AOTY 2019

i am > i was

21 Savage - i am > i was
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
2018 Ratings: #203 / 736
User Score
Based on 577 ratings
2018 Ratings: #451
December 21, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Slaughter Gang, Epic / Label
Trap Rap / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Highsnobiety

The overly violent shtick has been largely cut, replaced with a frequent tendency to journey inward and record the results. Because of this, I Am > I Was is a near masterpiece.

84
HipHopDX
21 Savage’s maxim of “I Am Greater Than I Was” is growth, understanding that as an artist and a public figure, you must push yourself to make some changes within.
80
The Guardian

The power in Savage’s music still lies in the gulf between what he is expected to feel and what he actually does: that brilliant vocal cadence suggests he is surveying the cars and girls of his new life with numbed distance, even disgust.

80
Crack Magazine

With 21 Savage maturing personally and musically since he first gained notoriety, I Am > I Was is a varied attempt at reconciling both sides of the face-tatted spitter’s vexing world.

78
Pitchfork
The second album from one of Atlanta’s most promising rappers recasts him as a star in waiting. He writes with grisly clarity and humor, and his songs here are sturdy, inventive, and sticky.
75
The 405

Overall, it’s a massive improvement on the disappointing Issa Album, with 21 Savage showing maturity whilst keeping his dark humour and persona.

70
The Needle Drop
21 Savage's latest album delivers on its title.
67
Consequence of Sound

It’s unfortunate ... that the record finds itself held back by unfeeling and monotonous takes on issues like gun violence. Overall, i am > i was is a mixed bag of experience that offers enough solid tracks to keep fans latched on.

BradTasteMusic
78
The maturity of this album is clear as day. It just sounds so much better than anything else Savage has done. His style is being improved greatly here. It is a very fun project with great hooks and production.
AZIZ
83
I prefer his more cold blooded songs but at the same time, the growth is very refreshing
thebibleparttwo
90
this is becoming one of my favorite trap albums
85
It is nice to see 21 grow a bit and express some vulnerability. Although there are some songs that feel like filler if you just look at the topic of the song but really they don't feel like filler because those songs are great songs by themselves. Although I wish there are more deep tracks on the album though. Incredibly solid project.

BEST- a lot, break da law, gun smoke, 1.5, all of my friends, can't leave without, asmr, ball w/o you, good day, monster, letter 2 my momma, 4L
JoaoSantos
45
I don't know why this is being so hyped. Honestly, I don't see anything that interesting here...
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Year End Lists

#24/Uproxx

Track List

  1. a lot
  2. break da law
  3. a&t
  4. out for the night
  5. gun smoke
  6. 1.5
  7. all my friends
  8. can't leave without it
  9. asmr
  10. ball w/o you
  11. good day
  12. pad lock
  13. monster
  14. letter 2 my momma
  15. 4L
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Added on: December 6, 2018