BY KARLA SOBERON
21 Savage’s newest album, “i am > i was,” was officially released on Dec. 21, 2018. This is the second studio album that the rapper has released, the first one being “Issa Album,” which was released in 2017. This new album consists of 15 songs, with eight of them being collaborations with several different artists such as J. Cole, Post Malone and Childish Gambino.
“A lot” is the first song that appears on the album and is the most popular song out of the 15 tracks. It features J. Cole singing melodies in the background as 21 Savage raps. The lyrics immerse themselves in an abundance of repetition and rhyming such as phrases like, “I break it down,” “how much money you got” and “a lot”. These repeating phrases, along with the addition of graceful vocals in the background overall makes the song extremely catchy and sets the bar high for the tracks that are to follow.
“Out for the night” and “out for the night – part 2” are the same exact song with only one variation in which “out for the night – part 2” features a long verse at the very end that is a collaboration with Travis Scott. The song itself features a memorable chorus, but the inclusion of two of the same song is vdeceiving and does not add any meaning to the album. 21 Savage should have stuck to have only one “Out for the night”, the one in which Travis Scott comes in to avoid confusion when listening to the album.
This album is unique in comparison to other artists’ work because every song has a different and new beat. Therefore, each track has a distinct feature to add to the album. An example of this comes from the song “a&t” which features an opening with Yung Miami singing the chorus. Her voice makes several appearances throughout the length of the track and adds a new sound with the contrast in both of their voices.
Adding to the trend of having songs named in only lowercase letters, 21 Savage’s track titles range from one word to four words, which makes the names easier to remember since they are simple titles such as “good day” or “all my friends.” The titles are predominantly repeated throughout the song; in fact, most of the tracks start with the title, include it in the chorus and include it at the end.
Although it is not the most famous song from the album, “asmr” features 21 Savage whispering and features sounds like a sword being pulled out from a scabbard, which is a satisfying sound. The beat has a basic array of chimes which adds an opposition between the sweet and simple sound and the raspiness of the deep voice of 21 Savage.
Overall, the album displays diverse sounds in terms of the different track beats and collaborations. Each song brings its own unique aspect that greatly enhances the quality of the album and raises the bar for the next album for 21 Savage to drop in the future.