|Frequency||6 per year|
|Country||United States of America|
|Based in||New York City, New York|
XXL is an American hip hop magazine, published by Harris Publications, founded in 1997. The magazine's past editors include Reginald C. Dennis (formerly of The Source), Sheena Lester (former editor-in-chief of RapPages and Vibe music editor), Elliott Wilson (formerly of ego trip and The Source, currently locked in at #7 slot on The Source's Digital 30 list.) and Datwon Thomas (former Editor-In-Chief of King). In May 2009 Datwon Thomas resigned from XXL and executive editor Vanessa Satten, who had been with XXL since 1998, was named the new Editor-in-Chief.
In August 1997, XXL released its first issue. It featured rappers Jay-Z and Master P on a double cover. In December 2006, XXL took over the struggling hip hop producer and DJ magazine Scratch (another publication owned by Harris Publications), re-branding it as XXL Presents Scratch Magazine. However Scratch shut down less than a year later in September 2007. Other titles with limited runs have been launched under the XXL brand, including Hip-Hop Soul, Eye Candy and Shade45. XXL has released many other special projects including tour programs, mixtapes and exclusive DVDs. XXL also maintains a popular website, which provides daily hip hop news, original content and content from the magazine.
In 2013, XXL started their own annual awards. With the top 5 being chosen by a public vote and all other winners and nominees picked by the XXL staff.
In August, 2005, Eminem and XXL teamed up to release a special issue titled XXL Presents Shade 45, and was designed to give maximum exposure to Shade 45 as a radio station, and at the same time give maximum exposure to the Shady Records label as a whole, as well as the radio DJ's and G-Unit Records' artists. XXL executive Publisher, Jonathan Rheingold, stated that typically magazines based around particular artists were not favorable, but "since Shade 45 is a truly authentic and uncensored rap radio channel, the marriage with the XXL brand made sense," with the feeling that it is what would interest rap fans. In November 2008 XXL released XXL Raps Volume 1, which included music from 50 Cent, G-Unit, Common, Jim Jones, & Fabolous. In September 2006, XXL put a special 90 minute DVD called XXL DVD Magazine Vol. 1, which featured exclusive interviews and content with big name rappers such as 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Fat Joe, Paul Wall, & Mike Jones. On August 20, 2013 XXL released its 150th issue, also celebrating its sixteenth anniversary. The issue featured the first solo cover on the magazine from Drake, and rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and B.o.B reviewing classic albums.
XXL also releases an annual Top 10 Freshmen list. The issue features the ten picks of whom to watch out for, and on the cover of the magazine and showcases new rappers that aren't well known, but are considered to be on the rise. The list has become known to create buzz and is credited for giving many artists their first taste of fame. The classes of 2011 and 2013 both contained eleven freshmen; 2011 as a play on the year 2011 and 2013 due to the last minute inclusion of Chief Keef who was serving a sentence in a juvenile detention facility for a parole violation at the time of the photoshoot.
|2008||Lupe Fiasco, Lil Boosie, Joell Ortiz, Plies, Saigon, Rich Boy, Gorilla Zoe, Young Dro, Papoose, and Crooked I.|
|2009||B.o.B, Kid Cudi, Curren$y, Wale, Ace Hood, Asher Roth, Mickey Factz, Cory Gunz, Blu, and Charles Hamilton.|
|2010||J. Cole, Jay Rock, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Nipsey Hussle, Pill, OJ da Juiceman, Fashawn, Freddie Gibbs, and Donnis.|
|2011||Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Mac Miller, Lil B, Yelawolf, Lil Twist, Meek Mill, Cyhi The Prynce, YG, Diggy Simmons, and Fred the Godson.|
|2012||Danny Brown, Hopsin, Machine Gun Kelly, Macklemore, French Montana, Future, Kid Ink, Don Trip, Iggy Azalea, and Roscoe Dash.|
|2013||Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Dizzy Wright, Angel Haze, Trinidad James, Logic, Kirko Bangz, Travi$ Scott, and Chief Keef.|
XXL rates albums from "S" (poor) to "XXL" (classic). Editors have initially awarded XXL status to only ten albums:
- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
- The Blueprint by Jay-Z
- Get Rich or Die Tryin' by 50 Cent
- Be by Common
- Late Registration by Kanye West
- Hell Hath No Fury by Clipse
- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
- Life Is Good by Nas
- good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
- Yeezus by Kanye West
A later issue in December 2007 re-rated and retroactively rated some albums and gave XXLs to:
- The Chronic by Dr. Dre
- Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan
- Illmatic by Nas
- The Diary by Scarface
- The Infamous by Mobb Deep
- All Eyez on Me by 2Pac
- Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z
- The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory by 2Pac
- Life After Death by The Notorious B.I.G.
- 2001 by Dr. Dre
- The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem
- The Lost Tapes by Nas
- The College Dropout by Kanye West
- Jacobs, Allen: "XXL Editor-in-Chief Elliott Wilson Fired", hiphopdx, 2008.  Retrieved on 8 January 2007.
- Wolfe, Roman: "XXL Magazine Fires EIC Elliott Wilson", AllHipHop, 2008.  Retrieved on 8 January 2007.
- Langhorne, Cyrus (2009-05-27). "Former XXL Editor-In-Chief Looks Beyond Publication, "It Was A Hard Decision"". Sohh.Com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Drake On The Cover Of XXLâ€™s 150th Issue - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2013-08-07. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Hip-Hop News, Rap Music - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- Carl Chery (August 23, 2005). Eminem & Shade Collabo W/XXL For Special Radio Issue. SoHH.com. Accessed January 29, 2008.
- "XXL Raps, Vol. 1: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Saigon & Ice Cube I'm Talkin' To You - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Grading XXL’s Top 10 Freshman List". Refinedhype.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "2010 XXL Freshmen class". xxlmag.com. 2011-07-14.
- "2011 XXL Freshmen class". xxlmag.com. 2011-07-14.
- A tearful Chief Keef gets 60 days in juvenile detention for violating probation - Chicago Sun-Times
- "Where Are They Now?: 2007 Freshman Recap - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Where Are They Now?: 2009 Freshman Recap - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "XXcLusive: XXLâ€™s 10 Freshmen for â€™10 Cover Revealed - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "XXL Presents 2011â€˛s Freshman Class - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- JP DelaCuesta (2012-02-28). "XXL Reveals Cover For Its 2012 “Freshmen Class”". AllHipHop.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "XXL Freshman Class 2013 Cover Revealed - Page 2 of 2 - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2014-01-04.