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No Country for Old (Rap) Men: Which XXL Freshman is the biggest waste of time

Based on the highly scientific method of watching their five most popular videos and not much else

Posted by Robbie Ettelson

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There was a time, back when rap blogging was making the block hot, that XXL Mag recruited every decent bloggah (and DJ Sickamore) in the game to write a regular column for them. Even my good self contributed two separate guest residencies out of the kindness of my heart. This resulted in the hilarious Dallas Penn vs Noz dust up, as well as a number of classic Bol articles. These days, the print version only publishes a few times a year and the website is filled with incisive articles about which rapper has the best eyebrow piercings and ‘Ten Ways To Tell You Just Got Burnt…in your pants’. Here’s my in-depth review of this year’s ‘Freshman of the Year’ according to XXL Mag, based on my highly scientific method of watching their five most popular videos and not much else.

01. Kamaiyah

CRC Violations: None.
Weirdo Rating: Low.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Not slutty enough for Top 40 but could build a loyal following.
Industry Plant Probability: Haha, as if.
Mumble Factor: N/A
Most memorable song: ‘Freaky Freaks’

Very on-brand with her nineties throwback and appreciation of Bay Area rap heritage. When she raps over beats that sound like updated Ant Banks and Dat Nigga Daz productions, Kamaiyah makes a strong case. Over the more generic beats she lost my attention, but when she hits her stride it works. Here’s hoping she can deliver an album that can rock a house party like those old Snoop and Too $hort albums used to.

02. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

CRC Violations: None.
Weirdo Rating: Low.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Might not be zany enough to stand out.
Industry Plant Probability: Possible, just on the GP of an NY dude making noise.
Mumble Factor: N/A
Most memorable song: ‘Friend Zone’

This guy is from The Bronx, although that doesn’t count for much these days since everyone sounds ‘universal.’ On a positive note, he dresses sensibly and has a haircut you can set your watch to. In terms of subject matter, he brings an equal split of talking about his feelings and bragging about anti-social behaviour, rather than just non-stop emoting. Does the standard sing-rap thing but has clear enunciation. A solid but forgettable contender.

03. PnB Rock

CRC Violations: Occasional.
Weirdo Rating: Low.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Aiming for that more street Drake angle, which could work.
Industry Plant Probability: Nah.
Mumble Factor: N/A
Most memorable song: ‘Feelin’ Like Diddy’

In the video for ‘Selfish,’ PnB Rock mixes the rap clip troupe of drinking a 40 on the park bench of the projects with a tight jeans/top and ladies jacket combo, which is fairly reflective of where the new generations heads are at. With track titles such as ‘Feelins,’ ‘Alone,’ and ‘Selfish,’ no prizes for guessing that PnB’s music is all about DMs and Snapchat jump-offs. In my limited experience, Philly is still pretty grimey these days so I’m not about to slander this guy too heavily in case I want to visit again.

04. MadeinTYO

CRC Violations: None.
Weirdo Rating: Low.
Chance of making it big (nullus): May get over by association.
Industry Plant Probability: High.
Mumble Factor: Medium.
Most memorable song: N/A

I guess this dude called himself Made In Tokyo so he could get cheap Bape when he travels to Japan? Seems as valid as any other reason. Sadly, I can’t support ‘Uber Anywhere,’ which makes Souljah Boy TellEm seem like a poet laureate by comparison. His primary gimmick seems to be peppering his tracks with ‘skirt skirt’/’skr skr’ back-ups. The fact that this dude already has Big Sean, 2Chainz, and Pharrell on his songs screams ‘industry plant’ to me. Either that or he’s got dough to blow on making a name for himself. Madeintyo’s voice is flakey and the fact that the most interesting thing about him is his Gucci hat says it all.

05. Playboi Carti

CRC Violations: Sports dumb sunglasses.
Weirdo Rating: Medium.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Doubtful.
Industry Plant Probability: Why would they bother?
Mumble Factor: Medium.
Most memorable song: ‘Broke Boi’

The best thing about this dude is he made a song titled ‘I Got Depressed Hoes.’ I don’t want to cast aspersions on his personal habits, but it’s safe to say Carti shares some of the same appetites as Lil’ Wayne and I’m not talking about skateboards.

06. Aminé

CRC Violations: Wearing yellow shorts in ‘Caroline’ but is young enough to get a pass.
Weirdo Rating: Low.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Has a lot of range and a good sense of humor, so has a bright future.
Industry Plant Probability: Too original.
Mumble Factor: None.
Most memorable song: ‘REDMERCEDES’

The video for ‘REDMERCEDES’ features the creepiest whiteface ever—making it essential viewing. Being from Portland, of course Amine is progressive as fux so he got Charlie Wilson to perform with him on ‘Turf (Stripped)’. This guy is more on the Kendrick tip in that he likes to switch up his delivery a lot and has the technical ability to pull it off. Can rap pretty well when he wants to.

07. Kap G

CRC Violations: Blonde tips in your hair are inexcusable unless you’re a member of the Australian cricket team.
Weirdo Rating: High.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Does songs with Chris Brown, so…yeah?Industry Plant Probability: Nope.
Mumble Factor: Mild.
Most memorable song: ‘Freekin’ and Geekin”

Just like every other Auto-tune rap singer, except Mexican. Aforementioned song gets points for the R. Kelly’s ‘Ignition (Remix).’ Bonus points for rocking a mean set of gold fronts. Minus points for his last album being complete trash.

08. Kyle

CRC Violations: Being a total pussy.
Weirdo Rating: High.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Only if Drake is hit by a bus.
Industry Plant Probability: Nope.
Mumble Factor: Mild.
Most memorable song: Eff this dude.

This guy is way too happy and looks like Drake’s dad/uncle. Could be the 2017 Charles Hamilton. Surely having released music for the past four years makes him a little long in the tooth for ‘freshman’ status, no? Other than that, this guy epitomises everything that is shitty about modern rap, and wins the award for the dude on this list that I would most like to hip and shoulder into a urinal.

09. Ugly God

CRC Violations: Has a line on ‘Booty From A Distance’ where he admits to wearing Skechers.
Weirdo Rating: High.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Nah.
Industry Plant Probability: Nope.
Mumble Factor: Mild.
Most memorable song: ‘I Beat My Meat’

Wins the award for the funniest YouTube description yet, as viewers of the video for ‘I Beat My Meat’ are advised ‘Subliminal Message!!!!! WE ARE NOT GAY!! WE ALL GET PUSSY!!‘ Ugly God is the Freshman I Would Most Likely Enjoy A Stout With…although I’d make sure he’d washed his hands before offering a CRC-style firm handshake, for obvious reasons.Special mention for introducing the next generation of weed carriers—Slurpee holders!

010. XXXTentacion

CRC Violations: Constant.
Weirdo Rating: Off the scale.
Chance of making it big (nullus): Cult status beckons, unless he can somehow tap into Marilyn Manson’s old fanbase.
Industry Plant Probability: Yes. Jimmy Iovine’s fingerprints are all over this guy. Pause.
Mumble Factor: Mild.
Most memorable song: Are you kidding me?

Going for the Onyx lane by tapping into punk/thrash culture for extra cred. XXXTention is trying so hard to be As Controversial As Humanly Possible that his next move surely has to be declaring himself a Satan worshipper and biting the head of three live bats on stage while pissing on the American flag. Other than that he’s nothing more than a modern day goth douche. Bonus points for punching a fan last week, no points for being shit at stage diving.

011. Final verdict

The award for the biggest waste of time goes to MadeInTyo, who doesn’t even have a lean addiction to make him newsworthy and is clearly an Industry Plant/dude who’s paying to be famous and has absolutely no redeeming features on his own merits. Congrats!

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