Many rappers see the XXL freshmen cover as their big break. Being a part of the freshmen class means superstardom, girls, and getting that Justin Bieber money. But is that really the case?
Through a statistical break down of all the rappers who have been a XXL freshmen, The Village Voice found out superstardom is not guaranteed. In fact, less than half of the rappers who grace the notorious cover become superstars.
The chances a rapper reaches superstardom is only 12.5%. Furthermore, many of the freshmen who have achieved superstardom were helped by other extremely successful rappers. J. Cole received plenty of help from his mentor and boss Jay Z, a large reason he’s able to do the numbers he does (Born Sinner debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200.) Wiz Khalifa also received a ton of press and attention due to his relationship with Ye’s ex, Amber Rose. “Black and Yellow” was massive, but a little bit of Kanye press and you’re bound 2 reach new heights.
However, the numbers are a little different when it comes to white rappers. Yes, it’s harder to get the XXL nod at first (only 9.5% of all XXL freshmen have been white), but once you do the upside is tremendous. A whopping 42.9% of white freshmen have broken the doors down into superstardom. Most noticeably Macklemore, who murdered at the Grammys this year. Who says it’s hard to be a white rapper?
With all of the attention that we put on the XXL freshmen cover, the numbers are bleak. It’s a cool picture with some other talented rappers, but it does not guarantee success. It doesn’t mean you’ll be palling around with Justin Bieber, or walking Floyd Mayweather to the ring. All it really means is that you’re on a magazine cover with a bunch of other aspiring rappers.
Good luck to every freshmen this year, you’re going to need it.
[h/t Village Voice]