Denzel Curry, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Desiigner, Anderson .Paak, Lil Dicky, G Herbo, Dave East


Denzel Curry, Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, G Herbo, Anderson .Paak, 


Lil Dicky, Dave East, Desiigner



This class is the best class XXL has ever featured. Everyone in this class achieved some sort of success at some point. A lot of rap’s biggest stars emerge from this class. Commercially, no other class compares—and many people cite this class as XXL’s last good class.

Denzel Curry has released plenty of music since being on the cover. He burst onto the scene with his song “Ultimate” as it went viral online. He released ‘Imperial’ in 2016 but it wasn’t until 2018 when Curry would drop his biggest project ‘Ta13oo.’ Songs like “Sumo”, “Clout Cobain” and “Percs” did very well on streaming services. In my opinion, this was one of the top albums of 2018. Curry would drop ‘Zuu’ and ‘Unlocked’ in 2019 and 2020 as follow-ups to his acclaimed album. Denzel Curry is still very relevant in 2021.

Lil Uzi Vert is one of the biggest stars to ever appear on XXL. Success follows Lil Uzi wherever he goes. He burst onto the scene with “Money Longer” the lead single on his debut, ‘Lil Uzi vs the World’. That would prove to be a great year for Uzi as he would drop ‘LUV is Rage’ later in the year and both 2016 projects were certified gold. The very next year, Uzi would feature with the Migos on their hit song, “Bad and Boujee.” The single topped the Billboard Hot 100, a first for Lil Uzi. Later that year, Uzi would drop his smash hit single “XO Tour Lif3”—it debuted on the Hot 100 at #49 and peaked at #7. The song was certified 6-time platinum as of the summer of 2018. Uzi would run into trouble releasing music due to issues with DJ Drama and Don Cannon but he faced little reprecussions thanks to the solid fanbase he had already amassed. After multiple delays, Uzi dropped ‘LUV is Rage 2’ and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 135,000 first week. It has since been certified platinum and has 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles on it. In 2019, Uzi signed with Roc Nation and would drop 2 singles, “That’s a Rack” and “Sanguine Paradise”. In early 2020, Uzi would drop ‘Eternal Atake’ after months of teasing and it did unbelievably well selling 288,000 first week. Uzi would also drop a collaboration with Future at the end of the year, ‘Pluto x Baby Pluto’—which would peak at #2 on the Billboard 200. Lil Uzi Vert has an incredibly strong fanbase and has a very entertaining personality. This man had a $24M pink diamond implanted in his forehead, he’s ballin’ big time.

Desiigner had one of the biggest rises and falls I’ve ever seen. In 2015, Desiigner was signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music imprint and subsequently release the single “Panda”. The single would reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would be multi-platinum. Desiigner then followed it up with the single “Tiimmy Turner’ which went gold. That’s pretty much it for Desiigner. He had a unique sound, high-energy, and creative ad-libs. He had a ton of potential but label issues allegedly kept pushing his projects back. Desiigner would drop ‘New English’ in late 2016 on Tidal but it didn’t do too well. As of 2019, he’s an independent artist. No one is really checking for Desiigner nowadays and he hasn’t done anything impressive since 2017.

Lil Dicky kinda had the same problem Goldlink did. He’s only had one major song in the last 5 or so years. But the reason he’s a meh, unlike Goldlink, is because Lil Dicky is more than just a rapper. He has a TV show and it’s debatable as to if he was ever really a super-serious rapper. In 2018, he released his biggest song “Freaky Friday” featuring Chris Brown. The music video would reach over 100M views on YouTube and would chart in numerous countries. In May 2020, Lil Dicky’s show Dave was renewed for a second season. Lil Dicky is a great rapper, he’s just focused on other things.

Anderson .Paak has turned in a very successful career since being on the list. His debut project ‘Malibu’ received extreme praise. Anderson would go on to do theTiny Desk series. and according to NPR, his performance is one of its most popular episodes. 2018’s ‘Oxnard’, which was produced by Dr. Dre, featured a heavy funky theme and included guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. The following year, he released ‘Ventura’ which had features from Smokey Robinson, Brandy, Andre 3000, and the late Nate Dogg. Anderson has worked with some of the best in the business. A three-time Grammys winner—one for Best Rap Performance for his song “Bubblin”, one for Best R&B Album for ‘Ventura’, and the last for Best R&B Performance alongside Andre 3000 for their hit, “Come Home”—Anderson .Paak is at the top of his game.

Many felt G Herbo should’ve been a 2015 Freshmen—myself included—but he’s been extremely consistent in dropping music since making the list. He would drop projects ‘Humble Beast’ and ‘Swervo’ in the following years. While his follow-up ‘Still Swervin’ didn’t do as well as their predecessors, it did crack the Top 50 on the charts. In 2020, G Herbo had his biggest success yet with ‘PTSD’ which would debut at #7 on the Billboard charts and have features from the likes of Chance the Rapper, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Lil Durk. G Herbo is also known for his VERY PUBLIC split with social media star, Ariana “Ari” Fletcher. Music-wise, G Herbo has yet to reach his peak and he is still very relevant in today’s music.

Lil Yachty, also known as Lil Boat, has also been very consistent in dropping music since the cover. After having mainstream success with projects like ‘Lil Boat’ and ‘Summer Songs 2’, Lil Boat built up a loyal fanbase. 2016 was a very big year for Yachty, landing a guest verse on singles such as “Broccoli” with D.R.A.M and “iSpy” with Kyle. In 2017, Lil Boat would drop ‘Teenage Emotions’ which would flop tremendously and naturally met with mixed to negative reviews. In 2018, Lil Boat would drop, ‘Lil Boat 2’ and ‘Nuthin 2 Prove’ which both fared much better than his previous outing. Finally, in 2020, he would release ‘Lil Boat 3’ with lead single “Oprah’s Bank Account” with Drake and DaBaby. Aside from music, Lil Boat has amassed a great marketing presence brand reaching deals with Nautica, Sprite, Target, and Urban Outfitters. Even though I feel he’s taken a step back musically, his name is still as big as ever.

Dave East has also branched out after being on the cover. In 2017, he began acting and would drop a project that would peak at #9 on the Billboard 200 titled ‘Paranoia: A True Story.’ In 2019, he released, ‘Survival’ and it would find great charting success, peaking at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart. Much like Lil Dicky, he’s blown up more thanks to his foray into acting—playing Method Man for Hulu series about the Wu-Tang Clan.

Next, we have Mr. “Who tf picked this little sawwy ass beat?” himself, Kodak Black. One of the most polarizing rappers to ever be featured on XXL, Kodak has a wild story. He’s extremely popular but it seems as if he often gets in his own way. Reminds me a lot of the NFL’s Josh Gordon. After being on the cover, Kodak would drop his lead single “Tunnel Vision” which would debut at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peak at #6. He would release his debut album, ‘Painting Pictures’ weeks later to great success. It sold 71,000 first week and reached #3 on the Billboard 200. His next outing ‘Project Baby 2’ album would peak at #52 on the Billboard 200. Crime would follow Kodak throughout his career being arrested every year since 2015. December 2018’s ‘Dyin to Love’ and its single “Zeze” was massively popular—peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The project as a whole also did well, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and was on the chart for 15 weeks. While incarcerated on a firearms charge, he would release ‘Bill Israel’ in 2020. Former President Donald Trump would pardon Kodak Black at the end of his term commuting the Florida emcee’s sentence although he still faces an allegation in South Carolina for sexual assault. Kodak is wildly popular and has a massive fanbase but frequent trips to prison will only halt his momentum. Nevertheless, he’s more popular than ever.

Finally, we have Sir Savage the 21st. In my opinion, 21 Savage has had the biggest growth of all on the list. He’s grown as an artist and a person. After being on the list, 21 and Metro Boomin would collaborate on his first project, ‘Savage Mode.’ It did very well peaking at #23 on the Billboard 200 with single “X” going platinum. In 2017, he dropped ‘Issa’ with lead single “Bank Account” peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later in the year, he would feature on Post Malone’s “Rockstar” which went #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving 21 his first #1 song. The following year, 21 would collaborate again with Metro Boomin and this time with Offset to release ‘Without Warning.’ Later that year, 21 would release a great project, ‘I am > I was.’ earning 21 Savage a Grammy for the song “A Lot”. In 2019, 21 was arrested by ICE and detained when it was revealed that he was actually born in London. In 2020, 21 and Metro would drop ‘Savage Mode II’ and the project would peak at #1 on the Billboard 200 and have two top-10 singles. 21 is someone who proved my initial thoughts about him wrong by continuing to evolve and grow in his popularity. 

Notable snubs:

Post Malone

Tory Lanez

Post Malone didn’t want to be just limited to hip hop so he declined the list. Tory Lanez felt he was beyond the list hence why he declined.