Time is passing. Just five years ago XXL debuted on First year class 2016 with 10 of the biggest names in hip-hop of the time. Brooklyn’s own Designer, from Harlem Dave East, two Floridians in Kodak Black and Curry Denzel, rap star in Philadelphia Lil uzi vert, and lil dicky from a nearby suburb of Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, rappers from Atlanta Lil yachty, the 10th winner, and 21 Wild, Chicago drill rapper turned wordsmith G Herbo, and California Anderson .Paak were all included, from all over the map. Bringing them together led to some legendary figures and individual freestyles, as well as an early face-to-face for a few names who would go on to become big players in the game. In the years since the cover was released, these artists released hit songs, albums no. ° 1 and many guest verses. Today, XXL spotlight the best songs from the 2016 Freshman Class throughout their respective careers. Since each of these artists has stacked catalogs, two of their best pieces are featured.
Some of these artists went on to have huge songs that defined their careers. Anderson .Paak just started enjoying “Leave The Door Open”, his critically acclaimed collaboration with Bruno Mars under the band nickname Silk Sonic. The sultry track became No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 in mid-April. In February 2017, Lil uzi vert fall “XO Tour Llif3”, which peaked at No.7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and changed his career, taking his trajectory to unseen heights he still hasn’t descended from. 21 Wild‘s “A Lot”, which also includes J. Cole, won a Grammy for Best Rap Song, peaked at No.12 on the Hot 100, and went platinum five times, following its 2018 release.
Other 2016 freshmen ditched songs that really sums up their appeal. Dave east’s “Handsome” is a lyrical exercise in which he describes how his career has unfolded and how it is better than his past. Curry Denzel‘S “Speedboat” is a rhythm produced by Rugah Rahj that finds the rapper dancing through multiple streams and weighing the pursuit of success while trying to protect himself and the shiny things that come with victory. At Lil yachty‘s “Forgive me” with Future and Mike WiLL Made-It, he and Pluto deliver strong verses and showcase their excellent chemistry when rapping together.
Take a look below to discover the best hip-hop songs of your favorite 2016 XXL First year students.