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Can we say CONGRATS to the midwest though? Out of the 12 slots on the XXL Freshman Class of 2014, five of those were artists from the Midwest.

Via XXL:

We are proud to present the much anticipated XXL Freshman Class of 2014. Our seventh anniversary lineup includes 12 artists who are breaking new ground in hip-hop.

It’s what you all been waiting for, ain’t it? It’s XXL‘s Dirty Dozen: Chance the Rapper, Isaiah Rashad, Ty Dolla $ign, Rich  Homie Quan, Vic Mensa, August Alsina, Troy Ave, Kevin Gates, Lil Bibby, Jon Connor, Lil Durk, and as voted by YOU, our 10 spot winner and the People’s Champ, Jarren Benton.

The XXL staff was on hand to exclusively reveal the XXL Freshmen 2014 cover on BET’s 106 & Park Monday evening (May 5). Starting next week and running till June, we’ll be rolling out profiles, interviews, roundtables, and our world famous cyphers and freestyles with this year’s fine crop of talent. Plus there are a few more surprises that we’ll keep close to the vest for now.

Since 2008, XXL has anointed a new breed of rappers on the rise with its annual cover — an event that many in the hip-hop community view as a sign that these young artists have “made it.” Past selections include Kendrick Lamar, YG, Future, Big Sean, and Grammy winner Macklemore.

1. xxl-freshman-2014-jarren-benton

XXL Freshman 2014 Jarren Benton of Decatur, GA.

2. XXL Freshman 2014 Lil Durk from Chicago, IL.

XXL Freshman 2014 Lil Durk from Chicago, IL.

3. XXL Freshman 2014 Jon Connor from Flint, MI.

XXL Freshman 2014 Jon Connor from Flint, MI.

XXL Freshman 2014 Jon Connor from Flint, MI.

4. XXL Freshman 2014 August Alsina from New Orleans, LA.

XXL Freshman 2014 August Alsina from New Orleans, LA.

5. XXL Freshman 2014 Rich Homie Quan from Atlanta, GA.

XXL Freshman 2014 Rich Homie Quan from Atlanta, GA.

6. XXL Freshman 2014 Chance the Rapper from Chicago, IL

XXL Freshman 2014 Chance the Rapper from Chicago, IL

7. XXL Freshman 2014 Isaiah Rashad from Chattanooga, TN.

XXL Freshman 2014 Isaiah Rashad from Chattanooga, TN.

8. XXL Freshman 2014 Ty Dolla $ign from Los Angeles, CA

XXL Freshman 2014 Ty Dolla $ign from Los Angeles, CA

9. XXL Freshman 2014 Vic Mensa from Chicago, IL.

XXL Freshman 2014 Vic Mensa from Chicago, IL.

10. xxl-freshman-2014-troy-ave

XXL Freshman 2014 Troy Ave from Brooklyn, NY

11. xxl-freshmen-2014-cover

12. xxl-freshman-2014-kevin-gates

XXL Freshman 2014 Kevin Gates from Louisiana.

13. xxl-freshman-2014-lil-bibby

XXL Freshman 2014 Lil Bibby from Chicago, IL.

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