21 Savage – I Am > I Was review

RnB/Hip Hop | Tuesday 8th January 2019 | Jake

Hot on the heels of his star turn on producer Metro Boomin’s album Not All Heroes Wear Capes, 21 Savage has released his second studio album, I Am > I Was. The tape dropped in late December, after months of rumours but very little information.

Unlike his debut, Issa, 21’s latest release features a number of artists, including J Cole on the lead single ‘A Lot’. Other vocals on the album can be heard from Travis Scott, Gunna, Childish Gambino and Post Malone, among others. The album flew straight to the top of the charts and has further enhanced the reputation of the young Atlantan.



In spite of the appearance of a number of artists, a rarity in 21 projects, I Am > I Was feels a natural follow up to Issa, as 21 develops his dreary cadence and morbid, downcast lyrics. There is aslo evolution to be found across the tape. Savage has developed a now infamous whisper rap, which apppears on this album multiple times. We are also introduced to a mournful, auto-tune tweaked singing rap, and though it is refreshing to see the rapper experiment, the weepy, messy auto-tune doesn’t quite come off.

This experiment in auto-tune is actually found on one of the album’s highlights, the break-up song ‘Ball w/o You’, produced by TM88. Other highlights include the heartwarming ‘Letter 2 My Momma’, ‘Pad Lock’ and the aforementioned ‘A Lot’.