Back in 2016, an emerging street raper and budding star producer came together to bless fans with one of the top projects of the year. Atlanta rapper 21 Savage had already built a buzz in the streets of the south but was still not a national star. St. Louis producer Metro Boomin had already worked with major artists such as Future, Drake, French Montana & Travis Scott among a profusion of others.
Both 21 & Metro came together for “Savage Mode” a 9 track project featuring hit record “X” as well as a slew of other street anthems. Savage Mode peaked as high as 23 on the Billboard charts & catapulted 21 Savage into mainstream stardom and solidified Metro Boomin as the top dog in the producer game.
Over a half a decade later the duo returned for the highly anticipated release of the project’s second installment, “Savage Mode 2”. To add on to the immense hype, a Morgan Freeman narrated trailer for the project was released.
21 Savage & Metro Boomin have a special chemistry. I mean you can say that for just about anyone who works with 21 Savage (Ask Future specifically) but it’s something distinctive about a 21 Savage & Metro Boomin album. Below we discuss what I believe is the best produced album of 2020.
Savage Mode 2 Review.
Track 1: Intro
Talk about distinctiveness. Morgan Freeman has one of the most recognisable voices in the world, and the intro his him giving an epic intro to Savage Mode 2.
Track 2: Runnin
One thing you can expect from a 21 Savage record is aggressive bars about the life of the Atlanta native. 21 does just that on Runnin, “Call the first one Savge Mode, my mood that’s what it was. 2016 we was running around beating n*ggas up in the club”. The Diana Ross sampled beat is the perfect mix of eerie and harmonic and fits 21 savage perfectly.
Track 3: Glock In My Lap
“You pray on your knees I pray to my strap”. On Glock In My Lap 21 Savage makes it known he rides around with his heat and running up on him might not be a great idea. The menacing production provided by Metro & Honorable CNOTE fits the subject matter of the track perfectly.
Track 4: Mr.Right Now (Featuring Drake)
One of the few formulas to having a big record is to include a Drake feature. 21 & Metro does just that on “Mr. Right Now”. We’ve seen Drake & 21 collab before in the form of “Snitching”, however their latest collab is a tad bit different. The uptempo beat is one of my favorites on the project and Drake and 21 did what needed to be done. Drake also let the world know that him and SZA dated in 2008, “Yeah, said she wanna f*ck to some SZA, wait
‘Cause I used to date SZA back in ’08.
21 Savage recently posted a photo of him rocking an OVO chain so we can surely expect more collabs from the duo.
Track 5: Rich N*gga Shit (Featuring Young Thug)
When all is said and done we will look back and say Young Thug & 21 Savage are two of the best and most influential artists to come out of the peach state. 21 & Thug frequently collab so it was kind of expected to see Thugger land on the project. However, when you include Young Thug as a feature you run the risk of him outshining you on your own record. That was the case on “Rich N*gga Shit” where Thug’s infectious flow stole the show.
Track 6: Slidin
This is the hardest beat on the entire album in my opinion. Some of Metro’s best production comes when he incorporates that eerie sound with trunk rattling drums and bass. Slidin also shows 21 at his best. Flexing and talking down on his opps. This is one of those songs that come on and instantly boosts everyone’s mood.
Track 7: Many Men
50 Cent is one of the most influential artists of all time. Get Rich or Die Tryin was released 17 years ago, yet we see how influential that project was to today’s artist. On Many Men 21 Savage channels his inner 50 Cent and addresses all the ones who are plotting on his downfall. “Many Men wanna kill me I feel like 50”. Metro also included a sample of 50 singing one of the most iconic hooks ever at the end of the track.
Track 8: Snitches & Rats Interlude
Morgan Freeman eloquently brakes down the differences between Snitches & Rats.
Track 9: Snitches & Rats (Featuring Young Nudy)
Remember that talk about 21 Savage and his cousin Young Nudy being from the UK? Twitter was crazy that day. Although those allegations were brought up they were quickly dismissed due to 21 & Nudy’s East Atlanta credibility. Snitches & Rats reminds me of a 90’s Three 6 Mafia record. Dark and gloomy production mixed in with southern street tales. Rappers have been taking a heavy stand against snitching in 2020 and this track may provide the soundtrack for the movement.
Track 10: My Dawg
I listen to a lot of albums and think to myself, this song just doesn’t belong. MY Dawg is that song for me, it’s not a bad song but I felt it wasn’t on par with the rest of the songs on the project.
Track 11: Steppin on N*ggas
On Steppin on N*ggas Metro Boomin flexes his versatility as a producer. The beat sounds like something NWA, Uncle Luke or Rakim would’ve hopped on in the 80’s. However 21’s modernized flow fit the song perfectly. I think many people will sleep on this track because of the beat but this is a good song.
Track 12: Brand New Draco
My personal favorite track on the project. Soon as the track opens I could tell what type of time 21 and Metro were on when making this record. The track opens up with 21 letting his opps know that’s when it’s real they can’t even barbeque or post on their blocks. “N*ggas need to call they hood bayblade cause we do is spin in it”.
Track 13: No Opp Left Behind
While the beat is fire, I didn’t care much for this song. Another track I felt maybe wasn’t needed.
Track 14: RIP Luv
After 21 Savage’s Grammy nominated “I Am > I Was” we got to see a new side of the Slaughter Gang rapper. We all have seen the viral videos of 21 singing along to classic Rnb songs (I don’t blame him that music is timeless) and exposing fans to his softer side. Although Savage has built his career on being a street rapper he too has feelings and expresses them through his music. That can be heard on RIP Luv
Track 15: Said N Done
The last track of Savage Mode 2 follows in the same breath as RIP Luv. 21 Savage opens up about past love experiences and his tough upbringing. Proving that although 21 is a street rapper he can also be relatable to the average fan.
“Savage Mode 2” is a solid project. Although I don’t think it was as good as the first Savage Mode, it will go down as one of the best albums to be released this year. Metro Boomin, Honorable C N.O.T.E, Zaytoven, Peter Lee Johnson, Prince 85, & Kid Hazel helped put together what I believe is the best produced album of 2020. We’re only in October but it’s going to be hard to surpass “Savage Mode 2” in production.
Stream “Savage Mode 2” here