[ALBUM REVIEW] 21 Savage and Offset’s “Without Warning” steps listeners into the artist’s violent and lavish lives


Courtesy of Epic/Sony Records

21 Savage, Offset, and Metro Boomin's hardcore album has reached number four on Billboard's top 200 chart and number one on Billboard's top rap albums. Songs like "Ric Flair Drip" and "Ghostface Killers" broke into Billboard's top rap songs.

The night of Oct. 30 was an exciting one. Not only being the night before Halloween, but hours before the holiday itself, an announcement on Twitter revealed that at midnight a new collaborative album was to be released. What was even more exciting was the fact that this collab album involved the hottest rap hip-hop producer in recent memory, Metro Boomin, and two artists who are quickly becoming giants of modern day rap, 21 Savage and Offset.

21 Savage, a solo artist who has worked on nearly every project with Metro, had released two albums in the past year or so in “Savage Mode”, also produced by Metro, and his first studio album, “Issa Album”. Known for his work with well known artists like Future and Drake, 21 is especially known stylistically for his monotone voice and his cruel yet honest and unfiltered lyrics. Offset, one of the three member of the group “Migos” has taken part in one of the most impressive rises in rap history. Going from unknown to known very quickly by a huge population, Offset has become an integral part of Migos’ success. Running the show on questionably the most popular rap song of 2016 and the first half of 2017 on “Bad and Boujee” and remaining a key part of yet another absolute smack in “Slippery,” Offset has built a strong name for himself in the past year. Little needs to be said on the reputation of Metro Boomin. Future, Drake, Travi$ Scott, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone, and The Weeknd, the list of rap and hip-hop giants that Metro has produced for is not only incredible but also endless. Now. Into the good stuff.

Without Warning starts off strong immediately. Featuring Travi$ Scott, 21 and Offset bring heat quickly on “Ghostface Killers.” Sending multiple tributes to the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, especially in the title referencing member Ghostface Killah, this song quickly sends the message that these are three artists who you should not mess with. Speaking of violence, immense wealth, and overall power in the world of music, this song is a statement to all those who doubted any of the people involved in the song. Next up: “Rap Saved Me.” If there was one word to encapsulate this song it would be “hard.” Everything about this song is hard. How hard each artist goes, how hard the lyrics are, how hard the message is. This is another statement song relating to the image of these rappers, that of violence yet an incredibly lavish life style. It also includes one of the most hype Quavo, another member of Migos, verses that has come out of his mouth.

“Ric Flair Drip” has earned a special focus here. This song was a conflict. At first listen, it was unlistenable. By the time this review is being written, it has become what one may call a banger. This is one of two songs that only feature Offset, and it is easily the better one over “Nightmare,” which is still a fairly high quality song. That is saying something about “Ric Flair Drip.” It includes one of the quickest and upbeat tones of the album, but the same content in the lyrics remains. Offset takes the listener on a flowy ride where he talks about the towering amount of wealth he has amassed over the recent years. Cars, watches, Valentino boots, Offset has it all and he has no problem shoving it in your face. At least it sounds good, right?

Here come some more of those so called “bangers.”

“My Choppa” is 21’s first solo song that pops up on the album, and it’s the first song that takes listeners back to 21’s days in Atlanta where he participated in large amounts of gang action. Initially speaking of money yet again, the song takes a quick turn to other subject matter. Covering the blood and crip conflict that spreads throughout the United States, he speaks of firearms, violence in the streets, and his own role in all of the action. Even though the subject matter and way he phrases the ideas he brings don’t come off as so, the ideas he raps about are actually important. This is his most true to self song, and most relatable to many people.

Metro put massive work into this album and every second was worth it”

“Run up the Racks” is Savage’s other solo song on the album, and though it is still solid, it is rather repetitive and seems to be a song where he was too comfortable. This still says something about the overall production value of Metro and the talent of Savage. Though it is one of the weaker songs, it is still compared to so many others in the genre, a great song.

To many, this is an unpopular opinion, but one that deserves to be heard. “Disrespectful” is, by a far margin, the most high quality song on this album. 21 starts the song off impressively strong, which is followed up by his scarily unfazed lyrics about murder and immense wealth. Savage takes a quicker but more aggressive tone throughout the song, taking a step into new territories. Taking it back to his feature on Drake’s “Sneakin'” where he takes a similar tone, this is one of 21’s most impressive songs. Then comes Offset, providing a softer tone, yet his lyricism remains impressive. What tops both of these artists is the production. Metro enhanced the quality of this song millions miles further than any other producer could have done. The smooth chorus which has a hard swagger around it using a tri-beat and 21’s lyrics to full potential is one of the highlights of the entire album. Metro put massive work into this album and every second was worth it.

Some of the songs that weren’t huge from this album still has a lot of quality. “Still Serving” is a slow burning beauty that can’t be skipped on any playlist. “Mad Stalkers” is an aggressive piece that could make the listener scared in their own bed. The tenth song on the album is “Darth Vader”. Savage’s rapping on this track is impressive and is another great feat for Metro Boomin’s production.

Overall, this album has an incredible amount of quality. It should be noted that this album is extremely explicit with very sensitive subject matter. For the appropriate audience, this is a must listen for any rap hip-hop fans. 21 Savage, Offset, and Metro Boomin came together and created something that will be bopping in cars at full volume while people marvel at the creativity of every single lyric.




“Without Warning” can be purchased on all major media outlets.

Warning: Extremely Explicit