The new 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin album Without Warning dropped on Halloween, and was highlighted as part of Go 95.3’s New Music Friday. Every Monday, we follow up with some critical thoughts.
The hosts listened over the weekend, and the verdict’s in. All reviews are on a 1-5 scale.
= a few thrills
= above average
= one of the year’s best
= lit today, and forever
DJ Bonics – I can’t say loved it. The best part of the album was dropping it during Halloween because it def has a very dark Halloween vibe. With titles like “Nightmare,” “Darth Vader,” and “Mad Stalkers,” I could imagine that it would have been the perfect soundtrack to ride around to on Halloween – especially when I was a teenager. For me to enjoy it more, I have to frame it as these three getting in the studio and just having fun, rather than taking it as a serious album release. My favorite songs on the project are “Ghostface Killers” featuring Travis Scott, “Rap Saved Me” featuring Quavo, and “Nightmare.” Other than that, I don’t think there are any big hits on this or any big-room dance floor anthems. I also don’t think it has major playback value. Definitely a project that serves best in your whip.
Mr. Peter Parker – This album is better than I thought it was gonna be. That being said, I probably won’t listen to this ever again. Repetitive content and boring characters keep me from connecting with Without Warning. Even though 21 Savage has basically the same lyrical content as, say, Mobb Deep or even Westside Gunn, his lazy, codeine-laced delivery and sucker-for-love persona on social media ultimately turns me off. As Hov once eloquently said, “We don’t believe you, you need more people.” I don’t believe anything he has to say. As far as Offset, he can actually rap. Not really saying too much outside of the typical Migos offering, but technically, he’s impressive. Cardi B‘s new fiancé definitely can flow. Metro Boomin, the DJ Premier of trap music, definitely shows us his talent once again. Metro has some very cool, very dark, ominous production on here. Metro makes Without Warning listenable, but not memorable. It’s clear to see why these guys are the stars they are, it just doesn’t connect with me.
Auggie 5000 – I love when an album title is highly accurate. We had no warning on this and it was a great Halloween release. It is fun. 21 is comfortable with Offset and the chemistry is very evident. The big highlight is the Quavo-featured “Rap Saved Me” where my first thought is that 21 should be the 4th Migo. I really want him to be to Migos what Redman is to Wu-Tang. Both were perfectly in their pockets over Metro’s production. This album surprised me because my expectations were low after 21’s Issa Album really wasted my time. Without Warning makes me want to go back and listen to more 21.
Sophia Eris – While listening to this album, all I wanna do is sip my drink, shake my a**, and talk s***. Metro, Offset, & 21 Savage prove that they are an incredible combination that truly make me want to do ignorant things with pride. I bumped this album with my all-female crew on tour and we lost our minds. The feeling was a combination of wanting to spend all of our money at the strip club while recreating Set It Off.
On a critical note, 21 Savage’s flow is a magnet to the pocket EVERY TIME and is truly annoyingly effortless. He’s walking the line of laziness and fire, but one can’t help but bob their head to it. Offset’s hard-hitting triplet flows shine light on the fact that the year 2018 will be his.
ALL HAIL METRO BOOMIN! He truly knows how to bring the best out of an artist and his production is so easy to connect to for an audience. With this album having only 10 tracks, which I love, I feel it is the perfect dose to leave one satisfied, impressed, and coming back for more.
Chaz Kangas – Surprise albums in hip-hop are rare, and holiday-themed albums even more so. The fact that 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin – three of hip-hop’s biggest names – kept a project like this confidential is impressive. Without Warning is, and I say this as a fan of all three, better than it has any right to be.
It’s an accomplishment that the Halloween motif and potential redundancies of the trap sub-genre don’t hinder each track for having their own identity. If you haven’t heard Without Warning yet, I promise you it doesn’t sound how you think it does. Exhibit A: “Ric Flair Drip.” While it would have been a better surprise a few weeks earlier to vibe with more of the Halloween season, it’s going to be a fun record to pull out every October, like Gravediggaz‘s Six Feet Deep and Riff Raff‘s Balloween. All three have incredible chemistry, Metro brings out of the best of these two talents, and the half-hour time limit keeps things momentum the whole way through.
DJ D.Mil – For a project that got released on October 31, Without Warning definitely feels like Halloween theme music, especially with song titles like “Ghostface Killers,” “Nightmare” and “Mad Stalkers.” Metro Boomin has mastered his sound. “Ghostface Killers” with Travis Scott, “Ric Flair Drip” and “Darth Vader” are the songs where I feel like the magic of the collab works. The rest, not so much. Not overly impressed.