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Believe in the Future: Getting to Know the 2020 XXL Freshman Class!

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Since 2007, XXL has annually worked to unveil the top most groundbreaking artists, giving recognition to hip hop artists who are gradually rising to the top of the music game. XXL’s Freshman Class has a history of recognizing various underground rappers who are on their rise to fame. This claim is supported as we witnessed the uprise of a few 2019 XXL Freshman artists: Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, and Gunna. XXL has announced that over the next month, they will be releasing freestyles, cyphers, interviews, and more to highlight all of the artists who have been granted this opportunity. From collaborating with popular artists to making Billboard history, these artists have already marked their overall success, and this is just a continuation of rap history. 

Congratulations to Polo G, Rod Wave, Baby Keem, NLE Choppa, Mulatto, Lil Tjay, Jack Harlow, Chika, Calboy, Lil Keed, Fivio Foreign, and 24kGoldn!

Meet the XXL 2020 Freshman Class!

 Polo G

 Taurus Tremani Bartlett best known as Polo G is a 21-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Chicago, Illinois who is signed to Columbia Records. He is best known for his debut album, “Die a Legend” which marked number 6 on the US Billboard 200. He was recently featured on Juice Wrld’s album “Legends Never Die” on the track “Hate the Other Side” which peaked number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Polo G is best known for his music collaborations with Lil Baby, Lil Tjay, and Juice Wrld. 

Rod Wave


Rodarius Marcell Green best known as Rod Wave is a 20-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from St. Petersburg, Florida who is signed to Alamo Records. His song “Heart on Ice” helped with his rise to fame which led him to be #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. This past November, Rod Wave also recently released his studio debut album “Ghetto Gospel” which peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard 200. 

Baby Keem 

 Hykeem Jamaal Carter, Jr. best known as Baby Keem is a 19-year old rapper, songwriter, and record producer from Carson, California who is signed to The Orchard and Sony Music. Baby Keem has helped to produce several popular albums that include Kendrick Lamar’s project, “Black Panther: The Album”, Schoolboy Q’s “Crash Talk” album, and even helped to produce The Lion King’s track “Nile”. He is best known for his single “Orange” that was featured number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

NLE Choppa 

Bryson Lashun Potts best known as NLE Choppa is a 17-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee who is signed to Warner Records. His single “Shotta Flow” peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and he recently released his studio album “Top Shotta” just earlier this month. NLE Choppa is known for his music collaborations with BlueFace, Roddy Ricch, and Lil Baby. 

Mulatto 

Alyssa Michelle Stephens best known as Mulatto is a 21-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who is signed to RCA Records. She is known for winning the Best Rapper title on Queen Latifah and Jermaine Dupri’s Lifetime TV series “The Rap Game” back in 2016. Mulatto recently collaborated with Gucci Mane on her single “Muwop” that was released on July 30th and is associated with artists Cuban Doll, Boosie, Saweetie, and Trina. 

Lil Tjay

Tione Jayden Merritt best known as Lil Tjay is a 19-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from South Bronx, New York who is signed to Columbia Records. He is best known for his songs “F.N”and “Brothers” first released on SoundCloud, and his collaboration track with Polo G “Pop Out” which got listed number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Lil Tjay’s debut studio album “True 2 Myself” also peaked number 5 on the US Billboard 200. 

Jack Harlow

Jackman Thomas Harlow best known as Jack Harlow is a 22-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Louisville, Kentucky who is signed to Generation Now and Atlantic Records. In January, he rose to fame with the release of his single “What’s Poppin” which got listed top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later in June, Harlow released the “What’s Poppin remix” and music video collaborating with DaBaby, Lil Wayne, and Tory Lanez which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Chika 

Jane “Chika” Oranika is a 23-year old rapper from Montgomery, Alabama who is signed to Warner Records. She is best known for her feature on JoJo’s song “Sabotage” that was listed number 18 on the US Billboard R&B Digital Downloads. Chika’s EP “Industry Games” was recently released just this past March. 

Calboy

Calvin Woods best known as Calboy is a 21-year old rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Chicago, Illinois who is signed to Polo Grounds Music and RCA Records. He is best known for his song “Envy Me” peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 

Lil Keed

Raqhid Jevon Render best known as Lil Keed is a 22-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who is signed to YSL Records and 300 Entertainment. He is known for his song “Nameless” that reached number 42 on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Songs Airplay Chart. He has done music collaborations with several different artists including Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Gunna, and Offset. Lil Keed’s 2nd album “Trapped on Cleveland 3” was recently released this past month which featured artists 42 Dugg, Future, Lil Baby, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla Sign, and Young Thug.

Fivio Foreign 

Maxie Lee Ryles III best known as Fivio Foreign is a 30-year old rapper and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York who is signed to RichFish and Columbia Records. His fame rose when his single “Big Drip” started playing on radio stations which eventually led to its remix with Quavo and Lil Baby. In May, he was featured on Drake’s single “Demons” which peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fivio Foreign is also known for collaborating with Lil Tjay and Pop Smoke on the Hot 100’s hit single “Zoo York”, which peaked at number 65. 

 

24kGoldn 

Golden Landis Von Jones best known as 24kGoldn is a 19-year old rapper, singer, and songwriter from San Francisco, California who is signed to Records, LLC and Columbia Records. He is best known for his singles “City of Angels” and “Valentino” which peaked at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the RIAA just this past May. He has done music collaborations with artists Fetty Wap, Landon Cube, and YBN Cordae. 

 

 

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Priscilla Ashlee is a Rutgers University graduate with a degree in Communications and a passion for media-entertainment. She currently lives in NJ/ NYC and loves music, art, fashion, and writing. Stay connected with her via instagram: www.instagram.com/prissyashlee

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