21 Savage - i am > i was
Dec 30, 2018
It seems that "I am < I was" would have been a more appropriate title for 21 Savage's sophomore album.

Having burst onto the rap scene in 2016 after the Metro Boomin collaboration tape "Savage Mode", 21 seems to have progressively changed his sound. From the cold-hearted, ruthless killer that 21 portrayed in his "Slaughter Tapes" and Metro collaborations, to the radio-friendly, pop/trapstar that is just searching for the next radio hit "i am > i was" goes in that direction big time.

There is no way around it - this album is painfully mediocre. Over 15 tracks, there isn't a single moment that truly stands out or leaves an impression. The only exception could perhaps be the ridiculous rap-whispering in "asmr" which does surprisingly break 21's monotony quite effectively. The album opens really well with "a lot", "break da law", and the track with Offset "1.5" was also a highlight for the flows, beats and verses were on point (album at it's peak). The album after that goes from stale to sub-par track to track until it picks up towards the track "monster" up until the ending. It just feels like its full of filler, throwaway beats and throwaway verses all through this thing.

Of course being 21 Savage, there were no real expectations when it comes to the lyrics. But holy.. I don't think there's a single rapper out who recycles the same mediocre bars as 21. That goes for his ad-libs too. There are some new ones though, with 21 giving us works of literature such as: "She dont dribble balls, but she good with the D" & "Can't put my tongue on no bitch (No bitch), 'Cause I still kiss my kids (I do)" etc..

Also the features across this album did a really good job, especially Childish Gambino on "monster" & ScHoolboy Q who single handedly saved "good day". However Post Malone on "all my friends" was disappointing as the track was tryhard trying to recreate the "rockstar" success of last year. I don't even wanna speak on that Gunna & Lil Baby feature.. The beats were also pretty good for the most part (my favourites being "out for the night", "can't leave without it" & "4L") however 21's limits as a rapper and songwriter really didn't do the majority of them justice. For the future: if it were me I'd focus mainly on atmosphere and delivery. That's where 21 is at his best. There were sprinkles of the ruthlessness but this for the most part - wasn't IT.

Fav Tracks: a lot, break da law, 1.5, monster, 4L
Least Fav: a&t
No replies yet
Liked By
Rate and review albums along with your friends. Create an account.
Also Reviewed By
Popular Albums
Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water
Avril Lavigne
Head Above Water
Xiu Xiu - Girl with Basket of Fruit
Xiu Xiu
Girl with Basket of Fruit
Czarface & Ghostface Killah - Czarface Meets Ghostface
Czarface & Ghostface Killah
Czarface Meets Ghostface
Ariana Grande - thank u, next
Ariana Grande
thank u, next
Ladytron - Ladytron

January Playlist
Vinyl Me, Please