Drake and 21 Savage did not hit the beat with their collaborative album


Courtesy of Variety

Toronto and the United Kingdom’s finest, Drake and 21 Savage, have finally released their collaboration album Her Loss. Initially teased in a music video for “Jimmy Cooks,” a Drake track featuring 21 Savage off his previous studio album Honestly Nevermind, the album saw a week-long delay before finally reaching the ears of fans on November 4th, 2022. 

I couldn’t help but join in with the anticipation of fans for the album, especially considering the collaboration would be 21 Savage’s first release since his 2020 collaboration album with Metro Boomin, Savage Mode II

Was 21 Savage’s return to artistry a good one? Was the project worth the delay? These popular fan questions can be solved with the press of a play button.

The intro track “Rich Flex,” features a promising instrumental which consists of distorted opera samples, the kind that 21 Savage is notorious for spitting bars over. I was looking forward to the rest of the album simply from the first 15 seconds of the instrumental, instantly recognizing it as 21 Savage’s signature style. 

All hope for the track was immediately shattered at the 32 second mark where Drake says “21, can you do somethin’ for me?” and later goes on to say “Do your thang 21 do your thaaang.” 

Drake’s initial bars would later be memed to high, heaven given their flamboyant delivery, almost sounding like Drake is cheerleading for 21 Savage on the track. 

The next track, “Major Distribution,” starts with a piano segment coupled with Drake humming. I found these few seconds to be somewhat enjoyable, until Drake started to actually use his words. The instrumental switches to an Atlanta-fashioned beat with a piano sample and a loud bass. Except I absolutely hated this instrumental since the piano sample in the trap-beat section sounded like a toddler on a piano. Even 21 Savage’s later bars unfortunately couldn’t save this instrumental for me.

The next couple tracks were very uninteresting to me, and it felt like a chore to sit through them. That was until “Privileged Rappers” came on. I interpreted the title to be a self-reflection on Drake’s part, since he was born into wealth. The instrumental is very ear catching, featuring an electric guitar and catchy snares that compliment both artist’s bars.

Drake honestly didn’t do too bad on this track, and I even appreciated the bar “I hate a privileged rapper that ain’t had a hit since he signed.” The title wasn’t referring to Drake like I thought, but rather rappers that have the privilege of creating a hit track, only for them to ignore their privilege and fizz out as a one-hit-wonder. This phenomenon is something that’s seen often with artists that get their fame off TikTok.

“Spin Bout U” was a great track from the first listen, especially since it opened with 21 Savage. The distorted base coupled with the looped snares carry 21 Savage’s bars beautifully. My disappointment when Drake came on was honestly dampened thanks to the instrumental’s quality. After Drake’s subpar autotuned segment on the track, he “spins” back with a flow that reminds me of a Drake that put out better content than the present one does. 

“Hours in Silence” had a warped yet relaxing instrumental, which Drake’s vocals complimented pretty well in all honesty. The storytelling of a heartbreak, which is nothing new on Drake’s part, is very appropriate given the mood of the beat. 

“Circo Loco” made me do a double take on the first listen, since the instrumental samples Daft Punk’s iconic track “One More Time.” The producer for this track unfortunately didn’t do anything too interesting besides slow down the sample, but Drake’s flow on the track is catchy at first. Unfortunately, it gets repetitive soon. Drake tried to throw shots at Kanye West and Megan Thee Stallion on the track, although the Kanye diss has been interpreted for Ye’s fellow artist and friend Pusha T instead. 

21 Savage did his thing on Circo Loco as well, but it was at this point in the album where I noticed something that made me want to relisten to the entire album to make sure; there was noticeably more Drake on the album than there was 21 Savage. This observation was prompted after it felt like 21 Savage had a measly 3 bars to offer on the track before cutting back to Drake, and I noticed it was a trend on the other tracks as well. 

The next track is the only one with a feature to go alongside the dynamic duo of Drake and 21 Savage, that being Travis Scott. “P**** and Millions” has a luxurious sounding beat, one that I personally wouldn’t expect Travis to hop on. Almost on cue with my observation, the song switches to a much more hyped beat with horns drowning the luxurious feel as Travis comes in for his verse. It was an average verse on Travis’s part, but Travis may be holding off better verses for his upcoming project “Utopia.” 

A few tracks later, “Jumbotron S*** Poppin” left me feeling scammed, thanks to the producer tag at the start. F1lthy, known for producing for Playboi Carti, is tagged on the beat, despite it lacking his signature hype/rage production style. The beat is uninteresting and Drake’s dull flows on the track didn’t support it much either. 

“3 AM on Glenwood” is a solo track with only 21 Savage, which I was absolutely grateful for. It felt like for the rest of the album 21 Savage had so much less to say than Drake, so a solo track almost felt refreshing. It features a very mellow beat, perfect for storytelling – which is exactly the lyrical approach 21 Savage chose. On the track, 21 Savage talks about his life struggles and experiences.

The final track, “I Guess It’s F*** Me,” is a solo Drake track following the solo 21 Savage track. I didn’t feel like it was needed, given that Drake already had such an overpowering presence on the project over 21 Savage. The track itself is a ballad about a lover wanting to know what they did wrong as their relationship ends. 

Overall, the project had its highs and lows. Rather than specific elements being high and others being low, it’s specific elements being both high and low at different points. Production on the project for example, as some tracks were phenomenally produced, others not so much.

I was definitely disappointed with how much Drake we got compared to 21 Savage on this album, and it felt more like 21 Savage being an afterthought on certain tracks rather than a proper collaborator to Drake for the album. 

The album gets a 6/10 from me, and it’s not an album I would listen to in its entirety again.