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This year’s 2018 XXL Freshman cyphers caught wind as the names mentioned were nowhere close to anyone’s expectations. Trippie Redd, J.I.D, Ski Mask the Slump God, YBN Nahmir, Stefflon Don, Wifisfuneral, Lil Pump, BlocBoy JB and Smokepurpp. While some names are noticeable, new faces emerged within the loose group over Sonny Digital beats.

Trippie Redd starts us out in ninth place. He wasn’t in favor of the instrumental for his shoot. A huge reason why he didn’t perform, but his solo performance would have placed him higher. As an artist, you should be able to mold yourself into the beat even if you choke a bit. BlocBoy JB’s deliverance was underwhelming and placid taking eighth place. Although his line, “Pull up like Bowser spitting all the fire,” got my approval, he disappointed again in the group performance. The awkward usage of ad libs didn’t blend well, but they did have fun with it. Lil Pump attempted to freestyle a pre-written for his solo which had people in the video placing him seventh. I must admit his group performance was entertaining but think he’s a better fit as a studio artist.

2018 XXL Freshman Cyphers

Smokepurpp does well as a sporadic rhymer, but with no instrumental, it leaves him vulnerable to being off beat. His solo performance was truth to that putting him sixth on the list. On the other hand, his group presentation was much more on point and maintained hostile verses. Wifiisfunueral sadly placed fifth. His flow was okay, not a lot of quotable bars. There wasn’t a lot of energy in the solo shoot, but his group performance provided the vibe he needed. YBN Nahmir placed at number four. His flow sounded a little off, but he did bring that rap etiquette and posture. He came prepared to rap for lack of better words.

Stefflon Don placed third on the list due to the fact that her delivery was aggressive, which made other artists seem weak on the mic as she worked her accent and embraced confidence. Ski Mask The Slump God made my second placement due to his pop culture references, speedy bars, and shamelessly crude lyrics. I did feel let down when he cut the beat on his group cypher. Given his flow, it would have made his performance much more appealing with his eccentric and pointed sense of humor. J.I.D without a doubt takes first place; an artist who killed in quality and performance overall. On both solo and group cyphers, he provided a hunger to win. Interesting lines and switch-ups made them the most watched group cypher of 2018. Let us know who you ranked in the comments and why!

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