Which Artists Made the 2019 XXL Freshman Class List?

For the past 12 years, hip-hop magazine XXL releases a list of several rising stars. To make their decision, the staff talks to industry tastemakers, established rappers, and hip-hop heads to find out who they want on the cover. Then, they narrow down the list and pick who they believe is on the verge of becoming the next biggest rapper. Which artists made the 2019 XXL Freshman List?

2019 XXL Freshman List
Rapper Gunna | Prince Williams/Wireimage


22-year-old Johnathan Michael “Blueface” Porter is from Los Angeles, California. He became popular on social media after releasing “Respect My Crypn” in October 2018 because of his signature off-beat rapping and Benjamin Franklin face tattoo. He signed to Cash Money West, a branch of Birdman’s Cash Money Records, the next month. His most known song is “Thotiana,” and the remix includes Cardi B and YG.


Frank “Comethazine” Childress grew in popularity after his song, “Walk” which peaked at number twenty on Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100. The 20-year-old dropped a single after the reveal of the 2019 XXL Freshman List and plans on releasing a mixtape soon.


At 27-years-old, Jonathan Lyndale “DaBaby” Kirk is the oldest rapper on the 2019 XXL Freshman List. From his social media stunts to beating up fans and catching murder charges, DaBaby is also the most polarizing rapper. His debut album, Baby on Baby, was released in March 2019 and it peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200.  


Sergio Giavanni “Gunna” Kitchens is known for his frequent collaborations with other rappers Lil Baby and Young Thug. The 26-year-old is signed to 300 Entertainment and has been releasing music since 2013. His joint mixtape with Lil Baby, Drip Harder, peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Gunna cites Cam’ron and Outkast as his musical influences.

Lil Mosey

17-year-old Lathan Moses “Lil Mosey” Echolas is one of the youngest to make the 2019 XXL Freshman List. Initially from Seattle, Washington, Lil Mosey’s most successful song is “Noticed,” which peaked at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. He signed to Interscope Records in 2018 after the success of his single, “Pull Up.”

Megan Thee Stallion

24-year-old Megan Pete signed to 300 Entertainment following the success of her 2018 EP, Tina Snow, making her the first female rapper on that label. She then released Fever in May 2019 which peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200. Megan Thee Stallion is known for her confidence and explicitly sexual lyrics.

Rico Nasty

Maria-Cecilia Simone “Rico Nasty” Kelly is 22-years-old and from Maryland. She released two mixtapes in 2016, and both were well-perceived from the general public and media. After dropping her fourth mixtape, Rico Nasty signed with Atlantic Records in 2018. Rico Nasty has since released a single, a mixtape, and a documentary.

Roddy Ricch

Rodrik Wayne “Roddy Ricch” Moore, Jr. is from Compton, California and also signed to Atlantic Records. The 20-year-old dropped his first mixtape in 2017, Feed Tha Streets, and received co-signs from other rappers including Meek Mill and the late Nipsey Hussle. Hussle brought Roddy Ricch out with him at a concert in Los Angeles, and Meek Mill gave him a “Dreamchasers” chain.

Tierra Whack

Tierra Helena Whack is 23-years-old and from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her 2018 debut album, Whack World, performed very well and her “Mumbo Jumbo” video was nominated for a 2019 Grammy. She began rapping in 2011, originally under “Dizzle Dizz,” and has unreleased music that features Meek Mill and Childish Gambino.

YBN Cordae

Cordae “YBN Cordae” Dunston is the second YBN to land on the XXL Freshman List (behind YBN Nahmir who made the cover last year.) He is 21-years-old, from North Carolina, and started rapping at a young age under the name “Entendre.” His most known song is “Old N*****,” which is a response to J. Cole’s “1985” single.

YK Osiris

18-year-old YK Osiris, from Jacksonville, Florida, is an R&B singer and rapper. He credits Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars as inspirations, and he sings about heartbreak and love. Following the success of his single “Valentine,” Def Jam Records signed YK Osiris.