If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of contemporary hip-hop, no one's on your side like XXL magazine, who seem to have a preternatural ability to predict who'll end up ruling the airwaves with their yearly Freshman Class. They just announced their 2014 class via BET's 106 & Park, and it includes some of our favorites - Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Kevin Gates, Isaiah Rashad, and Ty Dolla $ign - as well as lesser-known rappers and R&B singers, like Lil Durk (maybe best known for beefing with Tyga), Lil Bibby, August Alsina, Rich Homie Quan, Troy Ave, Jon Connor, and Jarren Benton. We just wish there were a few more ladies on the list. Check out some tracks from a few of the freshmen below.
Check out a "dirty dozen" of the hip-hop magazine's Next Big Thing predictions for 2014.