After a long wait, it’s finally Freshman season again and today, XXL is proud to reveal our highly-anticipated 2015 XXL Freshman Class. This year, we’re presenting 10 up-and-coming rappers who we feel, collectively and individually, are defining the new wave of hip-hop.

This year’s selection process was, as always, an especially tough one, but we’ll get to that later. Without further ado, the 10 MCs in the 2015 XXL Freshman Class are DeJ Loaf, Fetty Wap, GoldLink, K Camp, OG Maco, Raury, Shy Glizzy, Tink, Vince Staples and the winner of the fan-voted 10th Spot, Kidd Kidd.

Running throughout the month, we’ll be rolling out profiles, interviews, roundtables and our famous cyphers—hosted once again by DJ Drama—and freestyles from each member of this year’s eighth annual Class, as well as exclusive photos and video from our 2015 XXL Freshman Class shoot and plenty more beginning with the behind-the-scenes video from our shoot, below. And with this year’s group, they’re not to miss. Plus, check out our Freshmen performing live in New York City at the Best Buy Theater on Tuesday, June 30 and in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theater on Monday, July 13 to catch the new Class in action.

The announcement of our 2015 XXL Freshman Class, of course, also means our Summer 2015 issue has arrived and it’s packed full of top-notch stories. We spent time with hip-hop’s pint-sized power duo Rae Sremmurd, who can’t stop dropping hits, and spoke to Bobby Shmurda in an exclusive interview from jail as he waits for his trial to begin at the end of the month. We spent the day with the Migos in Atlanta as they gear up to release their debut album in July and caught up with Troy Ave in New York City before he drops his own LP, out June 5. Boosie BadAzz let us into his thought process in writing Touch Down 2 Cause Hell and A$AP Rocky’s engineer Hector Delgado broke down the magic that made At.Long.Last.A$AP tick. Gucci Mane spoke to us exclusively from prison—and not just to give advice. And French Montana penned a few heartfelt words about the loss of his friend and fellow MC Chinx, who was tragically killed last month.

So we’ve got plenty to come as we roll out this issue, which hits newsstands later this month. But today, it’s all about congratulating the 2015 XXL Freshman Class. The process of selecting our Freshmen every year is an eight-month process, with thousands of hours dedicated to listening to new music, meeting and interviewing hundreds of potential Freshmen picking the brains of everyone and making and re-making (and re-making) the list over and over again to determine who we feel should represent this year’s Class. We’re proud of our picks. We hope you’ll agree.

Congratulations again to the 2015 XXL Freshman Class of DeJ Loaf, Fetty Wap, GoldLink, K Camp, OG Maco, Raury, Shy Glizzy, Tink, Vince Staples and Kidd Kidd. The future is now. —XXL Staff

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