Review: XXL Freshmen 2014 Mixtape [Hosted by DJ Drama]

In Hip Hop by Nick Russell

Review: XXL Freshmen 2014 Mixtape [Hosted by DJ Drama]

The release of the highly anticipated Freshman Class 2014 came about on Monday, marking the seventh in the series of XXL Mag’s hip hop co signs, who have been given the chance to shine in the game and express their role in the new era in the hip hop game.

All the hype took an early swipe however when fans found that Chance The Rapper didn’t actually feature on the mixtape, despite being included in the line-up back in May. Nonetheless, TDE rapper Isaiah Rashad received a great deal of the plaudits with tracks ‘Part IV’ and ‘Sydney Jones’ rapping with precision and making each line count, making an impact with expectant fans.

Jon Connor has also been highly accredited for his efforts in the mixtape, as the protégé of Dr Dre revealed bars with grit and ferocity that were on another level to his competitors. The quality of Connor’s tracks, ‘The Good’ and ‘Medusa’ are predicted to turn many more heads in the industry as the Aftermath Entertainment star has already received praise from The Game, Nas and Rick Ross. Jarren Benton’s ‘Pain In My Eyes’ follows very closely with fan’s and bloggers approval, whilst New Orleans’ Kevin Gates impressed with tracks ‘Thinking’ and ‘On Me’ and still looks to thrive under the management of Young Money Entertainment. Ty Dolla $ign and Troy Ave’s contributions cannot be overlooked, as both combine a variation of vocals with a smoother style of rap, though were not as well admired as the stronger rappers in the 2014 class.

Rich Homie Quan and Vic Mensa made notable contributions though once again didn’t appear to ‘wow’ the fans, despite both having a successful year in the industry. Lil Durk, August Alsina and Lil Bibby received a mixed reception, failing to strive above the rest of the class reviews and comments have so far not been as favourable as they have for the other artists.

The stakes for recognition from the XXL Freshman Class continue to grow as previous successors include J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Macklemore, Wale, Kid Cudi and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.

The XXL Freshmen 2014 mixtape can be streamed and downloaded below. Who do you feel should have been included in this year’s freshman list? Leave your comments below!