Album Review: 21 Savage & Metro Boomin' - Savage Mode II
The anticipation was at a fever pitch for East Atlanta native 21 Savage to drop new music and he finally delivered the sequel to his breakout 2016 project 'Savage Mode' with superstar producer Metro Boomin last week. Before you even hear a single sound, the album's cover art gives you a taste of what you're in for. Styled in the same way as classic records from the No Limit camp, a statement is made that you're diving into a world of gangsta rap that not everyone will understand, but demands to be appreciated.
To prepare you for each chapter of the project, we're treated by narration by the one and only legendary actor Morgan Freeman over a haunting sample before a cynical demon-like laugh emerges from the background and the dark high energy beat to 'Runnin' drops with Savage reflecting on his mood in 2016 and how far it has taken him in his career ever since. This mood continues on the track "Glock In My Lap" before it lightens up for the pop-trap banger " Mr Right Now" featuring the certified lover boy known as Drake. Although fit with the ingredients to make a splash on the charts, the biggest highlight of this song is the revelation of Drake's past romance with RnB standout star Sza, which she later confirmed on Twitter.
From there, we're driven into a more laid back tune with a silky verse from Young Thug called "Rich Nigga Shit' , littered with jazzy trumpet samples and prostitutes giving advice on what to focus on in life. With this new advice, 21 faces his opps and demons over a run of murder bangers like 'Slidin' and the 50 Cent inspired 'Many Men', each track having distinct piano like sounds that remind you of the most suspenseful scenes in old Halloween movies, with Savage playing Michael Myers and hunting down his opps.
The album does have its moments of emotion. 'RIP Luv' sees 21 reminiscing about a past relationship that changed his perspective on life after ending in a messy break up, with 'Said N Done' ending the movie like offering and giving insight on 21's goals before leaving earth. The growth over the last 4 years is more than evident on this album. From the familiar tales of trappin in ATL with other jackboys ('My Dawg) to 80s throwback like tracks ('Steppin On Niggas'), both Metro & 21 add another solid project to an already savage discography and have given us the soundtrack of the season.