XXL Magazine is one of hip-hop's premier print and online magazine publication. Every year, XXL releases a Top 10 Freshman list.
The issue features the ten picks of rappers to watch out for in the upcoming years, and on the cover of the magazine showcases new rappers that aren't well known, but are considered to be on the rise. Some notable names include; Lupe Fiasco(2009), Kid Cudi(2010), Wiz Khalifa(2011) and Dizzy Wright(2013).
This year, Chicago dominated the list. Four Chicago rappers were pictured including Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Lil Durk and Lil Bibby. This marks the first time a Chicago rapper has been included in the list since Lupe Fiasco in 2009.
The 19-year-old Lil Bibby has been making some noise in his hometown on Chicago in the past year after releasing two mixtapes Free Crack and Free Crack 2 which have both accumulated over 100,000 downloads on the mixtape hosting service known as DatPiff.com
Free Crack 2 features some big-name rappers including Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Jadakiss. The mixtape received some critical acclaim after XXL magazine gave the tape an 'XL' rating,
praising the mixtape's authenticity, catchy hooks and production, while also commenting that the mixtape showcases Bibby's "growth as an artist".
When asked by XXL what it felt like to be chosen as Freshman in 2014, “I’m glad I am on this cover, but I want my own cover. I can’t wait until that day. It’s big for the city, Chicago. After the cover drop, I’m thinking about throwing a party in Chicago. Bring some Lambos out or something. Something some people don’t usually see in Chicago.
I’m from 79th Street. We don’t read magazines. The Freshmen though, it’s always been stuck in my head. I’ve never really bought a magazine before. So I can’t even tell you who is on last year’s or the year before that. I just know a couple of people off the magazine. Some of the guys don’t reach their full potential though. I’m glad [XXL] sees the potential in me. I’m working hard. I’m getting stressed out with all these rappers and this rap shit. I’m still working through it though", said Bibby.
Read the rest of his interview with XXL here and check out his freestyle above. Lil Bibby has been added to the Ty Dolla $ign concert at The Castle Theatre on November 9th.
Get your tickets here
Government name: Brandon Dickenson
Notable Releases: Singles: “Water,” “For The Low,” “Kill Shit”; Mixtapes: Free Crack; Guest Appearances: Tink’s “Kilo”
Label: Grade A Productions
Currently Working On: The Book EP, due out this summer
Surprised About Who is Missing:“Young Thug. It seems he was making a little noise.”
Influenced By: “Jay Z, Drake, Jadakiss, a little Cam’ron. I like Wayne. Gucci. Those guys. I really like the street rappers, but I fuck with Drake hard too.”
As A Freshman In High School: “I didn’t talk to nobody. Everybody at school, they talked so proper. I ain’t know how to talk to them type of people. ’Cause I’m used to everybody like me, all street niggas.”