Earlier this month, XXL released their annual “Freshman Cover” and lets just say the list was poorly received by many. Since I’m a new blogger I will keep my true thoughts to myself however, XXL could have done better, as seen with covers from past years. I get it! Us age 28 and older folks are now in the same boat like our parents were when are music greatly differed from what they were accustomed to. While they were still listening to the “The Fat Boys and Big Daddy Kane” we were listening “Nas, 2pac, and Busta Rhymes.”

However, there is a huge difference in the music from our days then to the music that children are listening to today. Yes, we had a few bad apples but today’s hip hop is of full of bull**** rappers that luck out because they have a huge social media following backing them and their substance less music.  

Back in our day, if we didn’t hear about them on the radio, or see them on television then we weren’t listening to them. Now, all you need is 50,000 followers and they will hand you a bullshit deal that will trap you for the rest of your life. Maybe I’m being too hard on these up and coming young rappers after all we had our time, and now our time is gone and it time for the new generation to have their moment. Furthermore, I’m not here to down the new artists that were featured on the XXL cover, Im just here to highlight a few other artists that deserved to be listened to and highlighted. These are artists were left off the list. Some of the artists I’m about to name were previously on XXL past covers but I will take it upon myself to remind you to pay attention. These are the top 10 artists with THE JUICE, that you ought to be listening to. 

Hippy Soul

City: Memphis, TN

This duo has been out since 2013, and has grown into one of the most popular acts in Memphis hip hop scene.

With songs like “no heart” and “gatdamn” this group will be in the game for a long time to come.

And with star football player Odell Beckham Jr backing them, you will be seeing more of this group in 2017.




 City: Houston, Texas

Lecrae is Christian hip hop artist, songwriter, record producer that is now growing on the scene thank to the record “blessings feat Ty Dolla Sign”.

Lecrae started in the rap game as a Christian artist but later cross over into a Southern hip hop. Lecrae’s musical genre has been described as falling under the styles of gangster rap, and hardcore hip hop. With records like “If I died tonight & of course blessing” we will be hearing more from him this year.



 City: New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dee-1 was a teacher before taking off as a musician. He finished two years of teaching, and resigned before the 2010-2011 school year to focus on his music as a career. After landing a record deal he used a portion of his money to finish paying off his student loan debt, which inspired his claim to fame track, “Paid Sallie Mae Back.”

He has worked with the like of “Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Drake, Trey Songz” just to name a few, he also won Artist of the Year at the NOLA Underground Hip Hop Awards back in 2010. Check out his tracks “against us & Sallie make Back”.



Denzel Curry

Based: Carol City, Florida

Curry started down an artist’s path with early poetry ambitions in Elementary School before he began rapping in the sixth grade. His time was spent at a local Boys & Girls Club where he challenged others to rap battles. In 2011, Curry released his first mixtape, titled King Remembered Underground Tape 1991–1995, and been going ever since. Denzel was featured in the 2016 fresh class list and is now working on 4thmixtape.


CyHi The Prynce

City: Stone Mountain, Georgia

 In 2009, CyHi signed his first major-label contract with Konvict Muzik, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings. In 2010, he signed with Kanye West‘s GOOD Music label imprint. Young went on to appear on West’s highly acclaimed album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”.  In 2015, he released a diss track called “Elephant In The Room”, aimed toward G.O.O.D. Music, and its owner Kanye West due to being frustrated with his situation and having been dropped from Def Jam Recordings. However, his music got a classic groove that will leave you on your feet with songs like “real talk & feet up”.


City: Queens, New York

Bas was born in Paris. And at the age of 8, his family moved to New York City. He attended St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, New York.

In 2013, his second mixtape Quarter Water Raised Vol. 2. Also in 2013, he signed a deal with He is signed to J. Cole‘s Dreamville Records. Bas released his sophomore album, Too High to Riot in 2016 with hot single like “live for & night job”. He is rumor to be dropping a mixtape later this year be on the lookout for that.



City: Atlanta, Georgia

Raury is known for his eclectic sound mixing soul, hip hop and folk, and in 2014, Raury released his first mixtape, titled Indigo Child. On the same year, he announced that he signed a deal with Columbia Records. In 2015, Raury was featured on the cover of XXL magazine for the 2015 Freshman Class. In 2015, Raury released his debut studio album, titled All We Need with songs like “Forbidden Knowledge” and “Devil Whisper.”



 City: Gaithersburg, Maryland

 Logic ventured into a musical career in early 2009, releasing a mixtape titled Young, Broke & Infamous in 2010. He would then sign with Visionary Music Group, before releasing two more mixtapes over two years. In early 2013, Logic was featured XXL,”Top 10 Freshmen List. And just this year he drops an album title “Everybody” which feature tracks “confess & ink blot”.



City: Atlanta, Georgia

first appeared on the Atlanta hip-hop scene with his debut EP, DiCaprio, in 2015. After a stint at Hampton University playing football, J.I.D also hooked up with fellow MCs as part of the Spillage Village collective. By 2012, he had dropped out of Hampton University to focus fully on music. In early 2017 he announced that he signed a deal with Dreamville records, and in March he droped his debut album “The Never Story” which featured my favorite record off the album “Ed, Edd & Eddy”.


Dave East

Based: East Harlem, New York

Dave gained attention in 2014 from his mixtape Black Rose. Since the release of his mixtape, East has been signed to rapper Nas‘ label Mass Appeal Records and has made a number of guest appearances.  In 2016, East was also chosen as part of the XXL magazine’s 2016 “Freshman Class”. East is known for his raw lyricism and dark storytelling about street life, and he made the billboard twitter chart for his song “Cut It.’

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By Judaea Payne

My name is judaea and I write about love and the bullshit that comes with it. Oh and I write about music as well.