It’s been nearly two months since XXL magazine revealed the “Freshman Class 2010,” its annual preview of hip-hop’s next big thing. Which means it’s been long enough for us to ask: So, are any of these people really going to be famous? Maybe! J. Cole and Big Sean would presumably have the head-start, with their respective Jay-Z and Kanye associations, but as of now we’d have to say it’s Wiz Khalifa — a slim, easygoing 22-year-old body-ink aficionado from Pittsburgh — who’s in pole position. Khalifa’s just released his new mixtape, Kush and Orange Juice, and it’s a nice showcase of the youngun’s commercial appeal. He’s got the kind of cartoony, overly enunciated flow that makes us think classic G-Funk (specifically, D.J. Quik) and a party mindset, but his biggest crossover asset is his propensity to rhyme over all manners of soft pop-radio beats, a tactic currently being successfully utilized on 2008 XXL freshman B.o.B’s hit single “Nothing on Me.” Don’t be shocked if Khalifa’s up next.
Download Kush and Orange Juice at NahRight