Friday, September 30, 2011

XXL Freshmen 2009 - Where Are They Now?

The game has changed. I know it,you know it. Now, in order to "get on," an artist needs a fanbase, a viral video, show experience, and a whole lot more. Yet, besides all that, becoming an XXL freshmen class member can tremendously boost your chances of becoming a successful artist. XXL magazine started doing their "Freshmen Classes" in 2008. We will take a look at Where the class of 2009 is now, and what they have all been accomplishing.
#1. B.O.B. Since being labeled a "freshmen" in '09, Bobby Ray can definetly be labeled the most successful mainstream artist of his class. He has had multiple hit records, including, "Airplanes"with famous Paramore lead singer, Hayley Williams and Eminem, "Magic" featuring Weezer, solo track "Don't let me fall," "Nothin' on You" which blew up Bruno Mars career as well, and his street banger "Bet I" featuring fellow Grand Hustle artists Playboy Tre and T.I. On top of his singles, B.O.B had a hit album that went gold, a single with famous recording artist Ke$ha, and even had a diss in a line from the Odd Future leader, Tyler, in his seperate blow up song "Yonkers," which ended in some more publicity. Not a bad way to start a career, and all before hitting age 23. Now that's progress. That is why we list him #1 among his class.

#2. Wale aka Ralph Folarin aka Olubowale Victor Akintimehin has had a substantially beneficial career so far. Though he had a rocky road, and was very underrated, the Washington DC artist has finally become almost what he has imagined. His first project he released after being a freshmen was Attention Deficit in 2009, which was heavily underrated as much as his career was. Though the album didn't do all that well, Wale hung in there, and had hit records off his album. "Chillin" with Lady Gaga helped Wale into being seen through the mainstream's eye, "Pretty Girls" with Gucci Mane is still played at clubs today, and "World Tour," featuring Jasmine Sullivan was featured in some video games, giving him publicity as well. From there on, Wale didn't look back as most artists would after underselling, bouncing back and becoming Rick Ross's frontman in MMG alongside Philadelphia's Meek Mill. Wale is close to being a top-ten MC, long as he keeps up his hard work, and his new album,Ambition, is sure to sell.
#3. Kid CuDi. CuDi can easily be described as a top tier artist. He's not just a rapper, like most of this class. He's a rockstar, musical genius, fashion icon, celebrity endorser, and actor. The Cleveland artist has accomplished many things since being labeled a freshmen. CuDi has two studio albums, Man on the Moon 1 + 2, various hit singles such as "Pursuit of Happiness," "Day n' Nite," "Erase Me" featuring Kanye West (His fellow G.O.O.D Music Artist), among dozens of internet singles, GOOD Friday features and more. He has Vitamin Water commercials, was rated best dressed man in NYC, and has a sweet spot in an HBO show "How To Make It In America." The kid is still young, and has been fighting off his drug and alcohol addictions, which in turn can result in him becoming one of the most successful hip-hop based celebrities of all time. Hopefully, he can stay away from his massive use of drugs and alcohol, and make his fans even happier with his Rock LP, Wizard, whenever that comes out.
#4. Curren$y... "Spitta, ninja,precise,slice...." Though Curren$y may be one of this writer's favorite artist, he can't be labeled the most successful artist through the mainstream's eye, but one can definetly say that Curren$y redefined the underground hip-hop game. His fanbase is incredible for someone with no mainstream radio play, and his shows are always sold out. He has released 3 seperate LP's in about a year, as well as three hit mixtapes. Curren$y helped boost Wiz Khalifa's career, and a bunch of other artists that are in his camp. Spitta is definetly putting himself on the map, and recently signed a deal with Warner Bros.
#5. Asher Roth. Asher has definetly had a great career so far. He was the first in his class to release a studio album, and was the first to have a chart-topping hit, "I Love College." Though, now he seems to be a more quiet celebrity, Asher still has his hits, and more to come. His recent project with producer Nottz, The Rawth EP, was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of fans to say the least. This caucasian MC really isn't going anywhere, and he's still dope in our eyes. His sophomore LP is in the process of being completed now.
#6. Ace Hood. Ace hasn't had any real hit albums, but he has had multiple hit singles since being dubbed a Freshmen, and his latest single, "Hustle Hard" may have been one of the most remixed tracks of all time. As he continues to his pursuit of making it big, Ace has many things to smile about. DJ Khaled will always have spots for him, in turn making Ace a constantly heard artist.
#7. Cory Gunz. Some may call the Young Money artist a disappointment, but this Son of a Gun has showed much improvement in his fanbase, and even had a reality show on MTV(Son of a Gun) with his manager Nick Cannon. His recent mixtape did numbers on DatPiff, and may have over 250k in total downloads. Not a bad start to a career, and definitely not a fall off. I'm sure there's more to come from him, as well as an album.
#8. Blu. Lupe Fiasco said that he is frightened of Blu's abilities before. It truly is sad that this artist hasn't risen like the other seven ahead of him in our list. Though he might be the one of the best artists in this whole class, his ability to establish a big fanbase appears to be difficult. Blu has multiple albums and mixtapes, but none really in stores, and I can not even say that I have seen him on MTV. The bright side is that he is one of the best underground hip-hop MC's in the game, and he is still very young. I still have a lot of faith in him. His album recently dropped on iTunes & Amazon.
#9. Mickey Factz. This East coast MC has released several projects, and has many songs with famous artists. Mickey has tracks on iTunes, and seems to have the slowest push in the class. He'll get there though, mainly because he's nice as f*ck at the end of the day, and very slept on.
#10. Charles Hamilton. C.H. A big star when this list first came out. Many popular mixtapes, a huge hit ("Brooklyn Girls") that was on the radio and MTV, but then he was hit with blow after blow, which ended in him being in prison after striking an officer in the face reportedly. Horrible circumstances ended Charles' upcoming, and when his album was pulled, he lost it. He'll be back though, with great production, and back to his provactive ways after he is released from prison.

Previous: Snap Section - September 2011 - Where did Kreayshawn Come From?

38 Comments:

cargobox said...

This is truly the best class ever and there will be. They are all unique in their own way. The freshman class makes XXL 2010 (excluding J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean) and XXL 2011 look like crap!

cargobox said...

And also, I still think Cudi > Wale. Kid Cudi has a greater fan base and everyone knows about him. Wale might've joined Maybach Music and gathered "ghetto fans" but he's still third in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Blu and Spitta are the only people relevant to Real HipHop everyone else on the List is either pop or sub par

Eric said...

It's pretty obvious this author did not do his research on Blu before his synopsis. When did MTV become the status quo, again? Blu was on MTV, not for you his music though. You know No York and his production album, Open are on the innernetz, correct?

Rell said...

i agree with the author for everything except Kid CuDi's placement. He should be #1

abihcnovb said...

Cudder shoulda been first. And @cargobox wtf are "ghetto fans"? The word is "urban" ho.

cargobox said...

A lot of people are sleeping on B.o.B, he's really talented. He's fine where he is because of his success. He might not have the same fan base because most people call him weak and Tyler The Creator, who I don't like very much because he just cusses with no lyrical point, called him out. Kid Cudi should be number 2. I don't know what Wale ever did? I think he's gotten worse. And @abihcnovb, it's ghetto meaning gangsta music. That's how I perceive him ever since he joined Maybach Music and became a sellout. Have you seen the music videos? He's throwing money to naked hoes that are stripping, that isn't him.

Anonymous said...

CARGOBOX STRIKES AGAIN. your inability to recognize good music is nothing short of amazing. YOU DONT KNOW WHAT WALE HAS MADE????!!! how about an album and two mixtapes that are recognized by everyone in the game. STFU and have you ever actually listened to tyler the creator? his lyrics are pinpointed with meaning. dumbass

agirlnamedhope said...

I got a problem with #8.

First, BLU is a talented successful westcoast artist. & just because he hasn't been seen on MTV doesn't mean he isn't holding his place in the hip hop game. Multiple albums/mixtapes being released does in fact broaden his fan base, and he does have in store sales..and re-releases of "below the heavens" Try going to one of his shows and not seeing a Packed crowd..because that's what I saw a few Weeks ago. Loyal, dedicated fans are his success.
Keep talkin, and he'll keep makin albums to prove you wrong.

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Anonymous said...

1. blu
2. CH
3. mickey
^best emcees. fuck mainstream success and mtv.

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