During the 2022 XXL Freshman shoot in Atlanta this past May, selected artists were tasked with stepping up to the plate and leaving no crumbs behind by the time everything was said and done. The quad of Kali, Cochise, Babyface Ray and BabyTron did just that in their cypher. Fusing for a track strong enough to go platinum, the layered artists prove here that the only time they fold is when it comes to the dead presidents in their pockets.
The beat is laced by multiplatinum-selling producer Wheezy Outta Here. Offering his usual brand of romantic trap, the Grammy award-winning talent utilizes a combination of chordophone and woodwind instruments for the melody, along with a turbulent drum kit to match. Additionally, the foundation, best described by the viral clip of Future saying "sensational," is, of course, equipped with his standout producer tag, which came from an old studio session with Pluto and Young Thug.
Thanks to Georgia's own Kali, things couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Talking greasy, she uses an array of flows to detail her player mentality when it comes to having prospects and authentic motion in the rap game. "Niggas only hard to they homeboys/Niggas only hard to that weak-ass bitch/Flashin' them guns in the videos, and don't even know how to load up a switch/I ain’t even havin' no sneaky link, ’cause a nigga gon' brag on the shit," she spits.
Next is Florida's own Cochise, who's typically known for his high-pitched delivery, zippy cadences and carefree bars that precede his lively ad-libs. He puts all of those on display here. Keeping things fun and truly going off the top, he raps about being in the presence of his day ones and recruiting people’s girlfriends to keep them company. "OK, excuse me, got your shawty she loosie/I slap on her booty/She show me the boobies/And all of my niggas we getting some cuties, OK," he rhymes.
Third up is the respected Detroit rhymer Babyface Ray. Prevailing with his signature conversational flow, ’Face flexes about staying true to himself from an infant. Despite always having special qualities, he expresses that, nowadays, he has juice on tap, flexing, "Face yo' baby, face her, baby, drive her crazy/New Mercedes, huggin' me good the new 580/Blue 500, done made 500, just call me the greatest/From nothin' to somethin', now I’m a stunna like Weezy and Baby."
Rounding things out is another Michigan native, BabyTron. He opts to go a cappella, emphasizing his caption-worthy bars about being a savage-hearted hustler who gets to the bag by any means while also being quick to put his enemies in one. "Play with us or one of mines, be done left y'all/Why you playin'? Once it's up, you can’t press pause/Sonic to the blues, get to runnin' like the hedgehog/Catch ’em in a Off-White tee, get ’em X'd off," he raps.
Talk about ending the Freshman rollout on a high note.
Watch Kali, Cochise, Babyface Ray and BabyTron’s 2022 XXL Freshman Cypher
Read the 2022 XXL Freshman cover story featuring BabyTron, Cochise, Saucy Santana, Babyface Ray, KenTheMan, SoFaygo, Big Scarr, Big30, KayCyy, Doechii, Kali and Nardo Wick in the magazine, on newsstands now. The issue includes additional interviews with Wheezy Outta Here, Lupe Fiasco, Kevin Gates, Pi’erre Bourne, NLE Choppa, Yvngxchris, producer DJ Dahi, engineer Teezio and singer Chlöe, plus a breakdown of every Freshman Class from a numbers standpoint, a look back at what the 2021 XXL Freshman Class is doing, the story of why the 2016 XXL Freshman Class gets so much respect now, a deep dive into the world of NFTs through hip-hop’s lens and exploring rappers’ most valuable collections. You can also buy the 2022 XXL Freshman Class issue here.