Truth on Being a 2018 XXL Freshman: “[After] I was told I was going to be a XXL Freshman, I was thinking, How am I gonna prepare for this cypher? That was the main thing that I was thinking about ’cause I was like, Oh my god, there’s gonna be so many places that I cannot embarrass myself. So, that’s mainly what I was thinking about, but I was happy for myself. I was mainly worried that I need to worry about this cypher. But, I’m happy ’cause my dad’s gonna be proud from afar.

I thought I [deserved it last year]. I thought like, Nah, I deserve to be on that, rapping-wise, skill-wise, I feel like I did. I really did ’cause some people didn’t deserve to be on there skill-wise, of actually hip-hop and rapping. But I could see why it was how it was. It just wasn’t my time yet. And especially with X [XXXTentacion] already on there, me and X have similar fans, so it would make sense.

When I first thought about [the XXL Freshman cover], it was Lil B [on the 2011 XXL Freshman cover], to be completely honest. I was a really big Lil B fan back in the day. And then Kendrick Lamar just comes out snappin’. That’s one of the best Freshman lists. It was definitely an eye-opener that it’s for people who have a big influence on the culture.

[Our class] gives you all aspects 'cause a lot of us even sing now. So, it gives you a lot of aspects of rapping and what rap is now and last year did that, too. I’m seeing it was perfectly timed.

What [being a 2018 XXL Freshman] means to me, I don’t know how I feel about it yet. I haven’t had it happen to me before. It’s great to be completely honest, I really appreciate it, especially the timing of it. It’s really gonna be a big help in my career. It’s gonna open a lot of doors. I respect XXL and what they do. They’ve only had legends, so you could only respect XXL and what they’ve done so far.

I feel like what I’m bringing to the culture or music right now, I say I’m bringing what people want to hear. I feel like I’m not lyrical but also on the lyrical side. I’m something you can deal with on a trap level.”—As told to Georgette Cline

See Photos of Ski Mask The Slump God Behind the Scenes at the 2018 XXL Freshman Class Cover Shoot