XXL's Class of '09: The Final

The XXL Hip Hop Freshmen Class of 2009

As I head into the last weeks of the school semester with studying for finals (aka Fuck I Never Actually Learned Shit) and all, I figured I'd flip the script and give out some grades of my own. XXL raked through the myriad of new rap acts on the blogosphere, rating the top hip hop artists of 2009 and enrolling them in their freshmen class. It's been a year since, so I offer an assessment of these ten pupils.

Top of the Class:


This kid from Cleveland is undoubtedly the valedictorian of the class, and who'd a thunk it? His debut Man On the Moon: The End of Day peaked at #4 on the Billboard Charts, pushing over 104,000 units. He's already talking about his sophomore effort, tentatively titled Cudder, a collaboration album with whispers of features with Kings of Leon, Robin Thicke, The Clipse, The Killers, Snoop Dogg and more.

Featured on Hov's Blueprint 3, on tour with Lady Gaga, and in the run for THREE Grammy's (Day N Nite - Best Rap Solo Performance
& Best Rap Song, Make Her Say - Best Rap Performance By A Duo or Group), life is so G.O.O.D for the Kanye West mentee.


Capping him as the salutatorian of this class, the DC representative and Interscope Records signee recently released his solid debut, Attention:Deficit, selling around 28,000 copies in the first week, all while touring with Jay-Z, and serving as the house band with UCB for the MTV VMAs this past September. While he has a way to go, he's doing way more than Chillin' by any stretch of the imagination.