The Freshman years of high school and college are probably the most awkward years of your life. Not only is your body wilding out thanks to pubescent energy but you're in a new place, usually with no friends, trying to fit in with people who've already got the routine down. The only way to bypass all the initiations is to have someone vouch for your credibility—maybe a senior sibling who's already part of the cool crowd. Not many of us may have been so lucky, but last night at the XXL freshmen cover concert, towing around a co-signing friend seemed to be the standard. If hip hop was high school, then the ten stars of yesterday's show (every rapper on the cover sans Lil B) were definitely bringing out the jocks, cheerleaders and Fonzie's to stamp their ID cards "approved".
Lil Twist brought out Baby, Fred Da Godson (who had the most stunning chain of all time) came with Vado and the rest followed suit—Cyhi bringing out Pusha T and Big Sean. The biggest of them all was Diggy bringing out his father Reverend Run who proclaimed him "legacy." Meek Mill and Mac Miller paid homage in song, Meek rapping four different Rick Ross verses and, to the crowd's bewilderment, asking the us to show love to the absent Teflon Don. Mac Miller shouted out Big L and Lord Finesse as he rapped over a classic beat. The ploy was probably to work an older crowd that was rapping verses off of Reasonable Doubt and Ready to Die during the breaks between sets and made the most noise for Reverend Run. Did it work? At times yes, but the idea should have been to have the new dudes prove themselves, not let somebody else do it for them.
Maybe they were nervous or just haven't really grown into their stage presences? There was a lot of posing. Yelawolf came without cosigners. He's of the elders of the class and also one of it's stand outs. After seeing him deliver with wild energy at the FADER FORT by FIAT, we couldn't help but judge all the others that came on before him by his standards. We don't begrudge his peers at all, but they still have some more to be hungry for. When Diggy Simmons spit the line " D-I-G, the next B-I-G" the crowd groaned in disappointment. It's not that we don't want you to be, tiny man, but you still have a long way to go.
Judge for yourself, though! Here's the brand new 2011 Freshman Class Mixtape, hosted by DJ Whoo Kid: