XXL (magazine)

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XXL
Founders
  • Aidan James Michael Luna
  • O'Neal Anthony Josiah
  • Xzander B.
Staff writersAyabulela Tshofela
CategoriesMusic magazine
FrequencyMonthly
PublisherTownsquare Media
Founded1997
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City
LanguageEnglish
Websitexxlmag.com
ISSN1093-0647

XXL is an American hip hop magazine, published by Townsquare Media, founded in 1997.

History[edit]

In August 1997,[1] Harris Publications released the first issue of XXL. It featured rappers Jay-Z and Master P on a double cover.[2] 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.[3]

In 2014, Townsquare Media acquired XXL,[4] King and Antenna from Harris Publications.

On October 14, 2014, Townsquare announced it would continue print publication of XXL.[5] In December 2014 the company reported that the magazine would be published on a monthly basis.[4]

Past editors[edit]

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 The Beat-Down Newspaper, ego trip and The Source, currently locked in at #7 slot on The Source's Digital 30 list.)[6][7] 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.[8]

Special releases[edit]

Magazine cover of XXL Presents Shade 45

In August 2005, Eminem and XXL teamed up to release a special issue titled XXL Presents Shade 45, designed to simultaneously give maximum exposure to his radio station Shade 45, the station's associated radio DJs, the Shady Records label as a whole, 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," feeling that it would interest rap fans.[citation needed]

In November 2008, XXL released XXL Raps Volume 1, which included music from 50 Cent, G-Unit, Common, Jim Jones, & Fabolous.[citation needed]

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.[9]

On August 20, 2013, XXL marked its sixteenth anniversary by releasing its 150th issue, which featured the first solo cover on the magazine from Drake, along with rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and B.o.B reviewing classic albums.[2]

Annual Freshman Class list[edit]

Beginning in 2007 (skipping 2008),[10] XXL releases its annual "Freshman Class" list. The issue features 10-12 artists-to-watch, all appearing on the cover of the magazine. The list has a history of showcasing unknown/underground rappers, as well as artists considered to be on the rise. The list creates significant marketing buzz among listeners and artists alike, and is credited for giving many artists their first taste of fame.[11][12][13]

The 10th spot winners are highlighted in bold.

Year Freshmen
2007[a] Saigon, Plies, Rich Boy, Gorilla Zoe, Joell Ortiz, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Boosie, Crooked I, Papoose and Young Dro.[14]
2009[a] Wale, B.o.B, Charles Hamilton, Asher Roth, Cory Gunz, Blu, Mickey Factz, Ace Hood, Currensy and Kid Cudi.[15]
2010[a] J. Cole, Pill, Nipsey Hussle, Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, OJ da Juiceman, Jay Rock, Fashawn and Donnis.[16]
2011[a] Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., Cyhi the Prynce, Lil Twist, Yelawolf, Fred the Godson, Mac Miller, YG, Lil B, Kendrick Lamar and Diggy Simmons.[17]
2012 Future, Kid Ink, Danny Brown, French Montana, Macklemore, Don Trip, Machine Gun Kelly, Hopsin, Iggy Azalea and Roscoe Dash.[18]
2013 Schoolboy Q, Trinidad James, Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Logic, Action Bronson, Kirko Bangz, Travis Scott, Dizzy Wright, Angel Haze and Chief Keef.[19][20]
2014 Chance the Rapper, Rich Homie Quan, Isaiah Rashad, Ty Dolla Sign, Lil Durk, Kevin Gates, Troy Ave, Vic Mensa, Jon Connor, Lil Bibby, Jarren Benton and August Alsina.[21]
2015 Fetty Wap, Dej Loaf, Raury, Kidd Kidd, OG Maco, Shy Glizzy, K Camp, Vince Staples, Tink and GoldLink.[22]
2016 Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Kodak Black, Denzel Curry, G Herbo, Dave East, Lil Dicky, Anderson .Paak, Desiigner and 21 Savage.[23]
2017 Kamaiyah, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, PnB Rock, Playboi Carti, Aminé, Kap G, Kyle, Ugly God, MadeinTYO and XXXTentacion.[24]
2018[b] Ski Mask the Slump God, Lil Pump, Smokepurpp, JID, Stefflon Don, BlocBoy JB, YBN Nahmir, Wifisfuneral and Trippie Redd.[27][28]
2019 Comethazine, Tierra Whack, DaBaby, Lil Mosey, Roddy Ricch, Cordae, YK Osiris, Rico Nasty, Gunna, Blueface and Megan Thee Stallion.[29]
2020[c] Polo G, Chika, NLE Choppa, Jack Harlow, Lil Keed, Lil Tjay, Fivio Foreign, Calboy, Rod Wave, Baby Keem, 24kGoldn and Latto.[32]
2021 42 Dugg, Flo Milli, Morray, Pooh Shiesty, Lakeyah, Coi Leray, Toosii, Blxst, DDG, Rubi Rose and Iann Dior.[33]
2022 Nardo Wick, SoFaygo, Babyface Ray, Big Scarr, Big30, Kali, KenTheMan, Cochise, KayCyy, Doechii, Saucy Santana and BabyTron.[34]
2023 Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke, Rob49, Fridayy, GloRilla, 2Rare, SleazyWorld Go, Central Cee, Real Boston Richey, Luh Tyler, TiaCorine and DC the Don.[35]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d From 2007 to 2011, there was no such thing as a 10th spot winner.
  2. ^ In 2018, there was not a 10th spot pick as Lil Skies and his replacement, Rich the Kid both declined the list.[25][26]
  3. ^ In 2020, Pop Smoke was the first freshman selected for the list, but died before attending the photoshoot.[30][31]

Additions to the list[edit]

Occasionally, the Freshman Class list may contain extra additions to include more rappers. The 2011, 2013, 2019 and 2021 Freshman Class lists, for example, had 11 rappers. In the case for the 2013 list, XXL added an honorary extra spot for Chicago rapper Chief Keef due to the artist being in a six-day jail stint and therefore being unable to attend the photo shoot in New York City.[19] In 2014, 2020, 2022 and 2023 the Freshman Class lists included 12 rappers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Potential Markets". Freelance Writing. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Drake on the Cover Of XXL's 150th Issue". XXL mag. August 2013. Archived from the original on September 15, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "Hip-Hop News, Rap Music". XXL. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Marc Schneider (December 18, 2014). "XXL Magazine to Print Quarterly Issues". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Rob Markman (October 14, 2014). "Exclusive: XXL Magazine Isn't Going Out Of Print". MTV News. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Jacobs, Allen (2008). "XXL Editor-in-Chief Elliott Wilson Fired". www.hiphopdx.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  7. ^ Wolfe, Roman: "XXL Magazine Fires EIC Elliott Wilson", AllHipHop, 2008. "XXL Magazine Fires EIC Elliott Wilson". Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  8. ^ Langhorne, Cyrus (May 27, 2009). "Former XXL Editor-In-Chief Looks Beyond Publication, "It Was A Hard Decision"". Sohh.Com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Saigon & Ice Cube I'm Talkin' To You - XXL". Xxlmag.com. September 11, 2006. Archived from the original on March 18, 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  10. ^ Schwab, Isabel (June 4, 2015). "The 'XXL' Freshman Class List Is a Joke: Kidd Kidd, Iggy Azalea, and More Rap Lunacy". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  11. ^ "Grading XXL's Top 10 Freshman List". Refinedhype. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "2010 XXL Freshmen class". XXL. July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "2011 XXL Freshmen class". XXL. July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  14. ^ "Where Are They Now?: 2007 Freshman Recap - XXL". XXL. March 27, 2012. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  15. ^ "Where Are They Now?: 2009 Freshman Recap - XXL". XXL. March 24, 2011. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  16. ^ "XXcLusive: XXL's 10 Freshmen for '10 Cover Revealed - XXL". XXL. March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  17. ^ "XXL Presents 2011's Freshman Class - XXL". XXL Magazine. XXL. February 22, 2011. Archived from the original on January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  18. ^ JP DelaCuesta (February 28, 2012). "XXL Reveals Cover For Its 2012 "Freshmen Class"". All Hip Hop. AllHipHop.com. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "2013 XXL Freshman Issue Explained: Why Logic? Where's Chief Keef?". MTV News. Archived from the original on September 10, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "XXL Freshman Class 2013 Cover Revealed - Page 2 of 2 - XXL". XXL Magazine. XXL. March 27, 2013. Archived from the original on May 14, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  21. ^ Sia, Nicole (May 5, 2014). "XXL Freshman 2014 Cover and 10 Spot Revealed". XXL Magazine. XXL. Archived from the original on October 19, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  22. ^ "The Wait Is Over: Here Is the 2015 XXL Freshman Class". XXL Magazine. XXL. June 3, 2015. Archived from the original on May 18, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  23. ^ "It's Here: The 2016 XXL Freshman Class". XXL Magazine. XXL. June 13, 2016. Archived from the original on May 29, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  24. ^ Cline, Georgette (June 13, 2017). "XXL Freshman 2017 Cover Revealed". XXL Magazine. XXL. Archived from the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  25. ^ "Lil Skies Says He Declined XXL Freshmen List Because It's Rigged". HotNewHipHop. Archived from the original on August 28, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  26. ^ "Rich The Kid Says He "Happily Declined" The 2018 XXL Freshmen List". HotNewHipHop. Archived from the original on August 28, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  27. ^ Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM (2018-06-14), Editor-In-Chief Vanessa Statten Breaks Down 2018 XXL Freshman Cover, archived from the original on 2020-07-02, retrieved June 16, 2018{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ "XXL Freshman 2018 Cover Revealed". XXL Magazine. XXL. June 12, 2018. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  29. ^ "XXL Freshman 2019 Cover Revealed". XXL Magazine. XXL. June 20, 2019. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  30. ^ "Pop Smoke on Brooklyn Drill, New York Hip-Hop in Final Interview". XXL. September 3, 2020. Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  31. ^ Keene, Louis; Taylor, Derrick Bryson (2020-02-19). "Rapper Pop Smoke Is Dead After Los Angeles Home Invasion, Label Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  32. ^ Cline, Georgette (August 11, 2020). "XXL 2020 FRESHMAN CLASS REVEALED". XXL. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  33. ^ X. X. L. Staff. "2021 XXL Freshman Class". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2021-06-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  34. ^ Cline, Georgette (June 14, 2022). "2022 XXL Freshman Class Revealed". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2022-06-14.
  35. ^ Woods, Aleia (June 21, 2023). "2023 XXL Freshman Class Revealed". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2023-06-21.

External links[edit]