Ranking every 2023 XXL Freshman Cypher

2023 Broccoli City Festival
2023 Broccoli City Festival / Prince Williams/GettyImages
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DC The Don
DC The Don / Jeremychanphotography/GettyImages

3. TiaCorine

One of the most underrated artists in the 2023 XXL Freshman Class, TiaCorine, had something to prove in the second cypher after delivering the shortest Freshman Freestyle (around 30 seconds). Tia's freestyle wasn't bad. It was just too short to take anything meaningful away from in terms of her rapping ability and delivery.

But Tia put any doubts to rest as to whether should was able to hang with the rest of the artists in this Freshman Class during a solid performance in the second cypher. None of her bars were spectacular, but the rhyme scheme and flow were great.

"I got the [?] with the beef, need a taco
B*tches be talkin', they p*ssy, El Gato
There's two b*tches on me, Paco
I like dark-skin b*tches, choco
I make a move in that b*tch, auto
Fuck on them n***as, get money, motto
I keep flexin', they thought I was macho
Make it rain in this b*tch, pronto"


Tia was one of the best performers, hands down, from the second cypher.

2. DC The Don

The fan choice in the 2023 XXL Freshman Class, straight out of rap's underground, is the Milwaukee, WI, native DC The Don. DC performed well during his Freshman Freestyle, displaying his versatile and witty bars.

DC The Don came through in a big way again with an energetic and versatile performance that saw him float over a great Pi'erre beat in the second cypher. DC was able to match the tempo of the beat in a switch-up mid-cypher, which isn't something that many rappers can do in this setting.

1. Finesse2Tymes

By far, the best performance from the first cypher belonged to Finesse2Tymes. The Memphis, TN, native rapper set the tone with some awesome bars and a strong delivery.

"Tell 'em folks this rapping sh*t don't work, then I'ma send a ho
Want ten or more, two types of exotic, told 'em send them both
B on the floor, I'm from Memphis, RIP to Billy Boat
Wrestling with my freedom, now I got sh*t in a figure-four"


No one else in the first cypher came even close to matching the energy and delivery that Finesse2Tymes brought to the table. Between the cypher and the Freshman Freestyle, Finesse2Tymes was one of the brightest stars in this class of artists for XXL.