Is it too early to predict this year 2018 XXL Freshman Class? XXL is one of the major influencers in the game. They promote a list of artists they admire and see potential in. Launched by Harris Publications in 1997 and re-branded by companies such as Shade 45, Hip-Hop Soul and Eye Candy. Additionally, the publication also delivers day to day content on hip-hop culture, music, and gossip.

Each year, XXL provides a selection of artists from across the United States with pitch videos. Top 10 artists are then pre-elected and hosted through a series of solo and group ciphers. This kind of competition rubs people the wrong way because of the artists left out of the discussion. It’s the cycle of planting industry types who ruin hip-hop’s quality with senseless lyrics and stereotypical ideology. But, then again, we have seen artists such as Gorilla Zoe, Kid Cudi, Nipsey Hustle, Kendrick Lamar, Dizzy Wright and Kyle who came from nothing.

My predictions are Ski Mask The Slump God, Joyner Lucas, Lil Pump, NAV, Jaden, Dexter, J.I.D, Rich The Kid, 6ix9ine and Trippie Redd.

First, Ski Mask The Slump God has got content as long as he has Cole Benett. It’s hard to downplay his music when his following is well beyond XXL.

Second, Joyner Lucas is an artist who should have been placed years ago and now has mass appeal globally. A heavy hitter with every record and an analytical artist.

Third, Lil Pump owned last year with Gucci Gang. It was impossible to escape the song seeing how popular his self-titled album became the first week. Topping 2nd on Billboards hip-hop and R&B.

Fourth, NAV almost came out of nowhere, but after helping produce “Back 2 Back” for Drake that elevated his status. Joining XO and releasing his own music maintained his appeal.

Fifth, Jaden Smith is an artist who has been continually developing away from the spotlight. SYRE is ill. But, he is cool in a hipster and nerdy way that he may be overshadowed by his style.

Sixth, Dexter has an underground following that I was not aware of. Even if they are a bunch of white kids, I don’t blame em. His music appeals to most ages and has established his presence with major hitters.

Seventh, cosigned by J.Cole, JID should have been placed last year in my opinion due to his debut  “The Never Story.” Making a name for himself in the industry and showcasing massive potential with his flow.

Eighth, Rich The Kid signed to Interscope Records he definitely carries huge clout behind him and his codeine sound is recognizable in Atlanta. Following his successful album, “The World Is Yours” which featured Kendrick on Freezer.

Ninth, 6ix9ine has already announced he is retiring from the rap game after obtaining everything he needed. I’m going to call him out and say he is not. The Gummo rapper peaked on Billboard, so the likely hood of another banger is possible.

The tenth person has got to be the hardest to choose from, but Trippie Redd is going to top the list. The grimy rapper made debut with tracks like “Poles1469,” “Dark Knight” and “Bust Down.” Adopting a scrappy singing style and coming from the SoundCloud era that birthed a new underground of the artist.

Who is your top 10 2018 XXL Freshman Class? Let us know in the comments!