The surreal feeling of turning a dream into reality is unmatched. These pivotal moments are often filled with feelings of anxiety, peace, and motivation, all rolled into one. 2021 XXL First year students DDG, Lakeyah, Morray and Coi Leray reflect on this during their post-cypher roundtable interview, as well as their thoughts on what fell in Atlanta on Freshman’s filming day in May, their influences and their common mindset to become even bigger and better in the future.
DDG shot years of YouTube vlogging and social media lever in the foundation of his budding rap career. Although he recently changed his path to focus on rap and left his life as a YouTuber behind, he defends the fact that he has earned his place. “It is important to be a XXL Freshman, because I feel like I’ve worked hard, ”says DDG. “I feel like I’ve worked extremely hard. I put the numbers, put the plates. So, I feel like it’s my time.
It hasn’t even been a year since Lakeyah signed on his dream label Music Quality Control and made its way into the rap game. Reflecting on how she earned a deserved spot on this year’s cover, she acknowledges that while this is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s yet to come, the big cosign seems unreal. “I’m a newcomer,” she says. “I’ve been in the game for eight months so it’s like crazy to me … I’m just working and I’m here.”
Morray echoed this sentiment as a person who, in the same way, now reaches an inevitable step forward. “No limit, I wanted to be a freshman for a long time,” he adds. “I feel like it’s more than an opportunity, it’s something I’ve watched all my life and now I can be here… You can see people on TV, but when you meet, they’re actually crazy-ass people, so. “
Platinum seller artist Coi Leray offers insight from the artist’s perspective on how the whole process must have been low-key along the way. “This is secret shit, you don’t know about this shit,” Coi reveals. “XXL don’t tell us, mate. They just tell you an hour, show yourself, wardrobe, walk-in closet, whatever it is, but they don’t tell you who’s there like. They don’t give you none of that shit.
Well, everything has come to life now.
Watch DDG, Lakeyah, Morray and Coi Leray 2021 XXL First year roundtable interview below.