Since introducing our inaugural Freshman class 12 years ago, XXL has built a track record of helping place some of the most promising prospects in hip-hop onto the national radar. During that time, many artists that have appeared on the cover have gone on to build sustainable careers, with more than a few having evolved into bonafide stars that are considered among the biggest acts in all of music.

In addition to moving the needle on radio, dominating charts and accounting for millions of album sales, XXL Freshman alums like Kendrick Lamar, 21 Savage, J.I.D and Gunna have also garnered acclaim and respect from institutions outside of the culture. The Recording Academy, which celebrates the best music has to offer with its annual Grammy Awards, was initially slow to embrace hip-hop during the 1980s and 1990s, but have spent the past two decades making gradual strides in that area.

With artists like Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Jay-Z, Kanye West and a host of other rap icons breaking barriers and being recognized at the Grammys, the awards show has increasingly pandered to the hip-hop community with each passing year. And while a Gramophone doesn't define or dictate one artist's worth or value, having one in your collection is a bragging right that's coveted by a number of artists and is a reflection of creative excellence.

In light of the nominations for the 2020 Grammys being revealed, XXL highlights a few dozen former Freshmen, from DaBaby to YBN Cordae and more, that have been recognized by the Grammy committee over the years.

See Every XXL Freshman Who's Been Nominated for a Grammy Award

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