21 Savage, 'I am > I was'
by Zelia Bukhari
Last December, 21 Savage released his highly anticipated sophomore album i am > i was. As 21 Savage quickly becomes one of Atlanta’s most influential and gifted rappers, this album certainly does justify him a spot amongst the greats. His immense growth, lyrically and melodically, supports the album title, i am > i was, as it reads as ‘I am greater than I was’.
Introspective melodies combined with R&B vibes set this album apart from its predecessor Issa Album, which was trap dominated. While that record was enjoyable on a superficial level, it never went beyond the need to listen to more than a couple of songs, as they all sounded alike and were created to be set in a certain environment. i am > i was is more dynamic, and 21 Savage’s delivery is as smooth as can be. This album is remarkable at confirming that 21 Savage truly does have the finesse to become a household name in the rap game.
i am > i was features a fantastic grouping of guest artists, all combining their aesthetic with 21 Savage’s inventive craft. From Lil Baby, City Girls, Schoolboy Q, to Childish Gambino and many more, their presence only enhances 21 Savage’s unique style within each song. Though each song has its own character, they all flow together so well, making listening to the album in its entirety a pleasurable and easy experience. A few songs to definitely check out are the opening tune ‘a lot’, that brings the album into a powerful start with the help of J. Cole, and ‘all my friends’ which features Post Malone and a soulful rhythm.
i am > i was is an album that will be played throughout the new year, as it ties together the creativity predominately put forth throughout the past year by artists of the same caliber as 21 Savage, along with the deep atmosphere Savage has created for 2019. The album not only lives up to its name, but it showcases the raw talent 21 Savage has tapped into.