Blxst prides himself on being a triple threat. The 25-year-old West Coast native raps, sings and produces. That three-headed creative energy is best showcased on his 2020 EP, No Love Lost, and its deluxe version. While artists that came before him have mastered those similar crafts, Blxst is doing it his own way. He makes the kind of breezy music that feels like it's soaked in sunshine—perfect for the ride, getting in the zone inside at home or outside in these streets this summer. Listen to "Chosen" featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Tyga, and "Overrated" to get familiar. Wearing the artist and producer hat simultaneously could mean one area is lacking, but that's not the case for this 2021 XXL Freshman. He's learned from some of the best, which he pays homage to in his list of top five favorite rappers.

For his top five picks, Blxst names three artists who excel in the art of both rapping and producing. However, all five are highly respected lyricists with plenty of classic material to their names. "Kendrick [Lamar]J. ColeDrakeAndré 3000 and I'ma say Kanye West," Blxst shares as he lists off his favorite rappers.

His first choice is not only a fellow West Coast rep, but someone Blxst has a work history with. In 2014, he produced Hitta J3’s track “Do Yo Gudda” and its remix, which K-Dot was featured on. "So Kendrick, yeah, that's King Kendrick, you know?" Blxst expresses. "He set the tone for, like, bars on the West Coast and I feel like he set it high." High enough for three of his projects to land at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

North Carolina's own J. Cole is another esteemed MC that has a place on Blxst's top five. "J Cole is another one who set the bar high," he shares. "I just appreciate him just because he come from the Jay-Z family. He was like a underdog that really outshined a lot of people." Since 2011, when Cole dropped his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, he's been doing just that.

Over in Toronto, the Boy has made an impact on Blxst's career. From singing to rapping, Drizzy has created countless hits showcasing his dual talents. "Drake, I would say him just because he's just musically inclined to another level," Blxst says. "Drake is like a top-tier when it comes to creating." Drake's upcoming Certified Lover Boy album will undoubtedly support Blxst's sentiments.

A lauded ATLien, who has been in the game for nearly three decades, inspires off staying true to his core. "André 3000, he's himself, like no matter what," Blxst explains. "He can go weird. He can hang with the gangsters, hang with the weirdos and still be accepted as who he is." His catalog as part of OutKast and his solo work caters to both.

And rounding out his top five is one of hip-hop's most prolific yet polarizing artists. "So, I would say Kanye as well because you can't box him in," Blxst conveys. "There's no limit to, you know, how creative he can get." From music to fashion, there's always an unparalleled surprise on the horizon when ’Ye's ready to drop.

Watch Blxst offer his takes on his top five favorite rappers' careers below.

Travis Shinn for XXL

See the 2021 XXL Freshman Class

Welcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.