XXL used to be something that hip-hop fans looked forward to every year. Over the past few years, the freshman list has fell off due to a few different factors. Allowing sponsorships and investors to have an opinion on the lineup has effected the quality of the list.
Artists left off the list in 2018: 6ix9ine, Rich the Kid, Lil Skies, Famous Dex, Lil Xan, Joyner Lucas, Tee Grizzley, Nav, Moneybagg Yo, Lil Baby, CDot, and many others.
Lil Skies & Rich the Kid declined to be a part of XXL. Skies went on social media and said that he could not be part of a rigged list. Rich the Kid declined after being given Skies spot.
Famous Dex was not on the list because of the assault video that came out in 2016. A similar reason was given for 6ix9ine, but later DJ Akademiks confirmed the true reason was a sponsorship issue.
With this all being said, the artists that made the list are dope. They have all worked very hard for their spot, yet the lineup doesn’t have the same authority as in the past, especially when 5 or 6 of the artists who were left off the list, have made a much larger impact on the culture.