AOTY 2023
21 Savage & Metro Boomin - SAVAGE MODE II
May 27, 2023
One of the better hip hop sequels, if you ask me. The first Savage Mode displayed 21 Savage with a very cold hearted, rugged style. His raps sure as hell weren’t very energy filled, but they still managed to show a whole lot of personality. You can tell when someone is coming out the gate with a new, innovative sound. That’s exactly what 21 did, bringing a unique style that nobody could duplicate. He had his biters and clones along the way, but none of them came close to the originator. Since then, his style has changed quite a lot. He tends to rap now with much more energy and a pretty standard, fast paced flow. He sounds much hungrier on the mic while still showing traces of the gloomy sound that made him famous. And when you pair that guy with the best trap producer in the world, it’s like a match made in heaven.
You can tell you’re in for a treat right from the jump. They got Morgan Freeman narrating this shit? What the hell? Yup, you heard that right. He fits the tone of the project perfectly, making it sound even darker and more atmospheric. But the most atmospheric thing by far, has to be Metro’s production. This man will take some sweet soul samples and flip ‘em to make it sound like the most sinister shit you’ve ever heard. On top of the brilliant sampling, most of these tracks also involve low-pitched bass and hard drums. He’ll also use some instrumentation here and there. The piano and violin clearly being two of his favorites, as he uses them pretty often throughout the album.

21 Savage sounds as confident as ever. His intimidating persona, knack for amazing hooks and cold voice are as good as ever. 21 lyrically isn’t half bad here, surprisingly. A track like Runnin’ for example, showcased some nice imagery and sick wordplay. The best lyrics of not only this album, but also probably his whole career are on RIP Luv. That track expressed sadness and emotion in a way very few trap songs have been able to. I can see that becoming my favorite 21 Savage song in general, honestly. Between the heartbreaking bars and the sample that’s also used on Nas’ Take It In Blood, this song is truly the whole package.

There’s tons of great content on here, making for some of the best music from both Savage and Metro. While like Glock In My Lap and Many Men are very gangstafied, you also have more fun, vibe worthy tracks like Mr. Right Now, Rich N***a Shit and Said N Done. Snitches and Rats is also a big highlight for me, having one of my favorite beats on the album. Tracks 10-12 were skips for me, but the rest is all killer no filler. This remains my top trap album of the current decade. 21’s maturity is on full display and Metro continues proving himself as one of the best producers out today.

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