XXL Freshman Class 2013 Cover

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Whether you love it or hate it, every year hip-hop fans wait in anticipation for XXL magazine to release their Freshman Class cover. This year, XXL teamed up with Monster Energy to bring you "2013's Freshman Class Best Ever?" We got an invite to go behind the scenes of both the photo shoot and the filming of the Cypher. Every year the Freshman Class line-up sparks intense debates with both fans and music critics. We had to go and see who actually made the cut.

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The Freshman Class concept was created by Datwon Thomas; past issues have included celebrated stars such as B.o.B, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar, before their major-label debuts. This year XXL crowned another crop of rap newbies. Usually the issue features 10 rising stars making noise in the hip hop industry, but this year they made a special exception by featuring Chief Keef as the "11th Freshman." The rest of the May/June 2013 issue's line-up includes Schoolboy Q, Trinidad James, Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Kirko Bangz, Travi$ Scott, Angel Haze, Dizzy Wright and Logic.

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Trinidad James

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Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era

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Dizzy Wright

The shoot was sponsored by Reebok. Each MC had his or her own dressing room, which was definitely a must because each artist had so many pairs of sneakers it looked like a shoe store.

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DJ Drama was on set, like the coach of the team, while each of the Freshmen got ready for the shoot. Along with the photo shoot, the Freshman class performed a Cypher session. We got a chance to see School Boy Q  (the General of T.D.E) and Trinidad James spit rhymes while DJ Drama was on the 1's n 2’s.

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DJ Drama & Joey Bada$$

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Schoolboy Q

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It was an epic day. If you get a chance go pick up the XXL Freshman Class issue.