Reviews

21 Savage “American Dream” Album Review

American Dream

21 Savage

  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Date: 12 Jan, 2024
  • Content: Explicit
  • Track(s): 15
  • 2023 @ Slaughter Gang LLC? Epic Records/ Sony Music

21 Savage &Quot;American Dream&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 21, 2024

The highly anticipated solo album by 21 Savage has been released after almost six years. The album features his signature trap-indebted tracks and offers an insightful perspective into the UK-born rapper’s origin story. Born in London, 21 Savage’s family relocated to the United States as a child, forcing him to start over. His journey was not without its challenges; he has always struggled to find his place in the world, and his career was put on hold due to the American government’s immigration rules. However, he has worked hard to overcome these obstacles, and his 2023 European tour was a huge success, culminating in an emotionally charged homecoming show in London. ‘American Dream’ is a powerful platform for 21 Savage to share his story and showcase his artistic prowess. The album is a cinematic experience that captures intricate details and vivid emotions. It was announced alongside a highly anticipated film based on his life, with Donald Glover set to play the lead role. 21 Savage’s latest release is bound to captivate fans and new listeners.

Album Art

21 Savage &Quot;American Dream&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 21, 2024

The album cover for 21 Savage is a captivating artwork showcasing a childhood photograph of the rapper gazing confidently into the camera. The image is powerful and nostalgic, evoking a sense of innocence and vulnerability. However, the cover is more than a portrait of the artist as a young boy. It also includes his birth details, such as the date he arrived in America and when his visa expired, which alludes to his well-known struggles with immigration. Furthermore, the album cover incorporates 21 Savage’s name and his mother’s name inscribed on it, which adds a personal touch to the artwork. It’s as if the album cover is a cherished family keepsake passed down through generations. This design choice is a testament to the rapper’s authenticity and genuine desire to share his story with his fans. The album cover tries to encapsulate the themes and emotions of the music within.

Tracks And Features

The album American Dream by 21 Savage features 15 tracks that showcase his trap-leaning flows effortlessly. As a true rap stylist, 21 Savage’s bars are unmistakable and impactful. The guest appearances on the album have been carefully curated and add to its formidable presence. The album’s first half highlights his rap flair, while the second half indulges in his softer R&B inclinations, resulting in some of the project’s most creative moments. At its core, the American Dream is one man’s story and exceptional skills. It is a blockbuster that lives up to the hype and showcases 21 Savage at its most luminescent. By staying true to himself, he has created something unique and is now taking it to the world.

The album boldly opens with “American Dream,” featuring a powerful monologue by 21 Savage’s mother, where she shares her dreams for her son, her struggles, and the triumph of seeing her sacrifices pay off. The voice note from his mother establishes a direct and unapologetic connection between 21 Savage and his roots. This autobiographical piece marks a significant moment of openness from the artist, who has never been more candid about his life experiences.

21 Savage starts with his powerful verses on “All of Me,” expressing his gratitude towards his life while paying respects to those he has lost. He boldly talks about his wealth and the paparazzi while addressing the prevalent entitlement mentality in today’s society and how it affects relationships. On the other hand, 1 Savage uses his characteristic relaxed cadence to lay down his rap over a sample from Rose Royce that is rich with soul. He takes us through a personal history lesson, exploring his early years intertwined with adversity and unlawful events. The artist relocated from England to Atlanta’s tough neighbourhoods at seven years old. He unapologetically reflects on the experiences that have moulded him, leaving listeners with awe and inspiration.

The next track on the album, “Redrum,” is where the superstar musician truly shines. He exudes confidence and boasts about his prowess in the game. The song starts with a smooth and sultry Latina jazz interlude, but he takes over with his assertive and powerful lyrics as soon as he enters. The piece delves into themes like the hustler mentality, handling opposition and deceit, and the gritty reality of the hood and gangsterism. To top it off, the track features additional vocals from the legendary Usher that add the perfect finishing touch.

The next track, “n.h. i.e.” features Doja Cat’s vocals, providing a perfect balance following a flurry of collaborations with Metro Boomin. The track’s chill R&B and trap elements are expertly crafted to create a seamless flow between the duo, highlighting their impeccable chemistry. The artist’s non-conformist spirit is evident throughout the song, and it’s admirable how they choose to stand by their beliefs, even in the face of adversity. Doja’s brief verse is a powerful message of female empowerment, proving that women can be independent and powerful in their own right. This track is a testament to the artist’s creative prowess and ability to create something unique and captivating.

In “Pop Ur Shit,” Young Thug and Metro Boomin collaborate to create a track that showcases their journey from humble beginnings to success. Encouraging their listeners to follow their dreams and aim high, the rappers also touch on Young Thug’s court case and maintain their signature swagger throughout the song. The chorus even includes a reference to Snoop Dogg. The song not only highlights Young Thug and Metro Boomin’s rise to fame but also serves as a testament to their resilience in the face of adversity. With their unique blend of catchy melodies and hard-hitting beats, they effortlessly capture the essence of their personal experiences, making the track relatable to listeners from all walks of life. By paying homage to Snoop Dogg in the chorus, they further solidify their place in the rap industry while acknowledging the influential artists who came before them.

In his song “Letter to my Brudda,” 21 Savage delves into the complexities of brotherhood. He shares an honest account of his feelings with his brother, acknowledging the pain they have both experienced. His lyrics speak about the importance of forgiveness, trust, and betrayal in relationships. He also reflects on life’s challenges, particularly in the trenches, where making hard choices is necessary. The rapper also touches on enemies, highlighting his obstacles while caring for his hood and family. The KXVI-sample-based ‘Letter to My Brudda’ is a masterpiece that tells a story of self-reliance and inter-community support. The song’s powerful lyrics highlight the importance of coming together as a community to overcome life’s challenges.

Metro Boomin and Lil Durk on “Dangerous” is a hard-hitting track that delves into the gritty realities of life in the streets. The lyrics are filled with vivid descriptions of the harshness and danger of the hood. Lil Durk’s verse is particularly striking, with his flow and delivery perfectly complementing Metro Boomin’s beat. The overall vibe of the track is one of gangsterism, with the rappers addressing their lines to an imaginary foe, boasting of their street cred, and reminding their opponent that “every dog has its day.”

Travis Scott appears on “Nee-nah,” and his verse perfectly fits the track’s Nina Simone interpolation. The production by Metro Boomin is top-notch, with the beat being both challenging and atmospheric. The lyrics are filled with slick talk and bravado as the rappers address their lines to someone who has wronged them, reminding them of their standing in the streets, while “See the Real” takes a more reflective approach, with OG Parker describing how his dog wants nothing more than to hunt down and kill those who cross him. The atmospheric beat and Parker’s delivery perfectly capture the mood of the track, which is one of darkness and danger. Overall, the collaboration between Metro Boomin, Lil Durk, Travis Scott, and OG Parker is a testament to the power of great production and top-notch lyricism.

21 Savage showcases his emotional side on the track “Prove It,” which features the R&B singer Summer Walker. The lyrics of the song are filled with sexual connotations, but at the same time, the way 21 Savage beautifully portrays his lover is nothing short of art. Summer’s R&B vibe adds a sweet and romantic edge to the track, making it one of the most beautiful songs on the album and likely to top the R&B charts soon. Another remarkable track off the album is “Should’ve worn a bonnet,” which features Brent Fayaiz. The song is a perfect combination of sultry vocals and the charisma of both artists, reflecting their brashly seductive music style. Brent’s distinctive voice and the way he sings about his lover’s appearance are impressive. The song has a seductive vibe that makes it irresistible to listen to and perfectly captures the essence of the artists’ musical style.

Burna Boy’s addition to “Just Like Me” brings an electrifying Afro-fusion vibe to the track, and his performance is nothing short of exceptional. He is undoubtedly on his way to the top of the music industry. The song delves into the complexities of relationships, how love can be fickle, and how quickly things can spiral out of control. The artists boldly assert that their lover must play a woman’s role, which is her purpose.

The final track of the album, “Dark Days,” featuring Mariah the Scientist, is a powerful and poignant reflection on the harsh realities of street life. In this song, 21 Savage doesn’t hold back as he reflects on his journey to fame and fortune, which has come at a significant cost. He has lost friends and family along the way, causing him to question whether it was all worth it. Despite identifying as a gangster, 21 Savage offers a strong message of advice to the younger generation. He advises them to avoid violence and prioritize education instead. With its haunting and melancholy tone, Mariah the Scientist’s chorus complements 21 Savage’s verse, emphasizing the inevitability of facing the repercussions of one’s choices. The producer, Kid Hazel, contributes to the emotional depth of the track, enhancing the song’s overall impact. “Dark Days” is a deeply personal song that delves into some of 21 Savage’s most traumatic experiences, shedding light on the dark realities he has faced.

As the track fades, 21 Savage’s mom reappears and prays for her son. She advised him to remain on the right path and wished him well. She reminds him of how proud she continues to be of his growth. It’s a nostalgic way to end the album.

Tracklist

# Title Artist(s) Duration
1 american dream 21 Savage 1:04
2 all of me 21 Savage 3:19
3 redrum 21 Savage 4:31
4 n.h.i.e. 21 Savage & Doja Cat 2:24
5 sneaky 21 Savage 3:22
6 pop ur shit 21 Savage, Young Thug & Metro Boomin 3:14
7 letter to my brudda 21 Savage 2:40
8 dangerous 21 Savage, Lil Durk & Metro Boomin 4:26
9 née-nah 21 Savage, Travis Scott & Metro Boomin 3:41
10 see the real 21 Savage 3:03
11 prove it 21 Savage & Summer Walker 3:28
12 should’ve wore a bonnet 21 Savage & Brent Faiyaz 3:07
13 just like me 21 Savage, Burna Boy & Metro Boomin 3:52
14 red sky 21 Savage 2:57
15 dark days 21 Savage & Mariah the Scientist 4:56

Album Summary

This album is a masterpiece that portrays the artist’s unique experiences in a personal and intimate way. The exceptional production quality enhances the work and creates an immersive backdrop for 21 Savage’s candid lyrics and sharp delivery. Combining these elements takes the listener on a journey through time, offering a glimpse into the rapper’s remarkable life story. By incorporating influences from gangsta rap, pop rap, and chipmunk soul, the production expands 21 Savage’s trap sound and allows him to address questions about his origin story and immigration challenges. The album features numerous standout tracks, but “Letter to My Brudda” and “Dark Days” are especially noteworthy for their impressive storytelling. These tracks offer a balanced perspective on the allure of gang life and emphasize the importance of self-love and education as a pathway to a better life.

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