Truth on Being a 2018 XXL Freshman: “It was a relief [when I found out I made the list], because when they did the vote, I was like, Aw man, I gotta make it. It just knocked [the pressure] off my shoulders. My mama didn’t believe me. [She was like,] 'Boy, you lyin’.' Everybody like, 'I knew it would be you!' They prayed it would be so it answered they blessin’. [I feel like] the chosen one. God answered a nigga prayers. Not too many people from Memphis get XXL Freshman. This is gonna surprise the whole South. They gonna go crazy. They gonna be like, 'Hell nah, hell nah!’

Everybody gonna have a feeling that they gon’ make it. You gotta have pride in yourself, faith in yourself. It happened like a lottery ticket. It’s cool. I just gotta cash in. It’s an honor because it’s only 10. It’s a lot of people that…you look at that list, it’s a lot of people that would just kill for that spot but I got it. I think it’ll affect [my career] in a major way. I think it’ll put me on another level. It’s an upgrade. It’s cool. It just brings a lot of attention on rappers, let them know who really working, who really grindin’. Anybody can rap and have bars, it’s just you gotta be consistent with it. wanted to do. I picked that list because them the rappers that fuck with me now. It was crazy. I was looking at them like, 'One day I’ll do a song with them.’ Now, they my niggas, we cool.

I been wanting to be a Freshman so long. I been watching this shit for so long. I ain’t thought of getting into it until I really started rappin’, I wasn’t poppin' like that. I started rappin' four years ago. I started really taking it serious when I dropped a mixtape, Who Am I, like, a year and a half ago. When I dropped Who Am I, everybody just listened to [my song] 'No Chorus Pt. 6.' So, really, I had a buzz off that shit. I probably had 100,000 views, so I shot a video. I dropped that and I hit, like, a million views in about six months. Everybody in the game, they was at millions in days. I was just looking at the process. I was looking at my progress. One day, I’d be on XXL. Not too many people make the Freshman Class. [Artists that didn’t make it will] still be successful, but I bet they really wanted that moment. You just can’t forget about it. On a scale of one to 10, it’s like 11. You only get one chance to do it.”—As told to Robby Seabrook III

See Photos of BlocBoy JB Behind the Scenes at the 2018 XXL Freshman Class Cover Shoot