The internets are buzzing with the prospect of new blood on the hip-hop scene.  A changing of the guard has been long awaited by some and dreaded by others, but either way, it is here.  Drake, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, B.o.B, Charles Hamilton, Freddie Gibbs, OJ Da Juiceman, S-Preme, all of them.  You know the ones that have been on the XXL Freshman cover by now.  The thing is… hip hop fans are so rabid that there are already sects forming for each of the new freshman, with as many people passing out hate as passing out compliments and constructive criticism.  If you go on any given hip hop site to a post about any of the new kids on the block, it is a guarantee that Drake is mentioned in both an adoring and damning light.  Some can’t see passed his days as Wheel Chair Jimmy, some find it more endearing.  Some can’t stand that a rapper is trying to sing, but some are all over it.  There is already a debate about which of the guys is best of the class.  Come on.  More than half of the guys haven’t even released an album.  Besides, even if they had, most of these artists are innovative, they each bring something new to the table.  Why can’t everyone just sit back and enjoy the variety that is coming?  You want something to relate to when you’re in an awful mood?  Pick a Kid Cudi record.  You want an innovative sound that defies any one genre?  B.o.B just came out with some new stuff.  Lyrics are your thing at the moment?  Chuck Hamilton and J. Cole will both help you out with that, but they have different styles in doing so.  My advice?  Check them all out, and be glad that you’re able to experience such a movement.  If you don’t like the sound, leave it.  In the words of Mr. Hamilton: “If different shit is whack to you, then don’t cop it.”

The Freshman of 2009