TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka native and musician T-Rell is being considered for a major music honor.

National hip-hop magazine XXL nominated T-Rell as a finalist for its 2022 Freshman Class. Staff for the magazine pick nine people for the group, and voters get to decide who will be the tenth person. The person who makes the cut will be featured in a class photo on the magazine’s cover, and is named an artist to watch.

Topeka rapper T-Rell stands underneath the billboard asking the city to vote for him for XXL’s Freshman Class. (KSNT Photo/Mark Feuerborn)

With T-Rell in the running, he’s putting up a billboard in Topeka to get the word out. He says if he wins, it could be a big moment for the city and the state.

“Topeka has amazing artists here, you know, they have amazing musicians from singers to people that just play instruments,” T-Rell said. “We need national light, and XXL’s gonna bring that national light, me winning an award for Freshman Class is only gonna bring that light here to give opportunities for other artists.”

Founded in 1997, XXL features a variety of artists, including big names such as 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Jay Z, Paul Wall, Eminem and more. Its annual Freshman Class list was started in 2007 and focuses on ten artists to keep an eye on, shining a light on artists who may not be well-known yet.

To learn more about T-Rell, check out his website here. To cast your vote for T-Rell for XXL’s Freshman Class, go here.