The XXL Freshman process is an extensive one. It starts with months of artists pitches that includes interviews and listening sessions. Next comes the shoot, crammed with back-to-back activities including the freestyles, cyphers, ABCs, photoshoots and more. The day can truly be exhausting, but at the end of it all, 2021 XXL Freshmen elects Blxst and Toosii finally got a breather and reflected on the busy journey in their roundtable interview following the cypher they bodied.
At the top of the segment, the two genre-blending artists share their thoughts on being a Freshman. For Blxst, the West Coast rhymer whose rapping and singing skills helped build his hype with esteemed projects like No Love Lost and glowing tracks like “Gang Slide,” the honor is “everything.” “It’s like a notable cosign," he explains. "XXL is a respected platform, so it give you that green light for sure."
Toosii, an artist who reps upstate New York and Down South, and rose to prominence with tracks like “Red Light” and “Love Cycle,” agrees with his classmate and speaks about stepping up to the plate when his name was called. “Everybody ain’t blessed enough to have this opportunity,” he expresses. “So I think like, if you ain’t take full advantage of this opportunity, I don’t know how often you’re gonna get too many more.”
In the three-minute clip, the pairing also takes time to divulge their thoughts on comparison being the thief of joy for their generation. And how the camaraderie between their classmates goes against that grain.
“As far as peers go, I feel the love," Blxst starts." I don’t really feel too much hate. And it’s no ego. I don’t know if its just this generation, but I feel like the ego is being taken away. It don’t matter what level you on. If you hard, you hard…”
“I never looked to be in competition with Blxst or be in competition with [Pooh] Shiesty or any of them,” Toosii adds. “At the end of the day it’s enough for all of us. So, we here and we working.”
Watch Blxst and Toosii predict people’s reaction to their spot on the cover, discuss not being distracted by the success of their peers and more in their 2021 XXL Freshman roundtable interview below.
Watch Blxst and Toosii's cypher.