It was about a week ago that Charlemagne The God of The Breakfast Club declared on Twitter that Chicago had the hip-hop world on lock as of late and the city's rise to prominence in the hip-hop world continued this week as G Herbo got his long-awaited nod to join the ranks of other well-known names from the city to make the annual list of artists who have "arrived". The cover has come a long way since it's first choices for future dominance and this one might just have finally jumped the ship.
Since arriving in 2008, the XXL Freshman Cover has been interpreted in a multitude of ways to a lot of different people. While originally viewed as a sort of 'Rookie' team for rap music, a glance at names that would be pacing the genre in the coming years, it has since digressed into essentially putting yet another check mark next to already-minted headliners. This class in particular has names: Desiigner, Dave East, Denzel Curry, who could have made the list the last couple of years, along with Herbo. Likewise, there's also names like Lil Dicky, who joins Iggy Azalea as some of the more face-palming choices in the cover's history. Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert, along with Kodak Black are solid choices well-suited for the distinction, as is Anderson .Paak. Each of them ascended the ranks throughout 2015 and sit poised to make huge strides into the latter half of this calendar.
Missing in our minds of course is a wide-ranging variety of names from around the city who would have made sensical choices for the distinction. Names like Saba, who has been featured on Chance's last two mixtapes, hit a European tour and got a nod from Red Bull, or Mick Jenkins who has released a pair of critically-acclaimed projects, toured the country and Europe as well as Lollapalooza or Joey Purp or Towkio who have each risen from the ranks of SaveMoney to prove they can stand alone. Or Alex Wiley or Lucki Eck$, or Smino, or Famous Dex for fuck's sake. While not the worst list they've put out in their time, they certainly missed an opportunity to recognize the way of the times and accurately mirror them in the selections here. It's cool, we've been operating outside of the industry norm for awhile now.