Where to begin… I am a fan of 21 Savage, probably more than most people, with that being said ‘ISSA’ is a wack album. When the Savage Mode mixtape dropped in 2016 he gained an instant fan, the tape was street, gritty, and one of the rawest bodies of music to be released that year. Fast forward through all the collabs since his move into the limelight, the day is finally here for his debut album entitled ‘ISSA’.
21 Savage must have a great sense of humor or the marketing team his label hired are geniuses because the title to his album ‘ISSA’ is a play off of a meme that took the internet by storm after an interview that 21 did where he refers to his tattoo on his forehead as “issa knife…”. Peep the video clip below if you were living under a rock in
Now why would I go from being a 21 fanboy to (almost) completely disliking the shit out of his debut album? Let me try to explain this as clearly and thoroughly as possible; you’re new to the rap game, you strike it lucky for your first major release and get Metro Boomin (one of the hottest producers in the game) to exclusively produce your entire project, you blow up because of this project… THEN you get a budget for a major release album, instead of sticking to the formula that got your big, you decide to switch up your flow AND your choice of beats, then to hype up the release of your album you hire Amber fucking Rose to pretend to be into you… This is why I think its garbage.
‘ISSA’ features production from Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, Pierre Bourne, Southside, and DJ Mustard which would make you think that this is going to be the most fire album of 2017, wrong. Even though the producers he picked are the ones you’d expect from him, the beats he chose from these producers are wack as shit. Almost like 21 picked all the beats that he thought were ‘commercial’ enough to get him some mainstream radio play and left his trap shit behind on Savage Mode.
21 is not a lyricist, and I’m not blind to that fact, but when you hide his unintelligent raps behind some hard hitting beats like Metro did on ‘Savage Mode’ you get some pretty good music. On the flip side when you chose radio friendly commercial style beats and put some 21 lyrics on them, you get an earful of crap. And honestly the absolute worst part, there are ZERO features on this album, who told 21 that he could carry an entire album by himself?! Fuck off.
Since this album dropped about the same time as the new Jay-Z ‘4:44’ album a lot of people have been fighting over which one is better (in respects to their own sounds), if you want my opinion don’t bother with either of them and instead go download the Dae Dae x London On Da Track mixtape ‘The DefAnition’ if you haven’t already, now THAT’S a great body of work.