The XXL hip hop magazine published their freshman 2015 cover and this year has is stirring up major controversy about who was and was not featured on the cover.
In order for an artist to be considered eligible for the freshman cover they can not have any full-length albums out, but EPs, mixtapes, and singles are acceptable. This years XXL class of 2015 features Fetty Wap, Raury, Tink, K Camp, Vince Staples, Goldlink, Dej Loaf, Shy Glizzy, OG Maco, and most surprisingly of all Kidd Kidd.
In earlier years XXL was criticized for not featuring any women on the cover until 2012 when Iggy Azalea questionably became the first female emcee elected to the freshmen cover. Now the Latin community is sounding off because the lack of their presence on the XXL cover despite having some extremely talented artists.
Produkt, the up and coming Latino rapper from the Bronx, rightfully should have been a part of this year’s freshman cover. The hard-hitting rapper has seen his career explode last year when he became the first rapper to receive three nominations in one year for the Underground Music Awards when he released two hit singles “Hold it Down” and “Freak Affair.” “Hold it Down” received two nomination for Best Video and Song of the Year at the UMA 4 at the All Star Music Awards in NYC as well as he has received over a million views online. Produkt recently released an impressive video for his latest hit “Back on the Run” and he is actually releasing an EP June 16th titled “in·con·spic·u·ous.” He’s the most decorated underground artist in NYC underground history.
Produkt let the world know how he felt about the cover on his Facebook page saying ” Hip Hop is a culture born to show the world a struggle that had no voice. Hispanic, Black, or White; the culture united us by pain. Is mainstream media creating a divide? Are Latinos being Disregarded or are we not grinding hard enough?”
Another hot up and coming Latino artist that was left off of the list is the Spanish Harlem rapper, Bodega Bamz. Bamz has steadily been releasing music for the past couple of years but recently started turning heads in 2013 after he dropped his Strictly 4 my P.A.P.I.Z mixtape. Bamz is the face of the Tanboys, a collective group of Hispanic MC’s, simply thanked XXL for the consideration of being on the cover.
Fat Trel isn’t a Latin rapper but he was also an artist who has been making some major noise that was left off of the cover. Trel was initially signed to Wale’s Board of Administration label in 2010 and dropped his No Secrets mixtape. The partnership didn’t last long with Trel leaving the label and dropping his Nightmare on E Street mixtape in 2012 putting him on a lot of people’s radar. He signed with Rick Ross and MMG in 2013 and dropped the Georgetown mixtape this year.
Did XXL submit the best artist to this year’s freshman class cover? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think.