2016 is the year 21 Savage popped off. With previous work ranging with Brodinski, Zaytoven, Dreezy and an entire project appropriately titled ‘Free Guwop’ with Sonny Digital as an executive producer. 21 finally garnered attention with his first, sort of, commercial release with the ever getting more popular, Metro Boomin on ‘Savage Mode’.
While Metro has worked with a variety of rappers within the community from Ludacris, Ty$, Gucci Mane, YG and Kanye West, it was bout time that one of the buzzing ATL acts finally got a project that consisted of just Metro beats. As well as this, Metro has consistantly showcased himself as a demanded producer in today’s generation of (t)rap music. You can’t help but get hyped, turnt, LiT, whatever phrase floats your boat when you hear any of his tag lines…
Moving on, 21 and Metro are a perfect collaboration. Metro provides the Slaughter Gang honcho with heavy synths, pounding bass lines, crashing hi-hats and cool melodic keyboards throughout. The project is a reflection of the gritty, bloody and trap environment that 21 Savage has grown up in. Although 21 may not be one of the greatest painters with words, his monotone, straight up fact-telling bars are enough to make anyone a Savage.
One of the highlights off the album is the stand-alone featured track, ‘X Bitch‘. The track features everyone’s favourite lean-sipping, perky calling Trap rapper, Future and the two go back and forth with some swag-audacious verses. The instrumental, provided by Metro and co-produced by 21, contains funky flutes, psychedelic keys and a thumping drum pattern. The two ATLiens rap about flashing their expensive jewellery, subliminal dissing Ciara, coincidentally, an ‘X Bitch’ and making sure that they don’t stop getting money. Future, in particular, has some subtle lines towards his ex on the track (‘Hold up, I don’t give a fuck about no ring / Hold up, fell in love with some good throat, hold up, ripped them confidential papers up’), which the #FutureHive, would have obviously enjoyed, as in this day and age, drama and ‘beef’ is just another way to slam artists and get a hashtag going.
As well as this, there’s the cinematic ending track, ‘Ocean Drive’, which has 21 flowing coolly over calm guitar strings and a heavy bass, rapping about his comeuppance to success, living a life fuelled by drugs (especially codeine and percocets if you haven’t watched The Breakfast Club interview!), not being a rat, counting ’20 grand’ on his lap and never signing to a major.
The album, EP, mixtape, whatever you want to call it is a reflection of the lifestyle 21 has lived; violent, dark and melancholy.
While today’s rap is shat on by its OG’s for loss of authenticity, there is nothing wrong with not being a lyrical rapper! Instead, 21 uses simplistic and real life observations to portray a very dark image of the lifestyle that he is or not a part of and uses #FACTS on all his tracks to prove the realness of what he is consequently a part of.