‘Savage Mode II’ | Album Review

Four years ago, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin formed a menacing duo that has haunted the rap game. When ‘Savage Mode’ arrived, it came without warning, and since then, the community has been on alert awaiting their next move. Four years later, the two are back on the news for their second go around.

‘Savage Mode 2’, the sequel of the turn of events from 2016 is just as twisted, and with no mercy, the two come back just as lethal. Along the way they introduce a new character, Morgan Freeman, who narrates this haunting tale. The actor asks if things are “better or worse the second time around?”, and the rap duo answer, as they accomplish a rare feat of the sequel being better than the original.

This blockbuster is bigger and better, and it’s fitting considering that since 2016 the two have become staples in the rap game. On “Slidin”, the action-packed tale begins, with the thumping production and 21 Savage embracing his actions. “Glock In My Rap” finds the duo doing their own stunts — “Mr. Right Now” sees Drake introduced as a character as they depict x-rated scenes that are specific to their relationships, yet still make sense for the overall plot.

On “Rich Shit”, Young Thug is introduced as they take-over Beverly Hills and live the lavish lifestyle that the production depicts. Savage Mode II is a luxurious and bougie, produced rap album that flourishes within its glitz and glamour of southern flare. Following the subtle refresher, the two go back to the south on “Slidin” — a song that matches the energy of the hits of “Bank Account”, “Ric Flair Drip”, and “X”. Meanwhile, the album highlight, “Many Men” interpolates 50 Cent’s 2003 hit of the same name. At this point on the album it’s proof that the duo’s intentions went beyond delivering a worthy follow up, but instead, penning the script for a cinematic southern rap thriller.

21 Savage and Metro Boomin continue to prey, and now they have their eyes on the “Snitches and Rats”. Freeman narrates a focal point on the album as he says “at least a snitch is a human, but a rat is a fuckin’ rat, period”. Differentiating a snitch from a rat is crucial in the culture that the duo signify on the album. Enlisting Young Nudy, Boomin’s cousin, the album is a family fair in a setting that finds the duo at home, even when they’re away from it.

With no time to catch your breath, the album is a soundtrack to living life trying to make it out alive, but still enjoying it along the way. Once album closer “Said N Done” arrives, the story ends as the credits start rolling. Connecting the old with the new, the duo place their growth in the forefront while remaining loyal to their past and the culture that defines them.

Indebted into the culture of crunk music and rap music from the 00s, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin pay homage in a modernized way that mark an important transition in their career. The two aren’t the two that you thought you were, instead they’re pioneers of the game, and as screenwriters of this action-packed thriller, it’s safe to say ‘Savage Mode II’ deserves an Academy Award.

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