Debate: Was this the worst XXL Freshman Cypher of all-time?


Every year the XXL Freshman Class showcases emerging rap, hip-hop, and R&B stars — allowing them to boast their talents through cyphers and freestyle drops.

The quality of cyphers differs from year to year and from group to group, but I’ve never been more disappointed with a cypher than the one below.

The cypher lineup features Denzel Curry, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, and Kodak Black; that’s a lot of talent and hype. I went into this review with very high expectations.

Denzel Curry starts off with a solid cypher verse. He’s audible (a trait not commonly associated with new rappers) and showcases his lyrical ability while flexing multiple flows. As far as I’m concerned, you are likely wise to stop watching this cypher after 51 seconds.

As far as I’m concerned, you are likely wise to stop watching this cypher after 51 seconds.

Lil Uzi Vert had an impressive freestyle and his catalogue has more than a couple of bangers, so what happened here? I can only assume he wanted to relax, prove he knew the names of everyone else in the cypher and then try some stringing together a ton of ad-libs.

Lil Yachty gave a decent cypher verse, but I do think it was a bummer he cut himself off with that “wuh oh” because we all would’ve loved to hear more. Let’s hope the boat continues to outgrow his new “Desiigner-voice” syndrome and keeps up the heat with his lyrics.

You know exactly what you are going to get with a 21 Savage song; same thing goes for his cypher here. While that’s not an awful thing, his freshman cohorts were on point with their ad-lib and made his verse quite lit. I give them points for teamwork.

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Kodak Black… Just like Kodak Black in this cypher, I have no words.

So no, maybe it’s not the worst Freshman Cypher ever — but it was disappointing.

I think more effort will lead to more substance, and all these guys (except Denzel) could benefit from more substance. Plus, I want newcomers to stir up the “ad-lib and a hook” trend in rap. A few of these freshman could do that.

At the end of the day, however, it looked like they were all having fun and that’s cool…I guess.

If you didn’t like my article, here’s something you will enjoy: go watch Desiigner’s XXL cypher with closed captioning and subtitles on. You’re welcome.