Georgia rappers 21 Savage and Offset surprised fans with a collab-album, ‘Without Warning’, released on Halloween. Joined by Metro Boomin’, arguably the most prominent producer in the rap game today, the trio’s release turned heads right off the bat.
Offset, a member of Migos, decided it was time to show what he could do without fellow Migos spitters Quavo and Takeoff. As for 21 Savage, the appearance on this was fairly surprising considering he just released his debut album, ‘Issa Album’, back in July.
Both rappers are known for their trap/turn-up music, not delivering much in the lyrics department but often making up for it with their unique delivery style. Sometimes to a fault, 21 is known for his super laid-back and drowsy sound while Offset’s energy and ad-libs has jutted him on the scene.
No project by 21 in the past has been anything extraordinary, although he should get credit for the respectable number of hits and solid guest features he’s provided in the past year or two. Most recently, he joined Post Malone in the hit-single and chart-topper, ‘Rockstar’. Offset has continued to garner respect when he’s appeared on others’ tracks with his animated, bouncy delivery, but this is his first full-length project without the other two Migos since the group burst on the scene in 2016.
Luckily, 21, Offset and Metro Boomin’ decided on a somewhat short, 33-minute and 10-track album. That’s a perfect length for a non-concept album that’s goal-oriented toward hard trap, yet fairly repetitive beats rather than lyrics or variance in production.
- Ghostface Killers (ft. Travis Scott)
- Rap Saved Me (ft. Quavo)
- Ric Flair Drip
- My Choppa Hates N*ggas
- Mad Stalkers
- Run Up The Racks
- Still Serving
- Darth Vader
Fav Tracks: Ghostface Killers, Ric Flair Drip, Still Serving, Run Up The Racks
I’m never optimistic when delving into new albums from ‘mumble’ rappers, trap rappers or sometimes poppy-rap in general – not because I hate the genres – but because it’s more difficult for those genres’ rappers to keep it interesting for an entire project. Typically, the beats and production is similar on each track and there isn’t much variety in terms of general sound or lyrics, so you’re really just banking on everything coming together on tracks to produce hits/bangers.
For that reason, along with not enjoying 21 Savage’s debut project, ‘Issa Album’, I wasn’t too excited when I saw this dropped. However, Without Warning drew me in right away with the opener, ‘Ghostface Killers’, an undoubtedly perfect track. One of two ’10/10′ tracks on this project, this was arguably the best-produced song on the track list and all three spitters – Offset, 21 and Travis Scott – kept the energy going.
Unfortunately, that same energy and production wasn’t shown on some of the clearly subpar songs such as, ‘My Choppa Hate N*ggas’, and, ‘Mad Stalkers’. The two tracks featured too much 21 (Offset wasn’t even on the former of the two), and when a beat is as simple as it was on those, you can’t just have 21 on the mic for too long as it really loses the vigour much of the rest of the album provided.
‘Still Serving’, is a perfect example of how to pull off a softer, slower track. While 21’s verse is somewhat cringy and elementary in terms of lyrics and delivery, he did stay on the beat, and it led into a fantastic verse from Offset that completely flipped the song into somewhat of a turn-up track. His flow here is absolutely nasty and one of the best components of the album.
One positive about, ‘My Choppa Hates N*ggas’, is the filthy transition into the next track, ‘Nightmare’. This time, it was Offset who had his own track with no appearance from 21. The beat from Metro Boomin was really nice and it was a short and bland, albeit decent track. The “Freddy Kruger, give ’em a nightmare, soon as you close your eyes, we right there,” was a clean chorus.
Probably the best verse from 21 came on, ‘Run Up The Racks’, a track again without Offset, however this time 21 pulled it off a little better with more memorable verses.
Only two tracks were really pulled down by some horrible and corny lyrics (and this is for 21 Savage’s standards). The following, on, ‘Disrespectful’, was too laughable to miss, and the cliche track, ‘Rap Saved Me’, sounded fire, but the chorus that mentions a woman doing zans and passing out and then talking about how rap saved him (21) the very next line is hilarious.
The closing track, ‘Darth Vader’, is too lengthy and forgettable thanks to each Offset and 21’s verses not sounding well with the beat.
‘Ric Flair Drip’, is one of the two most memorable tracks and one of the filthiest turn-up tracks of 2017. Offset’s opening verse matched with Metro Boomin’s beat on this is a match made in heaven. The bass drop at 1:49 is laugh out loud dirty, and Offset’s, “Ric Flair Drip go woo on the bitch,” may not look like a nasty chorus, but when listening you understand how flawlessly he pulls the delivery off.
I wish Offset was utilised a little more on this project, because I think he performed really well while 21 was more average and inconsistent, although he had positives as well. Overall, I’d give 21’s performance on this album a 4.5/10, Offset a 7.5/10 and Metro’s production a 9/10.
The production was really strong on this project – Offset and Metro Boomin’ sounded like a match made in heaven on this album. Most impressively, the trio managed to maintain my interest throughout the whole album, with little to no garbage aspects and the longest streak of below average tracks was two (6. Mad Stalkers and 7. Disrespectful).
The album cover and the theme of the project remained intact throughout with dark, eerie production that paired very well with 21’s style, and both rappers managed to mostly stay on topic lyrically. Yes, many tracks were just average, but there were more positives (great production, two bangers, a couple nice tracks), than negatives (a few lacklustre, but not unlistenable tracks). Offset and Metro Boomin’ were extremely impressive on, Without Warning.