XXL unveiled its prestigious Freshman Class cover Wednesday, and a prominent rapper was noticeably missing from the list. 

Ice Spice has had a meteoric rise to fame since her single “Munch” dropped in August 2022. She recently surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify, according to Chart Data.

Fans quickly noticed her absence and started speculating why she wasn’t included in XXL’s 2023 Freshman Class. Sources reportedly told TMZ Ice Spice had to decline due to scheduling conflicts. The rapper is performing at music festivals this summer and has recently appeared in several campaigns and magazine covers.

As news hit social media, the editor-in-chief of XXL noted this was only part of the story. 

“Not really the whole story or whole excuse given, but ok,” Vanessa Satten tweeted back at TMZ.

“You know this is not really the whole story or whole excuse given, but someone’s trying to get in front of it first…” she wrote in another tweet.

The reason for Ice Spice’s absence from the list has yet to be disclosed.


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XXL’s Freshman Class cover is one of the most prestigious in hip-hop. Being featured on the list is considered a high distinction for upcoming artists. Previous cover subjects have included rappers such as Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion.

This year, the list included breakout artists Central Cee, Lola Brooke, TiaCorine and GloRilla. It also featured Finesse2tymes, Rob49, Fridayy, 2Rare, SleazyWorldGo, Luh Tyler, Real Boston Richey, DC The Don and cyphers producer Pierre Bourne.

Congratulations, class of 2023!