Take a behind-the-scenes look at the XXL Freshman 2021 cover shoot


Orchestrate a XXL First year class is not an easy task. Add to the complexity of facilitating nearly 100 pitch meetings via Zoom due to an unprecedented global pandemic and it goes without saying that the XXL team had their work cut out for them this year. Nevertheless, the 2021 XXL First year class has arrived and these booming rhymers are joining a roster of big names in rap like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Travis Scott and many more.

This year’s freshman inductees cover cities across the map. There is also a variety of sounds. When it comes to melodic cadences, there is Blxst of South Central, Los Angeles. If you’re looking for neighborhood love tunes that make you feel good, listen to NYC-born Syracuse and NC-reppin ‘artist Raleigh. Toosii. Loot-filled rhymes and flares added to AutoTune are delivered by Freshman 10th spot winner DDG of Pontiac, Mich. Harmonious tracks on the aspiration for greatness and the way out of the mud courtesy of Fayetteville, NC’s Morray.

Originally from Detroit, there are 42 Dugg, who is making a name for himself with his street anthems and laid back approach to rap. You can’t forget the importance of southern trap hits, which the 1017 Records rapper Winnie the Pooh from Memphis delivers effortlessly. And unlike the rap styles of the aforementioned artists, the artist adjacent to pop-rock Iann Dior, which represents both Arecibo, Puerto Rico and Corpus Christi, Texas, previously had a No. 1 hit with “Mood”. So if it’s not on your radar yet, familiarize yourself.

For the ladies, there are four women in 2021 XXL First year class this year. A poisonous spitter on the rise, Lakeyah of Milwaukee serves steel bars without hesitation. Then there’s Lexington, Ky. Pink Ruby, whose demeanor is gentle, but its raucous delivery and flow leave listeners begging for more. Certified hit-maker, Coi Leray, representing both North Jersey and Boston, has a unique sound that serves as a recipe for a successful song. And Flo milli, from Mobile, Ala., brings a full set of nursery rhymes, edgy looks and celebrity power.

It is rare that aspects of the XXL Freshman shoot calm. In fact, it’s now split into three days with performers split into groups due to COVID-19. As in all behind the scenes with talented rhymers, many tasks are fulfilled at the same time. It’s fair to compare the shoot to the energy of New York City, the city that never sleeps, because for a good eight to ten hours every day, which is encapsulated in this BTS footage, the movements are uninterrupted.

Here you will see artists whose names need to be remembered, but they will soon be plastered everywhere. Not to mention the personalities on display through colorful ensembles, stacks of cash and contagious dance moves. XXLVanessa Satten Editor-in-Chief takes a look at the overall Freshman experience this year, as do Lakeyah and Morray in the clip, the two artists seamlessly peeling their layers to share what being in the coveted class means to them. themselves personally.

Eleven artists took to the 20,000 square foot Studio Space Atlanta at ATL between May 11 and 13 for lively days filled with numbers, freestyles, interviews – both on and off camera – and much more. .

Multiplatinum producer Nick mira created the rhythms of the famous cyphers, working with his Internet money team to create sounds that will stay rooted in the ears of hip-hop heads for summer and beyond. They also created over 20 rhythms for this year’s class to choose from for the numbers, which the artists did as a unit on their respective days while filming. You can hear the beats of Nick Mira and Internet Money in all of the Freshman video content this year.

The latest Freshman class offers a bit of everything from lyricism to appeal and general dripping, charisma and more.

Our congratulations to 2021 XXL First year class: 42 Dugg, Blxst, Coi Leray, DDG, Flo milli, Iann Dior, Lakeyah, Morray, Winnie the Pooh, Pink Ruby and Toosii.

Go behind the scenes of 2021 XXL Freshman class shoot below.

See the 2021 XXL First year class

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