This is definitely my silliest, most controversial and "Wait, fr?" -inducing perfect score that I have ever given. Here's some context: when me and the boys switched from skype to discord, we learnt about music bots and experimented with background music for our CS:GO and WoW sessions. Naturally, hip-hop and trap were a no-brainer to include in our playlists, resulting in us discovering Without Warning, a fresh album from 21 Savage, Migos' Offset and producer Metro Booming.
5 years later, it remains my most played album by a long shot (To Be Kind and Ta13oo completing the podium). No week goes by without me blasting My Choppa, Ghostface Killers, Run Up The Racks, Rick Flair Drip ... oops, almost wrote the whole tracklist. What can I say, I have a strong affinity for horrorcore, dark and twisted imagery and the nocturnal, midnight atmosphere, so this album and I were a match made in heaven.
This album is the quintessential trap experience:
• 33 minutes, 10 tracks - the perfect duration and no. of tracks for a trap project. Short enough so you don't get any fillers (and I'm serious, there are NO SKIPS on this album), long enough to give the listeners enough to chew on for their first encounter while also giving them plenty of reasons to return in the future. An album that's fire front to back and packed with memorable hits.
• stellar production from Metro, with a horrorcore, slasher-esque concept and atmosphere, not to mention his talent for making concise and smooth albums with tracks that flow into one another and add a lot to the soundscape and aesthetic of the album. Do I kneed to mention the transition from My Choppa to Nightmare?
• Offset and 21 Savage experiencing a meteoric rise to the top of the game and making most of it by mastering their strengths and masking, or downright solving their flaws. Coupled with Travis Scott and Quavo offering a much-appreciated boost, Offset's hypnotic flows and witty bars and verses match extremely well with 21's cold delivery and haunting and thrilling bars; speaking of...
• unbelievable chemistry. We all know 21 and Metro as one of the best rapper/producer dynamic duos (like Run the Jewels, or Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, or Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, or MF DOOM and anybody, really), but no one could predict how natural Offset felt and fitted alongside these two. Everyone on this album (including the features as well) understands their and their partners' roles, they trade bars and moments naturally, and seemlessly without feeling like they are two different verses recorded separately and merged into a disjointed song. You could tell an unknowing person that 21 and Offset are a duo like Clipse or Outkast and no one would bat an eye
• timeless music and replayability. By sticking to and perfecting their own twist on horrortrap, the trio turns WW from an assumed cash grab album based only on hype and name recognition (looking at you, Huncho Jack), into a bonafide masterpiece that will be remembered and replayed as a cult classic at worst (BLVCKLVND Rvdix 66.6) and as a cornerstone of trap at best (DS2)
I hope I made myself clear and accurately explained how Without Warning isn't an 100 to me just because of my bias and good memories, but because it's a genuinely fantastic and extraordinary album from 3 talented masterminds with a great bond and chemistry
Highlights: ☆☆☆☆☆ ALL OF 'EM ☆☆☆☆☆
|1||Ghostface Killers / 100|
|2||Rap Saved Me / 100|
|3||Ric Flair Drip / 100|
|4||My Choppa Hate Niggas / 100|
|5||Nightmare / 95|
|6||Mad Stalkers / 100|
|7||Disrespectful / 95|
|8||Run Up the Racks / 100|
|9||Still Serving / 95|
|10||Darth Vader / 100|