21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”
April 23 came and went last semester without a 21 Savage concert at Humboldt State University. Thanks to the pandemic, students like myself felt cheated.
Fresh off of receiving the 2020 Grammy for best rap song with “A Lot,” featuring J. Cole, Savage is back with Boomin and unlikely narrator Morgan Freeman, whose alone is enough for anyone to give “Savage Mode II” a listen.
Similar to Savage’s solo albums “Issa Album” and “i am > i was,” “Savage Mode II” was dropped without any promotional singles leading up the release. Instead, they promoted the album with a trailer. Narrated by Freeman, the trailer ends with only a brief snippet of “Many Men.” Referencing the classic 50 Cent track and sampling his original chorus near the end of the song. One of the strongest moments on the album.
One of several narrations from Freeman, starts with speaking to a greatness that can only be accomplished when brilliant minds collide. Track two, “Runnin,” opens with Savage delivering a villainous laugh.
From the first song, Savage has your attention with his signature Slaughter Gang style and the first of many creative, simple and especially catchy hooks. Sticking to a pattern of two verses and a chorus on each song, with occasional intros and outros, Savage never overstays his welcome on a track.
The variety of vibes Savage is able to create on the new project is all made possible by the range Boomin displays on the production end. He boasts his artistic vision on tracks like “Slidin” where Boomin recreates the beat to the original project’s standout record “No Heart.” He does this again on “Said N Done,” recreating the beginning of “10 Freaky Girls” from his own album for the background of the chorus.
Savage provides listeners with a collection of hits catering to a much larger chunk of the mainstream audience than with past projects. Savage does this without compromising the content his fans have come to expect from him.
Don’t get it twisted, “Savage Mode II” is very much a sequel to the project that launched Savage and Boomin into the mainstream. Aside from a few tracks near the end of the album, including “My Dawg” and “No Opp Left Behind,” Savage reflects on his past, the overwhelming majority of Savage’s lyrics revolve around the topics of murder, money and meddling with monogomy.
Regardless of your feelings towards the message of his music, Savage delivered the most enjoyable overall performance of his career. Supported by the most varied and arguably strongest release we’ve received from Boomin, “Savage Mode II” will no doubt go down as a classic.