Ever since the series started back in 2007, XXL has made waves with its annual Freshman issues, drawing fan engagement with each reveal. This year’s lineup is no different, as it comes loaded with some of the hottest young stars, along with a couple surprise choices.

Leading the way are 2018’s white-hot stars Lil Pump, BlocBoy JB and Trippie Redd. The star trio are joined by Stefflon Don, Ski Mask the Slump God, Smokepurrp, J.I.D. YBN Nahmir, and Wifisfuneral.

Obviously there are a few glaring omissions, like Tee Grizzley, NBA Youngboy and Lil Baby, but before disgruntled fans find more reasons to slam the cover and its selectees, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the 2018 class as solid of a pick as it could be.

Other than the obvious success of a Pump, BlocBoy and Trippie Redd, burgeoning stars Stefflon Don, Wifisfuneral, and YBN Nahmir are making waves, while Smokepurrp and Ski Mask the Slump God are fresh off solid 2018 releases with their respective outputs. Besides, considering what the publication had to deal with during its bumpy road, this surely deserves a round of applause.

Earlier this year, rappers Nav, Rich the Kid, and Lil Skies, in separate occasions, announced that they each passed on the cover. The latter, who won the fan vote for the 10th spot, apparently “refused to attend the shoot after originally accepting the offer,” according to XXL. If that wasn’t enough, a portion of the list was reportedly leaked as well.

Still, even through all of its setbacks, the Freshman issues continues to be the talk of the culture.