Review | Drake and 21 Savage created a classic collab album with ‘Her Loss’

Rappers Drake and 21 Savage released their highly-anticipated collaboration album ‘Her Loss’ on Nov. 4. The project mixes together the many eras of Drake’s career with a passing of the torch to 21, who certainly holds his own.

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Recording artist/rapper Drake performs during the Revolt Party at the Time Warner Cable Studios. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Hansen, Colin Votzmeyer, and Cooper Worth

Following weeks of speculation and teases from the two artists, Drake and 21 Savage released one of the best rap albums of the year with their collaboration ‘Her Loss,’ on Nov. 4.

The sixteen-track album features the pair going back and forth across a variety of beats with production from frequent collaborators such as Metro Boomin, Noah “40” Shebib, and Tay Keith, coming together to create an instant hit.

The duo first collaborated on Drake’s 2016 single “Sneakin,” which started a successful string of hit songs with “Mr. Right Now” off 2020’s ‘Savage Mode 2,’  and “Knife Talk” from 2021’s ‘Certified Lover Boy.’

Drake’s fanbase has taken to social media to both joke around with the names of these last three albums as well as bash him for their terrible covers.

The two worked together early this year on Drake’s poorly received ‘Honestly, Nevermind,’ collaborating on “Jimmy Cooks” to salvage the finale of our least favorite Drake drop. Savage and Drake bring that momentum — and unabashedly macho toxic masculinity — into this project, and they deliver.

The album starts strong with a three-beat back-and-forth between the Atlanta rapper and the Toronto pop star, with a smooth interlude leading listeners out of the opening bars and into the banging second half. “Rich Flex” is a representation of the whole album.

This impressive start continues with “On BS.” While 21 Savage gets creative with his flow and wordplay, Drake harkens listeners back to his ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ era as he arrogantly floats over a smooth trap beat.

The high-tempo momentum continues on the fourth track with the appropriately titled post-pandemic track “BackOutsideBoyz.” With adlibs from Lil Yachty and production from Dez Wright & Taz Taylor, Drake and Savage complement each other well on this banger that sounds like it could have been on Gunna’s last album.

The album’s momentum admittedly takes a detour with the following tracks “Privileged Rappers” and “Spin Bout You,” but props to Drake on the latter for dropping potentially the first pro-choice bars.

On “Hours in Silence” the duo goes back and forth over a chilled-out Three Six Mafia sample in which 21 displays his progression as an artist melodically singing on the second verse. With over a six-minute run time, the track loses steam quickly in the latter half as Drake gives his typical R&B performance that sounds like a leftover from his 2018 album ‘Scorpion.’

The weakest point on the album, “Treacherous Twins,” is a love song dedicated to only your closest bro, or “twin,” but with a so-so instrumental and short 21 Savage verse, the track fails to leave any sort of meaningful impression, instead better suited to be a viral TikTok sound.

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On “Circo Loco,” Drake and 21 resume the fast-paced nature of the album over a classic Daft Punk sample from “One More Time.” Drake drops potentially supplemental disses at sometimes rival/friend Kanye West, and 21 closes out the track nicely with a tight rhyme scheme and a clever Oprah bar: “All the opps get a bullet on some Oprah s—.”

The project gets back on track with “P—y & Millions,” a perfectly-paced track aided by a hard-hitting beat. It allows Drake to boast his vocals and 21 to bring some exciting energy. The highlight of this one, though, is the Travis Scott feature. Travis takes the beat switch and runs with it all the way through to his calm outro.

The duo split up near the album’s end, with Drake laying down some of his most impressive, introspective verses to date on “Middle of the Ocean.” The six-minute track finds Drake performing detailed lyrics boasting about his life as one of the most successful current musical artists, while also dropping witty quotes referencing NFL teams and dissing star tennis player and former girlfriend Serena Williams.

Drake dominates on “More M’s,” the 14th track that demonstrates this album’s unwillingness to drop off as it goes on. Drizzy comes in hard halfway through the song with a catchy flow and more boastful yet clever bars — listeners may entirely forget 21’s verse.

21 uses all three minutes for  “3AM on Glenwood,” a heartfelt, single-verse track that provides a unique look at a slow-rapping Savage, something we’ve rarely seen outside of a sprinkling of tracks like “ball w/o you” from ‘i am > i was’ or “RIP Luv” from ‘Savage Mode II.’

The album ends with a Drake solo performance on “I Guess It’s F— Me,” where the Toronto rapper performs a heartfelt chorus about his complications dating women as one of the biggest musical acts in rap. The track is similar to how Drizzy closed out 2015’s ‘What a Time to be Alive’ on “30 for 30 freestyle,” where the Toronto rapper gives a retrospective verse focusing on his previous failed romances.

The track is full of typical male gaslighting, which combined with a dramatic piano melody, is an appropriate cinematic way of closing out the project.

Favorite Song:

Ryan: “Circo Loco” – Daft Punk samples are undefeated.

Colin: “On BS” – This is the reason why we listen to 21 and Da Boy.

Cooper: “3 AM on Glenwood”- Drake passes the torch to 21 on his am/pm in (insert location) series.

 Most “caption-able” bars:

 I don’t show ID at clubs, ’cause they know that I’m 21” – 21 Savage on “Treacherous Twins”

“You would think we live in Baltimore, the way they ravin’ ’bout the latest product” – Drake, “Middle of the Ocean”

“All the opps get a bullet on some Oprah shit” – 21 Savage, “Circo Loco”

No chance the kid’ll make it here like vasectomy” – Drake, “Middle of the Ocean”

“Eight karats like vegetarians” – Drake, “Middle of the Ocean”

Skatin’ through this album like a Montreal Canadien” – Drake, “Middle of the Ocean”

Spray the witness, I ain’t leavin’ no Jehovah for them” – 21 Savage, “3AM on Glenwood”

Pull up from the three like Stеphen, And the coupe bald-hеaded like the other Stephon” – 21 Savage, “3AM on Glenwood”

“If bein’ real was a crime, I’d be doin’ life” – Drake, “I Guess It’s F–k Me”

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