Drake and 21 Savage have dropped joint project. Kevin Bourne calls it good but a bit predictable. Here’s our Her Loss album review.
Tonight, Drake and 21 Savage dropped their recently announced album “Her Loss”. The joint project is a follow up to Drake’s often maligned 2022 dance release Honestly, Nevermind and 21’s 2020 release Savage Mode II.
From the title, artwork, and roll out, including a fake interview with Howard Stern, it appeared we would be in store for some toxically masculine content from the Toronto and Atlanta duo. While we got some of that, we also got a mix of bouncy Southern bangers, gang talk, stripped down minimalist production, singing, and vulnerable content about love and relationships. So basically what we would expect from the pair.
The project opens with “Rich Flex”. The track follows the “a lot” formula, beginning with a soul sample followed by a laid back yet bouncy production. Then we get the first beat change of the project as we’re treated to arguably the hardest beat on the project. With a few fire beat changes throughout the album, this sets the tone beautifully. This includes “Pussy & Millions” featuring Travis Scott, the only feature on the project. What would a Travis Scott feature be without a beat change, right?
What we notice a few tracks in is Drake’s singing is sometimes used for transitions to beat changes, especially to a harder beat, creating contrast between the softness of his voice and the hardness of the production and content.
As anticipated, Drake continues to show why he’s one of the best in the game while giving us a manual for our success.
If we don’t like you, you payin’ tax and tariffs
Come to the 6 and I’m like the actin’ sheriff, deputy
First got to America, niggas wouldn’t check for me
No chance the kid’ll make it here like vasectomy
They underestimated my trajectory
But now they gotta pay that shit direct to me
I send the label bills, bills, bills like the other two women next to Bey
On “Middle of the Ocean” we get some big boy, rich man bars over some classic sounding production. Drizzy even addresses the reception to Honestly, Nevermind rapping, “Niggas so ignorant in our hood they asking, ‘Why you making techno?’” Hilarious.
21 Savage bars up as well spitting, “I don’t show ID at the clubs ‘cause they know I’m 21”. Fire. He even takes a stab at the AM/PM series, giving us more bars on “3AM on Glenwood”. Seriously though, 21 is flat out impressive on the song. Hip-hop purists will approve. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this from him in the future.
Joining “Rich Flex”, “On BS”, “Middle of the Ocean”, “Major Distribution”, with its minimalist piano production, as standout tracks are “Treacherous Twins”, “Broke Boys”, “Jumbotron Shit Poppin”, and “More M’s” with its Mississauga shoutout.
“Used to be out in Sauga, Sega City Playdium.”
Despite all the bangers, we still get some of that minimalist R&B vibes Drake in known for on “Hours in Silence”. Even 21 gets in on the R&B vocals.
The final track, “I Guess It’s Fuck Me,” is a great conclusion to the album and is among the best song on the project. Prior to that, there was the feeling that something was missing. Filled with piano chords and horns, it creates a sense of drama and grandeur. Drake is at his best when he’s introspective and honest, giving use those songs we can play while driving at night as we think about our lives. This is the one. While a lot of the album was Drake giving us what we wanted, this song is what we needed, singlehandedly elevating and changing the feel of the album.
One criticism of the project is that there are large stretches where it feels more like a Drake album featuring 21 Savage than a joint album. Adding to this feeling is that the album includes four solo Drake tracks and only one 21 Savage solo track.
The other criticism listeners may have with this album is that it follows the formula of what they’re used to from Drake. In other words, it’s a bit predictable. While he does experiment slightly with different sounds on “Jumbotron Shit Poppin” and “BackOutsideBoyz”, the last time he tried to experiment many fans and critics didn’t respond favourably so we can’t blame him for sticking to what he knows. Isn’t that what we wanted?
Overall, it’s a good project that checks all of the boxes of what we expected and, as usual, Drake and 21 Savage compliment each other well when it comes to both their tone and sound. There are some bright moments throughout, but what you’re not getting is any pop sounding records or mainstream hits. As Future would say, this one is “for the streets”.
“Her Loss” is available on all major streaming platforms.