News: French Montana Nearly Ditched XXL Freshmen '12 Cover, "I Felt Like I Deserved It 2 Years Ago"

Thursday, Mar 8, 2012 11:31PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Bad Boy Records' French Montana currently graces the cover of XXL Magazine's annual Freshmen issue, however, the "Shot Caller" hitmaker claims he initially planned to skip out on the honor.

In French's opinion, he felt the XXL Freshmen crown was long overdue.

"I kinda like wasn't gonna do it, because I felt like I deserved it two years ago, last year. You know how that goes," French told Sway on Wednesday's episode of "RapFix Live." After a meeting with the magazine's staff, French changed his mind and agreed to shoot the cover with rappers like his Bad Boy labelmate Machine Gun Kelly, Iggy Azalea and Future. "They were like, 'This is based upon if you don't have an album out.' But to me I looked at it as another stepping stone because I respect everything they do," French told Sway. "I said, 'I really don't have no album out and I'm still like a rookie to the mainstream world.'" (RapFix)

Last year, Dipset's Cam'ron admitted he turned down XXL's offer to feature his artist Vado as a 2011 Freshman.

"This is what happened, straight up and down, what happened was this-- [XXL Magazine EIC Vanessa Satten] called me about doing it. You know they didn't put him on last year. They wanted him on this year. So Allan [Grunblatt], that's the CEO at [E1 Music]. Me and Vado have an album coming out and Jim [Jones] has an album coming out. So I told the lady at XXL I'd get back to her because I was saying, if Vado does do the cover for XXL, I want him to be a main focus. I'm not trying to be an a**hole or be like, it's us or nothing. I'm just trying to say, my man put a lot of work in the last year. So I'm not trying to say the other people that's coming up shouldn't be on the cover either. I'm not saying that, I'm saying just give him a little focus on the cover, and she said she didn't know if she could do that, this that and the third -- But what happened is, we got an album out -- so the dude at Koch, Allan Grunblatt, he went to The Source and [got us] the cover -- it doesn't make sense for him to be behind seven people on the [XXL] cover and he's gonna be front face on The Source cover with me and Jim. So, I told her that I couldn't do it because she couldn't give any guarantees on how his look was going to be. I still love the XXL and appreciate all the support they've given us." (Shade 45)

A year prior, Young Money's Nicki Minaj defended her and Drake's decision to skip XXL's cover.

"Drake and I, we love XXL," she told us recently on the set of her video for "Massive Attack." "We just shot for XXL. With all due respect, we felt like we kinda had graduated from the freshman class. We felt that XXL missed the mark when they didn't put us on the cover prior to that. They have to pay for that. They can't say, 'Hey, get on the next one.' But we love XXL. That's like a hip-hop classic. So we said, 'Can we have something just a little bit more catered to us, so that we feel like we have still grown as artists, so we're not at all disrespecting the magazine?' They were cool with that." (MTV)

This year's XXL Freshmen list includes Bad Boy's Machine Gun Kelly and Memphis' Don Trip.

It's that time of year again -- XXL has officially revealed its list of the top hip hop "freshmen" of 2012, honoring fresh new talent poised to make a mark on the industry. The list has grown in popularity and garnered heated anticipation each year since its introduction in 2007. This year #XXLFreshmen2012 shot to the top of Twitter's worldwide trending topics within minutes of the announcement. The XXL Freshmen Class of 2012 is: Future, Kid Ink, Danny Brown, French Montana, Roscoe Dash, Macklemore, Don Trip, Machine Gun Kelly, Hopsin and Iggy Azalea. (BET)

Check out a recent French Montana interview below:

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