list curators did not give ANY of Blocboy JB’s new tape a listen. The streams and views of Look Alive undoubtedly are what propelled Blocboy to the list, but there are many artists I personally would have put ahead of him.
I don’t like Ski Mask, and I don’t think he should have been anywhere near that list. I’m yet to see the hype about this guy, and all that 100mph rapping doesn’t sit well with me.
Lil Pump and Trippie Redd were always going to be there, but I was a bit surprised to see Smokepurpp there. Although I said I wanted him on the list, maybe in hindsight, putting him AND Lil Pump on the list together is a bit redundant. But hey ho, what do XXL know?
The most popular choices I have seen so far, have surprisingly been the artists that I know the least about, in YBN Nahmir and JID. YBN Nahmir was apparently a shoo-in for the spot, so there is little surprise he is there, whilst JID is an artist I do not know much about. It’s good to see them putting lesser known artists on the list, but his inclusion was imbalanced by the poor decisions made for the rest of the list.
And as for Wifisfuneral, I like him, but I’m sure Gunna or Lil Baby would have been a much better choice for his spot. Hats off to him though.