The 2018 XXL Freshman Class has finally arrived. Now in its 11th year, the Freshman franchise has exploded into popularity over the past decade thanks to the internet, social media and, more importantly, the hip-hop fans.
Every year, the XXL Freshman Class comes together the same way as when it first started. XXL talks to everyone they possibly can—industry tastemakers, rappers, their friends, fellow hip-hop heads, the guy working at the corner store, whoever—to get their input on who they think should be picked for the class. Then they argue it out as a staff and narrow down the list.
This year’s Freshman Class includes Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Ski Mask The Slump God, Miami’s Lil Pump, Miami’s Smokepurpp, Atlanta’s J.I.D, London’s Stefflon Don, Memphis’ BlocBoy JB, Birmingham, Alabama’s YBN Nahmir, West Palm Beach’s Wifisfuneral and Canton, Ohio’s Trippie Redd. The 10th Spot winner was Waynesboro, Pa.’s Lil Skies who unfortunately refused to attend the shoot after originally accepting the offer. Read more
The Price of Ye
Addressing Kanye West’s latest antics in the media, journalist Naoka Foreman made issue number 7 of The Majority about how Kanye is still the old Kanye but with a different message against being enslaved to the commoditization of everything in human relations. In this issue Foreman ties in lyrics from the album College Dropout and Yeezus to draw a comparison of West’s criticism towards big business and crass consumerism. Foreman dissects the meaning of “400 bucks” in the song ‘All Falls Down’ and relates it to West exposing human surplus value in industries. She proclaims that “if people inherited an attitude like West towards big business and acknowledge their surplus value… perhaps his statement [slavery was a choice] would have been met with a different attitude”.
With the very first of The Majority, entitled Probation: The Leash, being about the disproportionate incarceration of rapper Meek Mill, social activist, Naoka Forman decided to make her sixth issue about Meek’s release from prison.
In this month’s issue, Foreman compares the treatment of Stanford University swimmer, Brock Turner, to musical artist Meek Mill and how their social relations create different outcomes within the justice system. Foreman goes in-depth about how an affluent pedigree can alter judgment in a system that is presented to be fair and just. Astounding and appalling, she ties in how social capital is a luxury, inherited by class privilege and “promotes the development or underdevelopment of a human being.” Digital and print copies are expected with upcoming releases.
Previously: Naoka Foreman – The Majority | Issue #4
Cole took to his Twitter earlier to announce his “KOD Tour” with Thugger which kicks off August 9th in Miami and runs thru October 10th. Pre-sale tomorrow, all other tix on sale Saturday. Read more
For his XXL Magazine spring 2018 cover story, 21 Savage speaks to XXL Editorial Site Director Georgette Cline about the plans he has for his upcoming sophomore album, Donald Trump’s presidency, what he’s looking for in a perfect America and his love for flying planes, among other topics.
Read 21 Savage’s XXL cover story here.
Apple has officially announced a special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Both phones feature a red glass enclosure with a matching aluminum band and a black front. The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone will be available to order online in select countries and regions tomorrow and in stores beginning Friday, April 13th. Read more
It’s official: HOV & Beyoncé are going on tour. Again. After touring the world together after the release of Beyoncé and Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Carter have announced the On the Run II Tour. After delivering their latest LP’s, Lemonade and 4:44, the blockbuster tour kicks off in Cardiff, Wales on June 6th and wraps up in Vancouver, BC on October 2, with numerous European and North American arena shows along the way.
Citi, TIDAL and Beyhive pre-sales begin March 14. For everyone else, tickets go on sale between March 19 and 23 via Live Nation. Read more
Hypefresh calls The Majority latest issue “a critical analysis of Black Panther…” Naoka Foreman shares her thoughts on Black Panther the movie from a critical lens. In the article, Foreman articulates how director, Ryan Coogler, stirs away from “the usual objectification of black bodies” and how his style of voyeurism illicit admiration towards the story’s characters rather than sexual arousal. Foreman goes even further in depth with her analysis of this film with a compelling comparison of Wakanda and America’s black professional class. She refers to them as the black elite as she references a conversation had between political activist Dr. Cornel West and Chris Hedges, the host of Days of Revolt. Digital and print copies of The Majority are expected to be released with upcoming issues.
The Majority: February 2018 – Issue No. 4
The final emoji list for 2018 has now been published, and Emojipedia has created images to show how they think they might look! 🙌
All 157 new emojis for 2018 are in this video, and they created their designs in an Apple-like style. Popular additions include redheads, curly hair, softball, kangaroo, and more. All humans support skin tones. The list for Emoji 11.0 was finalized on February 7, 2018 and these emojis should hit phones in the second half of 2018. Read more
Conveying her thoughts on the latest social media controversy, Naoka Foreman delivers a powerful article this month addressing H&M’s contentious ad. In the article, Foreman ties in song lyrics from a Kendrick Lamar verse with the contextual differences in using the term “monkey.” In the verse, Kendrick recites, “I want you to recognize that I’m a proud monkey, you vandalize my perception, but can’t take style from me.” Using the lyrics to help bring awareness to the problem, Foreman explains how the words in the H&M ad provoke racial undertones of blackness.
Digital and print copies of “The Majority” are expected to be released with upcoming issues.
GQ Magazine announces their men and woman of the year and has named Colin Kaepernick the ‘Citizen of the Year’. Read the full GQ spread here. Read more
The Lox open up about what has kept them in the game for the last 20 years and embracing hip-hop’s new generation in their XXL 20th anniversary interview.