As usual, XXL's annual Freshmen Class has generated a lot of discussion.
The magazine's editor-in-chief Vanessa Satten was on the Breakfast Club, and she explained the list's selection process, which starts all the way back in October.
"October, November we start," she said. “We go for months. "It's exhausting. I mean there’s harder jobs out there, definitely in the world. But we sit with artists over and over and over again. We go to shows. We travel out of town to go to shows. I think we sat with 75 different artists. They come to the office. We’ll sit with them multiple times as we narrow it down. We talk to you guys. We talk to anyone that we come across in the industry. We talk to little brothers and little sisters and nephews and pretty much everyone. And then we start arguing and narrowing it down in different long, long meetings"Satten also defended picking two female artists, Tink and Dej Loaf, for the list.
"The cover’s supposed to be a reflection of what’s going on in Hip Hop right now,” she said. “I think that we saw R&B last year cause R&B was a little bit more heavy. And we didn’t have as many pitches or as many artists that were as actively in the conversation with R&B. More with females this year, which was great to see. So, we didn’t really want to be forced to pick between DeJ and Tink. You don’t really have to. We’re treating them all as valid artists. Not as female artists. Not as white artists. Not as black artists. As valid artists based on the same credentials for the solo album and all that. So, we went back and forth and was like ‘This is a reflection of what’s going on.'"If you were surprised ILoveMakonnen & PartyNextDoor weren't included on the list, there's a reason: they weren't interested in the honor.
"Nobody turned it down this year, but some funny responses," Stetton said. "Not funny, I don't wanna be weird, but not such responsive responses from the PartyNextDoor/ILoveMakonnen camp. That they didn't seem so interested, so we didn't run that lane too hard."Her full interview is below.