By: Seth Breinberg
United Kingdom born rapper 21 Savage and Missouri producer Metro Boomin have made quite a splash before in the hip-hop genre, with projects such as Savage Mode and Without Warning (along with Migos’ Offset), but this year, they released their best work to date. This album is Savage Mode II. The long-awaited sequel to their original 2016 project exceeded the expectations of many. Rolling Stone calls it “a near perfect sequel to the trap classic.” I agree with this claim, as it takes every aspect from writing, production, and even performance of 21 Savage to a completely new level. Plus, this one has Morgan Freeman. Yes, you read that correctly.
Freeman makes multiple appearances on the album, giving short monologues and words of wisdom transitioning into tracks. He even gets an intro and interlude track to himself. In an interview with GQ, Morgan Freeman said this about the script he had read for the interlude track, “Snitches & Rats Interlude”: “I read the copy and was like, ‘Wow, there’s some wisdom in here, I think this is the way I think. It’s basically saying don’t suffer fools and when you want something go for that.” He also said, “If [Savage’s music] is a young people thing, then this is stuff they need to be aware of.’” The Snitches & Rats interlude describes the difference between someone who is considered a snitch and someone who is considered a rat. It goes as follows: “A regular citizen who reports seeing a crime isn’t a ‘snitch’ or a ‘rat,’ the criminals were just sloppy. Snitches and rats are not the same thing, let me break it down to make sure y’all see what I mean. A ‘snitch’ is someone minding other folks’ business. A ‘rat’ is a traitor, a conceiver, planner, or physical participator…” This is something Freeman felt passionate about and was happy to discuss on the album and in his GQ interview.
The album wasn’t short of any great features either. For one, Drake appears on track 4, entitled “Mr. Right Now.” In addition, there are other appearances, such as Young Thug and Young Nudy. There is even a Diana Ross sample on track 2, “Runnin”. The song samples a part of her song “I Thought it Took a Little Time (But Today I Fell in Love)”.
The only downfall I see with this album is some repetitive themes and lyrics, but overall, it is an incredible trap project, showcasing some of 21 Savage’s best performances and Metro’s best production. I give this album a 9/10. Every song is an absolute banger, plus it’s very replayable and fun.
Photo courtesy of John Canon; design by Pen & Pixel Graphics, Inc.