XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten Talks to Power 105’s ‘The Breakfast Club’ About 2017 Freshman Class
This past Tuesday (June 13), we unveiled our 2017 XXL Freshman class, and as is usually the case, we caused a stir. Shortly afterward, fans and rappers alike began offering their takes on our list, with some noting their lack of familiarity with the artists on the cover.
In what's become something of a tradition, XXL's Editor-in-Chief, Vanessa Satten, stopped through Power 105's The Breakfast Club to discuss the annual Freshman class. What ensued was a crash course on the logistics of media planning and a few brief, but revealing explanations for why or why not certain hip-hop acts ended up on the list.
One of the names mentioned as an expected member of the 2017 Freshman class—which includes Kamaiyah, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, PnB Rock, Madeintyo, Playboi Carti, Aminé, Kap G, Kyle, Ugly God and 10th Spot winner XXXTentacion—is Young M.A Satten says Young M.A felt she'd moved beyond a need, or desire, to be on the 2017 XXL Freshman cover.
Another act some were sad to see didn't make our list was YFN Lucci, who Satten says gave some resistance when approached to play new music for the XXL staff.
"YFN Lucci didn't want to play any music for us. He refused, every which way," Satten explains. "And then, the day before the shoot—a couple of days before the shoot—they called us and said he wanted to play music. At that point it was too late for us."
According to Satten—who adds the caveat that she never spoke with the Atlanta rapper—Lucci said he would only play his new music for the XXL staff if he was guaranteed a spot on the Freshman cover. She wasn't going for it.
"If you're not going to play music and work with us and try to communicate with us and be a part of the whole thing, then we're going to keep it moving after that. Because also, it's kind of a business reflection to us of how you deal with people. If you didn't want to have anything to do with us and play us music and you called us a few days after, I don't know if that's the best business move, politically. At the same time, I never spoke with him directly about it, so I don't know if something got lost in the fray with his people."
Elsewhere during the interview, Satten touches on the importance of timing, noting that Tee Grizzley's buzz grew considerably in the months following the time XXL began putting together their 2017 Freshman list in January. She also addresses why Famous Dex, another fan favorite, didn't make the cover.
See what Satten has to say for yourself in the video below.
Fans React to the 2017 XXL Freshman Class