2017 Album of the Year Write-Up: Without Warning – 21 Savage, Offset, & Metro Boomin

Listen: YouTube (Full Album)

The southern-based hip-hop sub genre, trap rap, definitively gained its mainstream success throughout 2017 with universal hits like “Bad and Boujee,” “Bank Account,” and “Bodak Yellow.” Without Warning (2017), whose performers are responsible for 2 of the 3 above tracks, quickly proves itself as one of the genre’s standard-bearers. It only follows that Metro Boomin would be at its helm – his production has become a sort of gold standard and this album is certainly no detractor. Opener “Ghostface Killers” provides a menacing bounce with cemetery bells and Halloween-inspired melodies that set the mood flawlessly. The album is filled with dark and brooding textures complimented by drums with a drunken bob. The production is definitely the highlight of this record, but 21 Savage and Offset both deliver enticing performances that cater to their own unique styles, which are vastly different, while maintaining an incredible amount of chemistry. 21’s flow was essentially made for these beats: dazed out, villainous, and unsparing with annoyance for his deniers and fakers. And just when his monotonous flow becomes tiresome, 21’s partner Offset dips in with what could be considered the definitive trap flow. Triplet rhymes spew out of his mouth without break over Metro’s roomy beats – he makes use of every available space relentlessly. Technically the more skilled MC of the two, his standalone track “Ric Flair Drip” can certainly attest to this, Offset works as the compliment of 21’s sleepy flows. The two rappers each handle their share of hooks as well – another highlight of the project. On, “Still Serving,” 21 raps, “I aint’ never been no bitch, and I stand up when I piss,” creating a somewhat unwarranted sense of pride but also an unforgettable line to recite. Without Warning (2017) is top-tier trap production that two of the genre’s most distinct MC’s utilize to create an unattested chemistry proving to be both wildly entertaining and truly impressive.

FAVORITE TRACKS: Ghostface Killers, Rap Saved Me, My Choppa Hate N*ggas, Mad Stalkers, Run up the Racks, Still Serving, Darth Vader

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