Why I'm Boycotting the XXL Freshmen List: A Twitter Rant Reminder


I swear, this shit happens every year and it makes me want to kick a puppy. For literally years now I've been explaining why I decided to boycott the XXL Freshmen List as matter of principle. But then every year that cover drops, the interwebs explode, and it instantly becomes almost impossible to avoid.

From my point of view, it's a fucked up situation. I can ignore the list and then miss out on a conversation the rest of hip-hop, the culture I'm completely emeshed in, is having. But then I'm also continuing to shine a spotlight on something I feel like already gets way more spotlight than it deserves.  

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Similarly, these "recycling tweets as articles" posts feel like the cheapest form of interwebs journalism. But by the same token, if I spend hours writing a detailed breakdown of what's wrong with something I'd love to see disappear, I'll will hate myself. 

See what this fucking list does to me? It's my yearly existential crisis. So here's the deal. I went on a bit of a Twitter rant detailing why I've been (semi) boycotting the list for years now. An article like this feels cheap, but it's something. And now every year when people ask me what I think about the new Freshmen list, I can just point them here. If you really care about what actually new artists are worth paying attention to, check out our Top Prospects series.

Do with it what you will my people, if you need me, I'll be drinking... 

[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]



XXL's Most Promising Class: Revisiting the 2009 Freshmen, Pt. 1

The year I graduated high school, XXL presented a class of artists who had the promise to be the future of hip-hop.


XXL's Most Promising Class: Revisiting the 2009 Freshmen, Pt. 2

We continue our deep-dive into the iconic '09 XXL Freshmen Class.