Album: “Her Loss”
Artist: Drake and 21 Savage
Label: OVO Sound, Republic Records, Slaughter Gang Entertainment, Epic Records
Release Date: Nov. 4
‘Her Loss’ comes as a long-awaited full-length collaboration between Drake and 21 Savage, as fans of the duo reminisced on the successes of the pair’s previous songs together.
The duo’s journey began with the 2016 release of “Sneakin” on Drake’s album “More Life,” followed by tracks such as “Mr. Right Now” off of “Savage Mode II” and the closing single “Knife Talk” on the Toronto rapper’s “Certified Lover Boy” album.
The roll out for the album came as a unique, yet welcomed surprise after whispers of a collaboration album on social media was initially denied by 21 Savage.
The project was formally announced at the end of the music video for “Jimmy Cooks,” a collaboration between the two from “Honestly, Nevermind,” Drake’s most recent solo effort.
Originally slated to be released on October 28., the album was pushed back a week to Nov. 4 due to OVO producer Noah “40” Shebib’s COVID diagnosis. The extra week allowed for even more anticipation to grow, as many wondered about the direction the album would go into.
Presumably from the title ‘Her Loss,’ it was expected the pair would follow behind Drake’s track record of recounting old flames and toxic habits.
But what was expected to be a collaboration of equal parties felt more like an overpowered Drake album that simply featured 21 Savage.
The pair starts off rocky, as the beat and switches in the first track “Rich Flex” comes off as disorganized rather than calculated. While 21’s flow is consistent, Drake enters abruptly in an annoying melodic voice and proceeds to rhyme acronyms such as DND, PTSD, GMC and BRB.
As the experience continues, the now-TikTok viral words of “21 can you do somethin’ for me?” eventually ends up sounding like an ask for a few bars for old times sake and relevancy, rather than an offer to take on the project hand in hand.
The imbalance between the two is most clear in “Hours of Silence,” where Drake appears to be speaking from the heart of a bitter lover as he croons “It’s my fault for once….you were lost until me.”
At first listen, it’s easy to forget this is a song with 21 Savage included. It’s easy to forget what was said in the first two minutes when a song exceeds six, but its slow pace is refreshing.
There’s many instances throughout the album where the listener wishes 21 would stand up and take the song, as each track continuously feels like a battle between Drake’s ego and 21’s capability.
21 Savage seizes the moment in the one and only song he gets to himself, “3 AM on Glenwood.” In comparison to the four solo songs Drake receives, this is a star contender for one of the best songs on the album. It’s familiar and shows 21’s ability to be vulnerable in detailing his own personal losses and reflection in comparison to Drake.
There are few tracks where the duo supports each other well, giving each other room to do what they do best in their respective tones. There is an illusion of equal footing in “Privileged Rappers,” as they go back and forth, but the song leaves much to be desired. Most notably, the production and catchiness of the beat and lyrics in “Spin Bout U,” “Treacherous Twins” and “Broke Boys” embody the expectations of what the project should have been.
“Spin Bout U” and “Treacherous Twins” set up the scene of the two men expressing their feelings in relationships. In “Spin Bout U” they pay close attention to detail of a love interest’s personal life, ask questions about the past and make promises of material items and protection against any man who steps to them. It notably includes a line referencing the overturn of Roe v. Wade, as Drake raps “Damn, just turned on the news and seen that men who never got p—y in school are makin’ laws about what women can do I gotta protect ya.”
The album surpassed Taylor Swift’s Midnights and secured a number one spot on the U.S. Billboard 200. However, was it successful because of the quality or the drama surrounding it?
The album has provoked controversy from the rollout to its lyrical content. This includes a lawsuit from Vogue due to fake magazines being distributed for promotion, lyrical content from Drake calling Serena Williams’ husband a groupie and conversations around a line in “Circo Loco.”
It’s suspected the viral line “This b—h lie ‘bout gettin’ shots, but she still a stallion” alludes to Megan Thee Stallion and her current legal battle with Tory Lanez, despite denial from co-writer and credited producer Lil Yachty. The irony in the alleged diss to the female rapper is her credit on the album as a co-writer in “Rich Flex,” as 21 interpolates the lyrics of her hit song “Savage”.
The album ends with an emotional finale of “I Guess It’s F— Me,” where Drake pleads for an ex to tell him where everything went wrong before getting closure one last time. As strong of a song as it is, as a finale to the partnered project leaves you wondering what the overall theme and purpose of it was.
Unfortunately, in what could have been a classic win for the duo, it was full of unmet expectations overpowered by Drake getting a few things off of his chest. Whoever’s loss it was, was truly a gain.
Morgan S.T. Ross is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Morgan Ross is an assistant news/features editor.