SAVANNAH, Ga.- The 3rd annual XXL Freshmen Cypher will take place on Oct. 4. In the Student Union Ballroom. The annual rap battle and performance is being presented by the Juice Live.

“We have a lot of talented students on campus and this event is a chance for them to come out and showcase their talents in an exciting way that the students can relate to,” Wesley Clarke, president of the organization, said.

The Juice Live is an organization dedicated to empowering HBCU students, promoting campus activity, HBCU culture, and school spirit. Most of its members consist of graphic designers, videographers, photographers, hosts, reporters, or people that just want to be involved on campus and in activities.

The auditions for the cypher were held on Sept. 10 and 12 and were open to all classifications. Rappers, poets, artists, and performers alike were invited to come out and prove that they had what it takes to be chosen for the event.

XXL is an American hip-hop magazine that annually releases a Top 10 Freshmen list, also known as the freshmen class. The issue features 10 up and coming artists, and the list has a history of showcasing underground rappers or artists to watch. Being on the list is seen as a coveted honor in the hip-hop community and is credited for giving many artists their first taste of fame. Once they release the cover, they also do a video featuring all the artists in a cypher.

While XXL has never named a Savannah State student in its Top 10, performers are hopeful.

“I was an aspiring artist with confidence in my ability to rhyme,” says the winner from last year’s event, Dia Maxey. “I came to prove that I was the best on this campus to do so for the sake of the competition. My advice for first time performers would be that you keep calm and just let your words flow. Get in to your own rhythm and groove and eat. Add a little self-confidence to the mix and you can win. That’s how I did it, and if I can do it, you can too.

Maxey’s stage name is Duke.

“This performance was ecstatic for me because I was ready to prove myself and face the campus as a performer. After the dust settled and I won I was comfortable as well as proud. It was an awesome feeling,” he said.

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