The Dose: ‘Issa’ is an incredible debut for 21 Savage

The Dose: ‘Issa’ is an incredible debut for 21 Savage

The Dose: ‘Issa’ is an incredible debut for 21 Savage
July 17
19:53 2017

Xavier Spurlock | Contributing Writer

After two popular mixtapes and an EP with hip-hop super-producer Metro Boomin’, Southern rapper 21 Savage has released his debut album, “Issa.”

With this album, 21 Savage has created a 14-track project hitting a wide range of subjects – whether it be romance, his evolution or his sentiments on black communities – while staying true to himself. Here, he grows as an artist and gives us what we’ve all grown to love from 21 Savage.

The album starts off with a song titled “Famous,” about 21 Savage’s current time in his life. He tells us about his dilemma of being in limbo between being famous, being “hood” and trying to get completely out of the streets. On the song, he raps:

Trying to keep up with this fashion

Makin’ sure my kids happy

They dependent on their daddy

Tryin’ not to let the streets distract me

21 Savage has impressively become more refined with every project. He’s continued to strengthen how he rides a beat and has discovered new ways to utilize his voice. The use of auto-tune on this project is present more than it has been on any of 21 Savage’s other projects and it makes for new, interesting sounds on this record.

For example, the song “FaceTime” is an auto-tuned ballad about wanting to see the woman he is currently interested in – while inebriated. We’ve heard 21 Savage sing on a few of his projects, however, it’s always sounded low quality until now. “FaceTime” is also one of the first love songs – excluding another track titled “Special” – where 21 Savage has directly targeted women.

“FaceTime” is followed by the album’s most intense cut, “Nothing New,” a song where 21 Savage reflects on being black in the ghetto. The song is filled with anger, remorse, sadness and his interpretation of what’s going on in black communities. In the song, 21 Savage speaks about troubled black youth, his past, civil rights and reasons things are the way they are.   

Another ni**a made the news, it ain’t nothin’ new

He done dropped outta school, it ain’t nothin’ new

He done got his first tool, it ain’t nothin’ new

Mama on that dog food, it ain’t nothin’ new

21 Savage’s ability to catch the beat with unorthodox flows has been consistent throughout every project. But trying to sing along with some of the raps on “Issa” is difficult when you don’t know where the lyrics are going to land. 21 Savage proves his ability to switch flows at the drop of a hat on the outro, titled “7 Min. Freestyle,” where he freestyles over a Metro Boomin’ and Southside beat.

Another aspect which has stayed constant on every 21 Savage project is his ability to inject personality into every song. He raps things in a way only 21 Savage can. In particular, this 14-song project has the Saint Laurent Don’s usual lyrical content, use of cultural references (“Mad Max, ni**a what the bloodclaat”), luxury raps (“Moncler, yeah, fur came off a bear, yeah”) and his unique sense of humor (“Your baby mama sleepin’ on the blow-up”).

As 21 Savage continues to impress with every project, he’s constantly proved he is one of the best rappers out right now. We’ve watched him grow extremely fast as a superstar and an artist over the last two years and his projection has him eventually being held in the same regards as Atlanta predecessors such as Gucci Mane or 2 Chainz.

Featured Image: 21 Savage is currently making rounds on the Billboard charts as a 24-year-old newcomer to hip-hop. Courtesy of Vegas Giovanni.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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