It is typical of every new year in the calendar to have a slow month of music. Nothing tends to be worthy of my attention, even for a lazy guy like myself who has yet to get in the groove of reviewing music. But alas, 21 Savage has blessed us with a new album, his third studio release: american dream.
I will come out clean and admit that I do like Savage’s music. He is one of my favourite rappers in recent memory. What stands out to me about him is that he adds more flavour to his work even though he is typically saying what every rapper has been saying for the past three decades or so.
It’s almost like you already know what you’re getting yourself into but the journey is full of surprises.
I love Redrum’s sample of Serenata Do Adeus and how it just hits you when the 808s kick in. It got a responsible 26-year-old man head-bopping about murder.
Sneaky is another catchy song that makes my JBL earbuds come alive with the extra bass punch. Quite an enjoyable experience with Dolby Atmos too (if you have Apple Music).
21 Savage’s rapping tends to have the same tone most of the time but it never gets stale. Some memorable lyrics made me giggle during my listening time.
My favourite has to be “Oh, you Usher now, you giving out confessions, huh? (Pussy)”
A close second has to be “I asked her body count, she sent the GIF of me and Cole (What?)” in Just Like Me feat Burna Boy
Icing on top of icing
The guest artists add their spice to the mix and make the enjoyable tracks even more enjoyable. I do like Doja’s verse a little too much on n.h.i.e. that I found myself putting it on repeat for ten minutes (could be more).
Travis Scott shines with his crisp flow on nee-nah, almost stealing the spotlight. Burna Boy’s chorus on Just Like Me is so good given how different his style is from Savage. You could attribute that to Metro Boomin, 21’s frequent collaborator, who understands how to make it work.
Speaking of which, the production quality is top-notch. I’m a fan of how samples are spun and made into something new even though the new layers are simply synths and 808s. Still, it is better than how Nicki Minaj did her samples in Pink Friday 2.
(I will express my feelings about that album soon)
Gangsta vs Lover
As I mentioned earlier, this 15-track album addresses a lot of stuff you have heard before. Gang stuff, dealing with the opps, I’m a boss, hanging with the squad, and being called pussy all the time. Because that is a classic 21 Savage adlib.
You get all of that in the first 9 tracks of the LP and that is pretty typical of what you would expect from him. That has been him since day one. The remaining tracks have him being vulnerable with some “thugs need love” vibes on the tracks Prove It, should’ve wore a bonnet, and Just Like Me, and “gangsta cry” on Dark Days.
Perhaps the best version of him being vulnerable is in letter to my brudda explaining how circumstances force people with good intentions to make bad decisions.
“At the end of the day, we be havin’ good hearts, They just be in bad places, I guess that’s life though”
It is a bit surprising to hear that side of him after hearing him calling people pussy and reminding us how dangerous he is. I’m just not used to it.
I always say it is easy to review a rap album simply because the content is more or less the same. All it boils down to is one question: Is it enjoyable? The answer is yes.
21 Savage delivers once again with his third studio album. I recommend you give it a listen.4.0 out of 5.0 stars