When you’re putting on for the rap game, it’s imperative that you have representation from the most popular regions. In this year’s 2020 XXL Freshman cypher, the talent in all four musical goldmines is illustrated. Mulatto holds it down for Atlanta, 24kGoldn reps for the West Coast, Fivio Foreign walks with New York City’s drip by his side like a pocket and Calboy is grounded by his roots in Chicago.
Over a riveting string-led beat crafted by Grammy Award-nominated, South Carolina-bred producer Jetsonmade, who’s been racking up plaques like a set of molars that sat overnight, the group feeds off each other’s energy in each bar and showcases their unique rap styles that landed them on this year’s Freshman cover.
Following “baow” and “viral” ad-libs ringing from Fivio in the background, ATL's Mulatto is the ace who sets the pace. She kisses the beat and proceeds by putting it in a body bag, spitting about her ability to rap on the mic and to guys like her co-freshman Fivio.
“I don’t gotta rap about sex/But this shit way too good not to brag on/I ain’t even fuck a rap nigga yet, but if Fivio want to then I ain’t gon’ pass on ’em/Yeah, bitch, I get my mack on/He ain’t trickin’, I skip ’em like bad songs/I just dropped a hundred on jewelry during a pandemic, yeah, my money that long," she rhymes.
Next, the pivot is to the West for 24kGoldn’s turn. The San Francisco rapper and XXL Freshman 10th spot winner energetically drops in with the same sing-song flow that turned “Valentino” and the Iann Dior-featured “Mood” into Billboard chart-climbing songs and viral hits. In his vibrant-colored outfit and bell bottom jeans, he proclaims that he’s undeniable right now and makes note that everyone else in the cypher is, too.
“Got your girl TikTokin' to my shit/I see Fivi in the cut, Woo walkin' in this bitch/I see Cal gettin’ wild, see the style too legit/And Mulatto she a queen, put a crown on that head,” he delivers.
Brooklyn's own Fivio Foreign taps in after, hitting a slight side to side jig in his silk designer drip as he steadily finds his pocket. With the innate ability to make everything catchy, he looks over and acknowledges Mulatto’s earlier name-drop before vowing to keep his haters on high alert.
“I sit in the seat and I catch it if she throw it to me/They fallin' asleep, but I never let ’em fumble the dream/Yeah, and I’ll never let ’em humble the king/Look, that’s coming from me, I call up movers and they coming at three, glttt, baow,” he raps.
Lastly, we slide to Calboy, who with Polo G, joins the rich lineage of Chicago rappers that have made the XXL Freshman list. The platinum-selling rapper puts his head down and gets right to business, addressing the insomnia that comes with stacking money the long way. Even sleep-deprived, he reminds people that he’s awake enough to make that Nina sing if it must.
“I ain’t been getting no sleep ’cause nigga I’m trappin' a lot, aye/No, I’m not talkin’ ’bout Polo, but niggas be cappin’ a lot, aye/I gotta ride with that Nina ’cause niggas be yappin’ a lot, aye/I got some aim with that glizzy I’ll blow his lil cap off his top, for real” he serves.
As the entrancing beat rides out, Fivio Foreign confidently declares that no one is touching this class: “2020 Freshman, this the best one.”
Watch Mulatto, 24kGoldn, Fivio Foreign and Calboy’s 2020 XXL Freshman cypher below.
See the 2020 XXL Freshman Class