21 Savage dropped his first major label album, today at midnight. The popular lounge Alibi in Atlanta hosted a listening party prior to the drop. The album’s vibe is different from most of 21’s music and it set the tone for the chill night.
Issa Album consists of 14 tracks and no features. 21 actually produced the track, Bank Account. 21 does stay true to his roots by collaborating with producers like Zaytoven, Metro Boomin, and DJ Mustard. The producer credits also include Wheezy, Pierre Bourne, and Southside.
Aside from the familiarity of the producers, the album is completely different from previous 21 Savage projects. The rapper talks a lot about how he’s adjusting to fame. In the first track, Famous, he lets listeners in on his rags to riches story. From there, the album doesn’t really have any clear sound or direction. Each track sounds exactly like the one before it. Thankfully, there are split-second pauses before each track plays, because without them your mind would be tricked into believing you’re listening to a long never-ending song. Last night’s crowd seemed all but impressed with Issa Album. Everyone was vibing, socializing as if it were just another Thursday night. The lack luster album couldn’t even draw in those who were specifically there to listen to the anticipated album. After a while, we all kind of forgot it was even playing.
On the album, there are few tracks like Slaughter Ya Daughter or X….songs that helped to familiarize 21’s sound. Instead, he gives listeners softened lyrics with monotonous beats like Baby Girl and the heavily auto-tuned Special where he’s “singing” to the new lady in his life. No shade, but the best track on the album is the last one…7 min Freestyle. In this track, we get a glimpse of the 21 Savage we were all expecting. Despite, the disappointment of Issa Album, the crowd still managed to have a good night with vibes better than 21 Savage was able to provide.
The switch-up occurs every time an artist goes mainstream. We can’t speak for anyone else, but we’d prefer not to hear our rappers singing about their love lives. Maybe him hanging with Drake has done more harm than good? Maybe Muva’s magic is more potent than we thought? Has 21 evolved as an artist or forgotten his “savage” roots?
Take a listen for yourself. Issa Album is available for streaming on Tidal and Apple Music.
All photos courtesy of Night Life Link Photography.