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21 Savage produces unique second album

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21 Savage produces unique second album

21 Savage's i am > i was cover.

21 Savage's i am > i was cover.

Bailey Spore

21 Savage's i am > i was cover.

Bailey Spore

Bailey Spore

21 Savage's i am > i was cover.

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Late 2018, 21 Savage dropped his second studio album i am > i was (read “i am greater than i was”). Overall the album is great, minus one bad song. i am > i was is very different from the first album, but it’s good.

Soon after the album’s release, on 12-21-18, 21 took to Twitter to announce that a feature from Travis Scott would be added to the album “very soon.” A few days later, Scott’s feature was added on “out for the night” and it was titled “out for the night, pt. 2,” it was included on the deluxe edition of the album.  It’s an important addition–for us this made the whole album.  It is a song that gets the listener energized.

i am > i was had a big first week, selling 131,000 units, and debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. This was 21’s first album to reach #1.

The best song on the album, and also the most popular is “a lot” featuring J. Cole. In 2018, Cole was featured on over 10 songs along with releasing an album of his own. Last year was arguably Cole’s best year to date. In the song, 21 raps about having a lot of blessings, but also curses in his life. Cole takes a different angle, by reflecting on his career, commenting on the current state of the music industry, and offering advice to many artist and athletes.

“Pray for Tekashi, they want him to rot. I picture him inside a cell on a cot. ’Flectin’ on how he made it to the top. Wondering if it was worth it or not,” raps Cole. In these lines he is talking about controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Right now Tekashi is facing up to life in prison for many charges including possession of a firearm, racketeering and breaking probation. 

In an interview with Angie Martinez at Rolling Loud, Cole weighed in on the situation with young mumble rappers such as Tekashi.

“To want to go that hard at like 16, 17, 18 to become famous and to want it so bad that you’re willing to do whatever, this 6ix9ine kid, he’s willing to do whatever, say whatever because he wants it that bad, and in a way I kinda respect it because he knows what he’s doing,” said Cole. He understands the struggle on the road to fame because he went through it himself.

Cole also comments on NBA star Markelle Fultz. Fultz was the number one pick in the 2017 draft and everyone had high expectations for him, but Fultz ended up facing many injuries and eventually messed up his jump shot, leaving him as a bust. Cole is still praying for him, hoping he can still pursue his dreams and his career isn’t ruined. Cole’s feature on “a lot” is easily his best of 2018 and we’re looking forward to what he has ahead of him.

The worst song on the album is “a&t.” It’s a very provocative song with not much lyricism and a very weird beat. It doesn’t really fit with the rest of the album and is almost like it was just thrown on last minute, without much thought put into it.

Another good song is “asmr.” In this song 21 recalls his whispering flow from November 2018’s “Don’t Come Out the House.” The song is inspired by ASMR, which stands for ‘autonomous sensory meridian response.’ ASMR describes a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that can come over someone when they hear incredibly quiet sounds, such as whispering, clicking, and chewing. In 2018, ASMR YouTube channels have had a significant rise in popularity. Savage first previewed this song on November 26th. Although the song is good, there is also some controversy surrounding this song.

“We been gettin’ that Jewish money, everything is Kosher,” 21 raps. The lyric has stirred up some backlash against this song, as listeners initially took it as a stereotypical phrase against the religious group. Savage apologized in a tweet that read, “The Jewish people I know are very wise with there money so that’s why I said we been gettin Jewish money I never thought anyone would take offense I’m sorry if I offended everybody never my intention I love all people.”

LeBron James, arguably the most famous NBA player in the league quoted the lyric on his Instagram story in a video of him dancing to the song and also received backlash. It wasn’t a wise choice for either of these men but the apologies appear to be sincere.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this album when 21 first announced it, and it lives up to the hype. It is obvious that his music is maturing and developing. Out of 10 we would rate this album a 9. It lost a point because of the one bad song and the controversial lyrics, but the feature from J. Cole, along with other features such as Childish Gambino, Lil Baby, Gunna, and Post Malone all made this album. It’s a very different album compared to 21’s other albums where he raps about money and drugs. In this album, he’s grown a lot and seems much more mature. This new 21 Savage is great and he has a big future.

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21 Savage produces unique second album