Here’s What Went Down at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Every year in hip-hop, there are brand new faces who start to make noise and some artists have the opportunity to take their career further than others. The 2018 XXL Freshman Class features some of the biggest and newest names in rap, a gathering of artists poised to take the leap to the next level. To showcase these young talents, XXL had a show featuring the Freshmen in Los Angeles last Thursday (July 19), after doing the same in New York City the week before.
The 2018 XXL Freshman Class features a ton of names to watch, including Birmingham, Ala. rep YBN Nahmir, London MC Stefflon Don, young South Florida stars Ski Mask The Slump God, Lil Pump, Smokepurpp and Wifisfuneral, multi-talented Ohio rapper Trippie Redd, Memphis’ own BlocBoy JB and Atlanta spitter J.I.D.
Unfortunately, Lil Pump couldn’t make the show due to his obligations overseas, but both Trippie and Ski Mask were able to perform at the L.A. show after having to miss the New York City stop. Legendary L.A. music personality DJ Carisma held it down on the turntables, keeping the crowd hype between performances.
J.I.D opened the show, setting the night off on the right foot with his energy and lyrical ability. The playful “EdNEddNEddy” performance was a nice moment early in his set and he kept rolling from there. J.I.D bought out his friends and fellow Dreamvillains EarthGang onstage for their collab “Meditate,” a song where all three of the artists shine. He ended his set with the explosive single “Never,” a track that has just as much bang as it has lyrical content.
See Photos of J.I.D at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Stefflon Don hit the stage next and had the entire venue under her control. Running through her song “Narcos” early on, it became clear she was due for a good night. Her spin on A$AP Ferg’s “Work” was also a winner and had the crowd rapping along with her. Stefflon also made sure to do her hit single “Hurtin' Me,” a track that shows off her versatility as a rapper and singer.
See Photos of Stefflon Don at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Up next was YBN Nahmir, complete with his whole crew. YBN Almighty Jay started the set off, turning the energy up with “Chopsticks,” which really resonated with the audience. Almighty Jay also debuted a new song with Zaytoven production, even bringing Zay onstage to dance. Once it was Nahmir’s turn to perform, he got right to work, reeling off “Bail Out” and “Bounce Out With That”. Nahmir's 2017 hit single “Rubbin Off the Paint” also sent the crowd into a frenzy, showing that he has a good touch for making songs that connect.
See Photos of YBN Nahmir at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Wifisfuneral was the next performer, with a set that danced between pure youthful energy and more somber, introspective moments. Before Weef hit the stage, DJ Scheme got the crowd ready by moving through the late XXXTentacion's hits. Once Wifi grabbed the mic, he turned the audience up with the boisterous “Aw Shit :(.” The West Palm Beach, Fla. rapper then slid into a more low-key track with “25 Lighters,” still keeping the crowd's attention. Later in his set came “Wya?” his earnest ode to a woman in his life. Fans showed him the ultimate in appreciation, raising cell phone lights as he performed.
See Photos of Wifisfuneral at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
BlocBoy JB was up next and he wasted no time showing his moves off as soon as he got onstage. “Shoot” went over well, especially when he did his signature dance along with it. He did the same with “Rover 2.0.” By the time he got to “Look Alive” he was performing with the crowd, even borrowing a fan’s phone for a selfie while he was at it.
See Photos of BlocBoy JB at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Ski Mask The Slump God was extremely excited for his set, working the crowd into madness before he even started rapping. Even with this kind of moment, Ski set some time aside to show love to his fallen friend XXXTentacion. Ski performed X’s song “Sad!” and the crowd knew every word. As it comes to Ski’s own songs, he gave them “BabyWipe,” “Catch Me Outside” and more. As expected, “Take A Step Back” blew the roof off with the help of DJ Scheme. And like always, Ski moved into the crowd for a stage dive and crowd surf. He can surely live up to a new nickname: Ski Mask The Surf God.
See Photos of Ski Mask The Slump God at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Smokepurpp followed Ski, but not before he had the stage decorated with gravestones. Purpp dropped a few of his cllabs with Canadian trap producer Murda Beatz, like “123” and “Bless Yo Trap.” “Audi” sent his set to another level; Purpp also made it a point to ask the crowd to make new friends with each other.
See Photos of Smokepurpp at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
Trippie was the night’s final act. He entered the stage by jumping off of a tall speaker and going right into “Dark Knight Dummo,” a move the crowd clearly appreciated. He also performed his collab with XXXTentacion, “Fuck Love,” which was an early hit that changed both of their careers. Trippie also gave a strong performance of his new track “I Kill People,” which did very well considering it’s only been out a month.
See Photos of Trippie Redd at the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in Los Angeles
After Trippie hit the stage, the 2018 XXL Freshman Class shows officially came to an end. In case you missed out on the cyphers, roundtable discussions and more featuring Ski Mask The Slump God, Wifisfuneral, J.I.D, Stefflon Don, Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Smokepurpp, And to see more of the 2018 XXL Freshman Class, check out all of their interviews and freestyles.