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Viewpoint: The Importance of the Freshman Cypher

Will any of these artists become the next Drake or Beyonce?




On June 20th , XXL Magazine dropped its 2019 Freshman class of new artists/rappers on the brink of their success.  The list is highly anticipated every year, and this year they included 11 new artists/rappers. 

The list includes names such as Comethazine, Tierra Whack, DaBaby, Lil Mosey, Roddy Rich, YBN Cordae, YK Osiris, Rico Nasty, Gunna, Megan Thee Stallion, and Blueface.

The Freshman Cypher is when the artists get together at different points since the announcement and rap over an instrumental with accompanying freshman.  On July 23rd, a video was dropped featuring Lil Mosey, YK Osiris, Megan Thee Stallion, and DaBaby flowing over an instrumental and showing the world the style they bring to the table. 

The Freshman Cypher holds the power of giving the selected rappers a stage to show people what they are capable of.  This is a pivotal moment for their careers because it has the ability to change their popularity with a single video. 

More importantly, it lets the fans know who they should be looking for in the years to come in. Some fans will like other rappers more than others, but that’s the beauty of the Cypher. 

XXL Magazine gives these new and talented rappers an opportunity to prove to the world what they can do lyrically and melodically over an instrumental.  The Freshman Cypher is the outlet they use to allow this and is, for some, the push-start to their careers. 

Of course, the Cypher could have a negative effect on the rappers career.  If people do not like what a certain rapper had to say or did not like the way they cadenced over the instrumental, they may write them off.  That being said, at least XXL Magazine puts it in the rapper’s hands.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

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