When an artist finds their calling, the time is now to act on it. In 2018, San Francisco native 24kGoldn was en route to a future in finance, which began at the renowned University of Southern California. He took a break from college and decided to commit to rap, prepared to go back to school if things didn't work out. While that was a choice that would make most people tense up, 24kGoldn's gamble worked to his benefit in a matter of months. That same year, he dropped "Ballin Like Shareef," a reference to pro basketball prospect Shareef O'Neal, and started to build up some buzz for himself.
What sets 24kGoldn apart is his pop sensibility; he can fully commit to making songs that would fit just fine in a top 40 mix, and then flip that into crafting a rap song. Pair that with his likable persona makes it easy to root for him, and his run of success illustrates that. His true big break came after he released the BlackMayo-produced track "Valentino," on Jan 25, 2019. The song, centered on living the fast life and dodging love, blew up on TikTok, climbing to No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single is now platinum and has been streamed over 205 million times on Spotify.
The 19-year-old rising artist also earned a gold plaque for his rock-tinged banger "City of Angels" and landed his highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 song to date with "Mood" featuring Iann Dior at No. 12. With two years in the game, his body of work is still growing. He released his debut project, the aptly-titled Dropped Outta College, in November of 2019. The effort features his follow-up hit, "City of Angels."
24kGoldn believed in himself so much that he left behind USC and a future as a hedge fund manager for music. His big risk paid off. This kind of upward trajectory earned him a place as a 2020 XXL Freshman, and the voters fully got behind him, voting 24k into the 10th Spot. Given a chance to shine, 24KGoldn makes his 2020 XXL Freshman freestyle count.
The former commercial actor starts his freestyle with a melodic delivery. "Let me introduce myself/Nice guy turned to a player/Hey, what's up with you, over there?/Come enjoy the view, over here," he raps.
He then starts to flex: "Passionate for fashion that I like/Real impatient, need it overnight/Six Louis bags on the flight/Two nights to get into fights/Six racks we're spendin' at the store/Overstated elegance for sure."
More thoughtful rhymes commence and he faces the realities of his rising popularity; "I got imperfections they don't know, but I can't think of anyone who don't/Lotta niggas want what I have, but I ain't really satisfied with that," 24k rhymes.
Towards the end of the freestyle, he starts to all-out croon, showing off his singing chops. "Take my hand and we can fly to the stars/It won't take too long, baby/So let's go, to El Dorado," he sings. El Dorado is a reference to his upcoming album, to be released via Records/Columbia.
Check out 24KGoldn's 2020 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by Rap Caviar, below.
See the 2020 XXL Freshman Class