Trap collaborations seem to be the biggest trend in the hip-hop industry at the moment, but it feels like there isn’t much thought going into the quality of music coming out; it’s all about the cash.
Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case here, on this surprising Halloween and nightmarish themed album: “Without Warning”. Metro Boomin couldn’t have picked a better duo to get that feeling on to the album. The album art of a crazed hound seems to carry the same menacing spirit that 21 Savage delivers on all of his tracks, and Offset does what he does best with an even bigger effort in flows and lyricism, leading me to believe that maybe Offset is the GOAT of trap.
Without Warning starts off strong with the Wu-Tang alluding “Ghostface Killers” which features Travis Scott. Not the greatest highlight on the album, but Travis provides a decent trap flair like he always does, and the track gives 21 and Offset a good way to introduce the album’s concept fluidly. Then, on “Rap Saved Me“, they take turns talking about their come up and how rap allowed them to make more money, a subject 21 Savage has always been great with. Quavo provides a melodic 3rd verse for the song. In my opinion, i think these 2 tracks are good, but nothing anything too ground breaking, even though they do stick with this steady nightmarish, haunting concept. On “Ric Flair Drip“, Offset pays homage to the WWE wrestler “Ric Flair”, the same guy he bit the “Whoo” ad-libs from. I love this song, and its the one I keep going back to on this album, the flow is fresh and stylish, and although its Offset, a mainstream success, Metro Boomin’s production makes this song sound a bit more underground, and it sounds really interesting when it contrasts with Offset.
I really love how Metro Boomin allowed both of the rappers to really be themselves while also sticking to the concept, he gave them a few individual tracks and a few that work for both of their styles. 21 Savage’s first solo song for the album is “My Choppa Hates N****“, a smooth and suave track, that talks about how Savage used to be in the Blood gang, and how he’d have to kill a lot of people with his “choppa” to defend his life. This song gives a nice flow for the album, and lets you chill out with Savage for a little. Near the end of the song, 21 says “A Nightmare on Elm Street, Feel like Jason Friday 13th, Hockey mask with the .223”, and then on “Nightmare“, Offset uses that same horror movie theme to write the hook “Freddy Kreuger, give ’em a nightmare”, and Metro’s production adds a perfect nightmare themed instrumental to compliment the idea. Nightmare is easily my favourite song off the album, the vibe of the song perfectly captures what the album is all about.
“Mad Stalkers” is about how with both of their wealth, comes people trying to bite off of them, to extremes such as stalking them to get a bite of their “clout”. I love Offsets incredibly well written verse on this track, he just goes off into this amazing flow that is just so catchy to me. “Disrespectful” made me cringe with lines like ” Hurricane Irma on my neck, flooded out Hurricane Harvey on my wrist, shit, flooded out” but I mean, that’s kind of the point of the track, it’s disrespectful as hell, and Offset continues that with lines such as: “Told her go down, get sloppy (Ooh), Big on big, don’t size it”. “Run Up The Racks” is a bit of a throwaway for me, it kind of sways off the subject of the album, and is a bit of a snooze to get through, with the very repetitive chorus.
“Still Serving” puts you in a lean induced state, with Savage starting the song off with a very slow and dreary flow, but I really loved listening to this track, especially when Offset transitions the flow from slow and casual, and adds some spitting flair in his verse. The last track “Darth Vader” is more or less the same thing that you hear on the rest of these tracks, and another song using a pop culture reference to refer to their wealth and success. Overall I really enjoyed this project, its an album I can put on when i’m feeling like some trap, and it doesn’t bore me with repetition like most trap albums do.
Without Warning: 9/10
Ric Flair Drip, Nightmare, Still Serving
Least Favourite Tracks:
Rap Saved Me, Run Up The Racks, Darth Vader