Following the recent announcement of 2014’s XXL Freshman class, HipHopWired has published a list of its own, “25 Rappers Who Signed Record Deals Without Being XXL Freshmen.” To explain the content of its list, HipHopWired says the following: 

“Since 2008, XXL’s Freshmen list has sparked serious conversation amongst the Hip Hop community, as well as being a springboard for some of today’s hottest rappers,” HipHopWired says regarding its list. “Past alumni include Macklemore, Meek Mill and Kendrick Lamar. However, there have also been regrettable co-signs for struggle rappers such as Fred the Godson, Charles Hamilton and OJ Da Juiceman.

“The 2014 class was recently unveiled and of course, there were several artists and fans alike who found fault in it,” the publication continues. “There were even some rappers who had qualms with the storied Rap publication as if being omitted (repeatedly) had hindered their career in some form or fashion. Yet, we over at HipHopWired know for a fact that you don’t have to be enrolled in that particular school to elevate your status. Namely, signing to a record label. To be clear, being a XXL Freshmen doesn’t give you automatic fame, nor does signing a record deal. It’s what you do with it afterwards that counts. We’re just here to state the facts.” 

Drake, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, RiFF RAFF, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Dee-1 Sage The Gemini, Stalley, Fat Trel and Tyga are among the acts listed by the publication.

Regarding Drake, HipHopWired says: “When XXL came knocking the year after Drizzy’s big break, the Toronto boy was already “so far gone” to be considered for just a freshman look.” Speaking of Nicki, the publication says she is “on pace to be the biggest female Rap star of all time.”

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