As hip-hop prepares to celebrate its 48th birthday next month, the genre has elevated to heights that its founding fathers may have never thought possible. The influx of artists trying to get recognized for their rhymes isn't enough to stand out from the competition these days. 2021 XXL Freshman Rubi Rose's voice has set her apart from many of the rap newcomers in her league. While her liberating lyrics of sex, power and boss moves have become fodder for social media captions and the TikTok set, it's how Rubi delivers the music that leaves a lasting impression. Her deep, sultry tone has pushed her 2019 track "Big Mouth" to over 15 million Spotify streams and 16 million YouTube views and counting.

"I’m bringing to the game my voice," the 23-year-old Lexington, Ky. native expresses. "It’s different. A lot of the other rap girls are higher pitched… I obviously sound like a woman, but I’m not too girly. Real and raw.” That no-filter energy is heard across her 2020 debut mixtape, For the Streets.

Before she was immersed in hip-hop in front of the mic, she was a student at Georgia State University in 2015, where she studied political science. Her time in Atlanta led to networking opportunities that developed into leading lady roles in music videos. Raury’s “Cigarette Song” in 2015, and Migos’ hit “Bad and Boujee” featuring Lil Uzi Vert in 2016, among them. A video vixen wasn't the career title Rubi aimed for, but it surely helped the former cheerleader's viral factor.

Two years later, she recorded her first song, which was a verse on then-boyfriend Playboi Carti’s “On Top.” While that track didn't make much noise for her, it was "Big Mouth," released a year later, that did. She had a proven hit and a handful of songs to her name at the time, which caught the attention of Hitco Entertainment, where Rubi signed in 2109.

Now, she's one of four women in the 2021 XXL Freshman Class. She recognizes that her position in hip-hop wouldn't be possible if it weren't for other women rappers that came before her. “My musical influences are Nicki Minaj, of course," Rubi says. "She is the Queen of Rap. She paved the way for a lot of upcoming female artists. Her looks, her hairstyles, music, everything. I love what she’s doing. And I also love Cardi B. She’s also paved the way for the new generation and new female rappers. I fuck with what she’s doing with her music. Her visuals as well are on point.”

With the title of XXL Freshman attached to her name, Rubi is aware of the criticism that comes along with it. But there's not a naysayer that can strike a blow to the confidence she has in herself. “[Being an XXL Freshman], I just felt really validated," she affirms. "People have to put some respect on me. People who were [in past classes] like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Nipsey Hussle, I watched a lot of their cyphers. There are so many notable, legendary people, and the fact that I’m on this list, it gave me some self-validation. Now, nobody can tell me shit." Get familiar with her music before passing judgment.

Rubi Rose is ready for all the smoke in her XXL Freshman freestyle. "I'm like stay the fuck from ’round me/Booked, I'm too busy to be fuckin' with that clownery/Body work of art, they should put me in a gallery/Hunnid on my wrist, I could pay these bitches' salary/Catch up, bitch, catch up/Look, Rubiana, that's a bad bitch/Red bottoms and Givenchy, leopard cat print/In the Bentley doing business doin' business while in traffic/Pay my driver six figures so I can't have no broke n***as that's around me/Bitch, I been a boss/Yeah, the biggest boss/Shout-out Ricky Ross," she raps while switching up flows.

The glowed-up rhymer wants the crown and she isn't afraid to take it: "From the do' let these bitches know they should crown me/Yeah, I saw your chain from over here, that bitch look cloudy/Every time I pull up to the club they pay that bounty/Count it then we outtie."

Don't sleep on Rubi Rose's talent. Watch her go off in her 2021 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by BODYARMOR, 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.