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Breaking down the Album ‘Without Warning’ by ’21 Savage’

Released: 2017

Label: Slaughter Gang, LLC/Epic/Quality Control Music/Motown/Capitol/Boominati Worldwide/Republic

Featuring: Offset, Metro Boomin, Travis Scott, Quavo

In the shadows of Halloween 2017, ’21 Savage’, Metro Boomin’, and ‘Offset’ added an unexpected spin to the spooky season with their collaborative project ‘Without Warning’. Released through the prestigious labels of Slaughter Gang, LLC/Epic/Quality Control Music/Motown/Capitol/Boominati Worldwide/Republic, this album drenched listeners in the darkest shades of trap music.

Playing to their strengths, the trinity serves raw street narratives over haunting metro boomin’ beats. “Ghostface Killers”, backed by Travis Scott paints a ruthless picture of running the streets and rap game. The unapologetic admission, “From the gutter, rap saved me” on “Rap Saved Me” (feat. Quavo) resonates, a testament to the power of hip-hop as a lifesaver. “Ric Flair Drip” encapsulates the glitz and glamour of success, whilst “My Choppa Hate Niggas” doesn’t shy from the brutal realities of street violence.

‘Without Warning’ doesn’t lack its doses of horror-like references as seen in “Nightmare”, echoed through “Mad Stalkers” graphic verses about violence and survival. “Disrespectful” brags about past and present victories, while “Run Up the Racks” spotlights 21 Savage’s independent hustle. Nonetheless, “Still Serving” reminds listeners of the lifelong grip of street-life. “Darth Vader” wraps up the album with a nod to their dominance in the rap industry.

So let’s get into it. From Ghostface Killers to Darth Vader, we are breaking down the album “Without Warning” by “21 Savage”.

1 Ghostface Killers

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin, Travis Scott

21 Savage, Offset, and Travis Scott lay down verses that are as menacing as they are braggadocious, backed by Metro Boomin’s haunting production. This track is a declaration of their dominance in both the streets and the rap game, likening themselves to the ruthless Ghostface Killers of Wu-Tang fame. Amidst the barrage of bars about luxury, violence, and street cred, one line from 21 Savage stands out for its raw honesty and dark humor: “Planet of the Apes, yeah I hang around gorillas.” It’s a stark reminder of the savage, survival-of-the-fittest world they navigate, where only the strongest and most ruthless come out on top.

2 Rap Saved Me

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin, Quavo

Centered around haunting beats and raw lyrical prowess, this track is a deep dive into their past lives, contrasting their current success. It’s about transformation, the hustle, and how the game of rap became their savior and ticket out of the gutter. Among the gritty verses, 21 Savage drops a line that’s both a chilling reminder of his past and a declaration of his new reality, “From the gutter, rap saved me.” This line doesn’t just tell his story; it’s an anthem for many who see music as their lifeline, echoing the power of hip-hop to transcend origins and redefine destinies.

3 Ric Flair Drip

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin

Through a meticulously crafted soundscape by Metro Boomin, Offset navigates the world of newfound wealth, luxury watches, and high-speed jetskis with a finesse that’s both enviable and raw. A standout line that encapsulates the essence of this bravado is “Ric Flair drip, go ‘woo’ on a bitch,” not only paying homage to Flair’s iconic catchphrase but also showcasing Offset’s ability to turn luxury into a state of mind. This line isn’t just a nod to extravagance; it’s a declaration of having arrived, of turning dreams into tangible, touchable reality, where success isn’t just seen but felt and lived, every day.

4 My Choppa Hate Niggas

Features: Metro Boomin

Savage delivers his verses with a chilling calmness, merging stark life experiences with the raw intensity of his delivery. Amidst a narrative dense with references to violence and survival, one line stands out sharply for its bold metaphorical weight, “I call it KKK, ’cause my choppa hate niggas.” This line not only showcases 21 Savage’s unflinching approach to lyricism but also cleverly flips the script on racism, weaponizing the imagery to signify the indiscriminate potential of violence in his world. The track reverberates with the truth of the streets, underlined by Metro Boomin’s menacing beats, painting a vivid backdrop for Savage’s cold, hard truths, and unapologetic storytelling.

5 Nightmare

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin

The track is laced with gritty references to the street life, ambition, and the harsh consequences awaiting those who cross paths with him. Embracing the Freddy Krueger metaphor, Offset warns of his pervasive presence, “Freddy Kruger, give ’em a nightmare / Soon as you close your eyes, nigga, we right there,” signifying that the dangers he brings aren’t just confined to the shadows—they’re an unavoidable reality. This line stands out as a testament to both his lyrical prowess and the life he portrays, bridging the gap between his persona and the fictional world of fear Krueger inhabits. It’s a powerful declaration of his omnipresence in the game, marking his territory in the rap world with the same ferocity as a horror icon.

6 Mad Stalkers

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin

The track is a relentless barrage of their reality, marked by gritty tales of survival, loyalty, and the intoxicating allure of power. Savage and Offset exchange bars that are both vivid and visceral, embedding the listener into their world with unfiltered authenticity. A standout line, “Turned 16 and I got my first stick (MAC-90),” punches hard, encapsulating the harsh initiation into their lives of turmoil and resilience, symbolizing not just the weapon but the weight of the life choices that followed. Every verse in “Mad Stalkers” is a testament to their battled-hardened persona, unearthing the roots of their caution and aggression, crafting an anthem for those who rose from adversity with relentless determination.

7 Disrespectful

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin

Each bar is a testament to their journey and current standing in the game; from street life to topping charts and changing their lives for the better. A standout line encapsulates this raw, unfiltered ethos perfectly: “I’m a gangbangin’, chain swangin’, chopper toned Zone 6 nigga.” This line alone paints a vivid picture of 21’s roots and how they’ve shaped him, blending his past with his present in a way that’s unapologetically him. It’s a track that doesn’t just flex material success but nods to the code of the streets and loyalty, with a clear message: They’ve made it, but haven’t forgotten where they came from.

8 Run Up the Racks

Features: Metro Boomin

Savage’s gravelly tones cut through Metro’s atmospheric beats, painting a vivid picture of life on the edge. One standout line, “I went platinum independent then I signed my deal, nigga,” not only showcases Savage’s hustle but also highlights his success against the odds, a testament to his determination and resilience. This track is more than just a brag about financial gains; it’s an anthem for survival, an insight into the grit required to navigate a world of obstacles, where “Run up the racks I’m doin’ it” becomes both a mantra and a declaration of victory over adversity.

9 Still Serving

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin

Savage and Offset trade bars that paint vivid pictures of their rise from the trenches, underscored by Metro Boomin’s menacing beats. Savage’s verse, “My uncle just turned 49 and he still serving,” hits hard, underlining the lifelong grip of the game on individuals. This line isn’t just a reflection of personal history; it’s a stark commentary on the cycle of survival in the streets. Meanwhile, Offset’s depiction of his own journey, from robbing for necessity to flaunting luxury amidst danger, adds layers to this gritty saga. Their unapologetic delivery and the stark imagery in their lyrics underscore the high stakes of their environment, making “Still Serving” a testament to resilience, loyalty, and the complexities of street life.

10 Darth Vader

Features: Offset, Metro Boomin

The track juxtaposes their ascent in the hip-hop world with the gritty realities that molded them. A standout line, “All black like Darth Vader,” is emblematic of the song’s essence, showcasing their dominance and menace in the game, akin to the iconic Star Wars villain. This track isn’t just about flaunting wealth or status; it delves deeper, reflecting on the journey from hardship to success, maintaining vigilance, and navigating fame’s treacherous waters. Through their verses, the trio acknowledges the sacrifices made and the relentless mindset needed to conquer the rap industry, all while underlining the importance of loyalty and resilience.

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