Image: Elena Scotti (Photos via XXL, Getty)

XXL’s annual Freshman Class cover dropped on Tuesday, and once you stop beefing over who should have been on the list, stop getting overly nostalgic about the hip-hop artists of yore, stop asking why there’s always only one woman in the freshman class, and stop wondering who the fuck half of these people are (hey, Ski Mask the Slump God is fun), you might notice something: Chris Kirkpatrick’s impact.

Also: Me when I get my summer box braids
Image: Getty

Yes, that Chris Kirkpatrick, the member of *NSync who appropriated dreadlocks and box braids before the masses had the vocabulary to note how vaguely fucked up it was. Kirkpatrick would fit right at home on this year’s XXL Freshman cover, thanks to the hair and a recent revival of the more garish fashion trends of the late ’90s and early ’00s (including, apparently, scruffs of hair right on the chin).

Does Lil’ Pump wonder “What Would Chris Kirkpatrick Wear?” when he gets dressed in the morning? No, probably not. But Kirkpatrick’s style influence is there, okay? The fact that Lil’ Pump looks a little like Kirkpatrick if you squint doesn’t hurt either.

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Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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Can you even tell the difference?

For the record, I’m not the only one to make this observation, so it’s a valid one. Put a face tat on Kirkpatrick and he would blend right in with this generation of SoundCloud rappers.

Thank you.

Image: Getty