UPDATE (5:15 p.m.): Turns out Travi$ Scott is from Houston too. See this piece Shea Serrano wrote for Rocks Off in January 2012. Congrats to him too.
Congratulations to Houston rapper Kirko Bangz for making the cover of XXL magazine's annual "Freshman 10" issue this month, only a couple of years after he first drew national attention with the single "Drank In My Cup," and several months after "Drank" hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart.
Belated as they may be, we're guessing he'll take the kudos all the same. Also in the Freshman class of 2013 are Houston favorite Action Bronson, ScHoolboy Q, Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Logic, Travi$ Scott, Dizzy Wright and Angel Haze. (What's with all the dollar signs this year, guys?)
"Preciate y'all Mayne!" Bangz said on Twitter a couple of hours after the announcement.
For some reason you'll no doubt have to read in the issue, Chicago's Chief Keef was named XXL's "11th freshman." Is that like at A&M?
Bangz's slow-jam-ish new single, "Keep It Trill," comes out on iTunes today. According to a publicist at Atlantic Records, he is currently in the studio working on an album, with a release date TBD.
A mention in XXL's Freshman issue can be a harbinger of big things to come. As Rocks Off's Allison Wagoner told you a few months ago, the magazine has proved its Spidey sense by anointing Plies, Lupe Fiasco, Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar, French Montana, Iggy Azalea and even "Thrift Shop" dude Macklemore as official Next Big Things over the past few years.
As for former Houstonian and recent Fitzgerald's visitor RiFF RaFF, who had been actively campaigning for the cover, we're almost positive he'll find something to numb the disappointment soon.