The descriptor “mumble rap” is mostly used disparagingly about a new generation of dead-eyed MCs, but 21 Savage turns monotony into a virtue. There is a slight uptick in vocal musicality compared with his previous work, particularly on the Drakeian track Out vor the Night, but for the most part the Atlantan star continues with his dominant voice: a supremely jaded cadence where each line pitches slightly downwards at the end, suggesting a head that can never be held high.
He has plenty of average lines – almost as offensive as the rightly controversial “Jewish money” lyric in ASMR is the weakness of “you get burned like toast” as a simile – but his catchy flows always make him magnetic, especially when paired with universally brilliant production from Metro Boomin, Kid Hazel and others. There is slow, glistening Miami bass on A&T, chopped-up soul on A Lot, sad synth chords on Pad Lock. And there are some powerful, pithy lyrics: “Fuck 40 acres and a mule / They got 50 racks and a brand new Sig” bleakly sums up how the US has failed its black citizens since the end of slavery.Continue reading...
Fri Jan 04 10:00:09 CET 201978
The second album from one of Atlanta’s most promising rappers recasts him as a star in waiting. He writes with grisly clarity and humor, and his songs here are sturdy, inventive, and sticky.
Wed Jan 02 07:00:00 CET 2019