Novice Principles

AlbumsREVIEWED: Drake & 21 Savage – HER LOSS

REVIEWED: Drake & 21 Savage – HER LOSS

Drake & 21 Savage have been a wonder-duo since their first recorded collaboration, Sneakin. Curiosity over the years has left many asking the question, “When?” This exciting scenario is privy to their high-vibrational chemistry displayed with Mr. Right Now, Knife Talk & Jimmy Cooks . After a surprise performance at Morehouse College and release of the Jimmy Cooks music video, the star tandem officially announced their joint-album, Her Loss.

A full length, 16-song project is difficult to enjoy in an era where music has a short life-span due to the rate in which listeners receive new music but Her Loss defies odds and is a dynamic, all-around performance.

The initial reaction to the project is very unusual to what’s been witnessed from Drake’s albums in recent years; Typically met with divisive opinions such as his infamous collaborative project with Future, What A Time To Be Alive. Her Loss seems to be in a different category. Receiving a large amount of praise early on is due in part to the duo’s effortless chemistry, surreal production and eclectic lyrical content.

Rich Flex sets the stage with an unexpected opening monologue from Young Nudy who has been on the rise for some time now. Even with no recorded verse, this moment still garners enough attention to gain a new audience. The song itself is a monstrous tone setter for what the album entails.

We then enter a whirlwind of explosive records in which Drake & 21 Savage lay the foundation with fierce club anthems On BS, BackOutsideBoyz & Circo Loco. Records like Treacherous Twins, Pussy & Millions and Jumbotron Shit Poppin are lighthearted in production but contain a level of artistry and “quotables” that ultimately create enjoyable records with a surmountable amount of replay value.

Spin Bout U is a beautiful rendition of B.GO.T.I’s Give Me Your Lov’n in which the pairing emphasize their “lover boy” ways through a variety of romantic lyricism which has made this an early fan favorite. Meanwhile, Hours In Silence is the vintage kind of Drake record one could hope for accompanied with 21 background vocals in the beginning half of an exciting record.

Their chemistry oozes on Major Distribution, Privileged Rappers, Broke Boys & More M’s where they trade bars as if they’re in an exhibition sparring match; An array of beat switches to keep listeners on their feet.

21’s lyricism is a major highlight of Her Loss. Since releasing The Slaughter Tape in 2015, there has been a consistent evolution to the Atlanta native’s artistry. Although it may feel at times through the project he is taking a backseat, this is considerably not the case as he is on 12 of 16 records. 21 treated Her Loss like a peak Floyd Mayweather fight; Trading jabs and getting his verses, hooks and flows in where they matter most for unforgettable moments and getting out clean with a win.

Born in October I’m so OVO. Halloween coming and he wants to dress up but he don’t need a costume I’m turning him ghost.

-21 Savage on Broke Boys

3AM in Glenwood is a special record we witness. The “Time and Place” song is a Drake specialty we often look forward to but dishing this to 21 was unique and allowed the Slaughter Gang CEO to be vulnerable over a lush produced record like Drake has done for years; Creating a momentous occasion.

Drake has been one of this generation’s biggest artists and continues his reign with every release. The question that comes from many Hip-Hop traditionalists though is his capabilites as a lyricist. If there was ever any doubt, he answers that question decisively with the luxurious sounding and elusive, Middle Of the Ocean.

“Luxury rap” as one would describe it, is where one brags on their status and is almost always reserved for the upper echelon of rappers like Jay Z & Rick Ross. Drake has flirted with this style on records like Gold Roses & Lemon Pepper Freestyle but now we hear it come full circle.

There’s a sense of symbolism shown on Her Loss that has yet to be discussed and that is 21 Savage’s presence. On the initial listen, it seems that Drake is carrying the load and that may be because of the amazement to what is being heard sonically but after having a chance to analyze each record, you realize 21’s overall importance and contributions to this stellar project. His menacing occupancy allows Drake to gear into a mode that has not been seen for a long time which is a predominantly machismo, confident rap repertoire.

Thought I was a popstar, I’m Slaughter Gang, I baited ’em

-Drake on More M’s

The Boy’s simplistic yet clever wordplay has been beneficial to his success and Her Loss is an opportunity to embrace the villainous role; Bluntly reciting lyrics about his disdain for his past relationships, dealings in the industry and bragging about how far he’s come to deliver a unique side rarely seen before.

It’s as if he’s angry and decided to use this album as a “vent ” session. Utilizing many vices and eye-opening verses, there was something to prove for October’s Very Own.

Overall, Her Loss is stunning. 21 Savage’s contributions cannot be overstated as his maturity and growth play a major role in the stardom of the project. Drake gave the people something worth dancing to earlier in the year and now versatile bars to sit with and analyze. A phenomenal body of work and will be a topic of conversation as 2022 wraps up.


  • Lo

    Love this project so much. This is a great read, Cherry!

  • Samaiya Butler

    One of the best album reviews I’ve ever read.

  • Jada

    You’ve done it again! Thanks for really highlighting that Drake wouldn’t be able to create this ‘machismo’ without 21! 👏🏾

  • James Smartt Jr.

    Great reads as usual. AOTY, Album of the year and Article of the yea!!

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