XXL Reveals 2014 Freshman Class

The rap magazine XXL finds its biggest moment, culturally, when it unveils its not-quite-annual “freshman class” cover, grouping together a crew of up-and-coming rappers earmarked for stardom. Some of those rappers go on to actual stardom (Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, Future), and others not so much (Charles Hamilton). This year’s cover includes at least two people who are arguably already stars, two R&B singers, two R&B singers who really don’t rap, a bunch of promising prospects, a few people I’ve barely heard of, and, for what I believe is the first time ever, no token white guys. Of the 12 artists on this year’s cover, eight have appeared in our Mixtape Of The Week column. Check out the full list below.

• Chance The Rapper
• Rich Homie Quan
• Isaiah Rashad
• Ty Dolla $ign
• Lil Durk
• Kevin Gates
• Troy Ave
• Vic Mensa
• Lil Bibby
• Jon Connor
• Jarren Benton
• August Alsina

For the rest of the month, BET’s 106 & Park will run packages and cyphers with all these guys. So: Who did they miss? And who does not deserve to be there? That’s always a fun game; play it in the comments section. (Nice overalls, Chance.)