21 Savage and Metro Boomin are back to join forces for the long awaited sequel we all wanted - we finally have 'SAVAGE MODE II'. 21 and Metro are a rapper/producer duo who compliment each others styles perfectly and it's part of the reason the two blew up together. This album was actually meant to come out late 2019 - it's now here late 2020, so with so much hype and such a wait - would it live up to expectations or maybe exceed its predecessor?
Metro Boomin is on the production here, so as the best trap producer ever he comes through with some amazing production giving us a whole dark atmosphere throughout complimenting 21 Savage's style perfectly. The trap beats are of such high quality and always have these incredible synth lines or bass in the tracks to make it stand out amongst the current trap scene. 'Many Men' has these bells which add such a personality to the beat and a great swirling bass as he talks on flexing, shooting and sex with some really stupid but funny one liners, "Suckin' on the it 'til she got hiccups (Yeah)". The horror type atmosphere created with this beat as well as 21's lyrics and delivery make this a really enjoyable song - helped by that 50 Cent sample at the end which is just perfect. 'Steppin on N*****' has this very 90's, West Coat rap beat with boom bap drums and a groovy bass and it sounds fantastic as the track focuses on sex, violence and guns. The classic West Coast mood was captured by the pair brilliantly, it's a great song despite a repetitive hook but even then it doesn't get annoying. 'Said N Done' has this more reflective beat with a gentle synth line and bells with the soul vocal samples all coming together for another exceptional beat. The track focuses on his come up and who's going to be with him at the end of the day, the hook is really nice helped by 21's lowkey delivery - it's a great ending to a really good album.
21's lyrics are always full of funny one liners and punchlines even if they're not too clever, such as on 'Runnin', "I ain't with the rap beef, Draco pedophile, all of my opps get touched (Straight up)", as he talks on flexing his money and warning his opps over this dark trap beat with a hard piano smashing in the back as well as these vocal samples which add effect to the horror style. The mean hook makes this a good song and while nothing too crazy it's definitely a nice start. His graphic imagery combining with his mean delivery makes the bars hit so much harder, such as on 'My Dawg' with bars like, "N**** keep talkin' that U.K. shit like I don't got AKs (21) // Like, 'cause I was born overseas, these motherfuckers ain't gon' spray-spray (The fuck?)", as he talks on shooting his opps and his infamous ICE UK case over this hard piano and twinkling bells which contrast well with the mean atmosphere. It's a mean track, great song and kind of the standard here but he stills go H.A.M. On some occasions 21 was a bit meh lyrically, such as on 'No Opp Left Behind', but even so with a great beat and a great mic presence he still provides a good song about the dangerous streets of Atlanta. His flow is entertaining, his delivery great and the beat solid - overall nothing stands out too much and this is probably why it's my least favourite but it's still a good song. His flow isn't very versatile in cadence but the tempo of his flow changes and it's just very entertaining, partnered with his voice which is so perfect for rap on this kind of project and 21 provides an enjoyable presence.
There's only 3 features on this entire album - and I kind of expected and wanted more but 21 Savage is charismatic enough to keep this going for nearly the whole album. For the features on here - I thought they were good but not all of them stood out, and while they definitely added to the album it's just I expected them to add a whole lot more than they did. Drake drops a verse full of innuendo on 'Mr. Right Now', and while it was nothing too crazy it fit the vibe perfectly on this track as Drake and 21 talk on spoiling their girls with expensive items and sex. Metro makes this amazing beat with this distorted carnival atmosphere bringing such a presence to this song as the "I'ma slide" section of the hook had catchy harmonising and it's another very good song with both Metro and 21 Savage doing their thing as well as Drake. Young Thug has a solid verse with his usual style, being the best feature on the album on 'Rich N**** Shit' as the track focuses on the rich lifestyle the pair live and being surrounded by luxury over this very cold, heavenly synth bass and deep bass guitar as well as an incredible sounding violin outro. 21 Savage has some nice nice wordplay and punchlines throughout, "I did a 69 with her friend, I'm prayin' to God she don't tell on me", as the R&B style really works for the track, 21's hook is great and both artists glide over the beat with a great flow - arguably the best song on here. Young Nudy's verse on 'Snitches & Rats' fit the track well and definitely added a little something but wasn't overly interesting as Nudy and 21 rapped over another fire beat about snitches and what they'd do to them. 21 has some hard bars, "You talk on the internet, we talk in the street (21)", and it's a classic 21 Savage formula to create a banger - capturing the Savage atmosphere. The feature needed to be a bit better to elevate this track to the next level.
The majority of the content revolves around what you expect - flexing, shooting his opps, sex and violence, shown on tracks like 'Glock in My Lap' as 21 raps over this dramatic and eerie beat with some hard lines as the whole savage aesthetic is especially captured on here perfectly from 21 and Metro's contributions - my only complaint of the song is 21's flow gets a bit repetitive towards the end of the 2nd verse. 'Slidin' also talks on guns and shooting his opps over this dark, menacing banger of a bit and he has some fun references but overall it's a mediocre lyrical performance from 21. The hook is great - it's a good song overall but nothing really stands out much compared to the rest of the tracklist. 'Brand New Draco' is about shooting his opps over these deep 808s which sound great and an amazing synth line, and it's yet again a great song - it's not different or unique for this album but just goes as hard as any other song on here. 'RIP Luv' takes a different focus, as he reminisces on a past breakup and states he's done with love. The slower, softer beat with twinkling synth keys and a more heavenly atmosphere sounds great and it's a really good track, it's something a bit different towards the end of this album as 21 glides this perfect Metro beat so effortlessly. After 21's last album 'I Am > I Was' had more personal content from 21, I'm slightly disappointed to see it hasn't continued here - but there again this is a sequel to 'Savage Mode' and it has reached the requirements of such a sequel.
To conclude, this album didn't disappoint whether it be Metro's perfect trap production or 21's gritty delivery, great rapping and entertaining performance - they're a great duo. Morgan Freeman narrating this album was amazing, especially 'Snitches & Rats (Interlude)' which was a great listen - the fact they got him to narrate this is legendary and he was so entertaining. The booming, aggressive trap bangers and slower, more warm songs showcases a bit of everything and it's such an easy and enjoyable listen from start to finish. There's music for the car, music for on your own, music for a workout - literally music for everything and there isn't a bad song here, the pair definitely outdid the original 'Savage Mode' and gave us an appealing album which contends for top 10 of the year.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Glock in My Lap, Mr. Right Now, Rich N**** Shit, Many Men, Snitches & Rats, My Dawg, Stepping on N*****, RIP Luv, Said N Done
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: No Opp Left Behind
OVERALL RATING: Solid 8/10