2017 was a spectacular breakout year for 21 Savage.
Last year’s Savage Mode saw Metro Boomin and 21 Savage make a statement on behalf of the grittiest underbelly of Atlanta. They represented the unseen backbone of the city’s oft-emulated culture in riveting fashion. They crafted a potential new-age classic and propelled both their careers to a brand new level with hits like “X (ft. Future).”
Now, following the success of his Post Malone collaboration, “Rockstar,” and the notoriety of his relationship with Amber Rose, I think it’s safe to call 21 Savage a pop star; his star power is as responsible for the success of Without Warning as Metro Boomin’s or Offset’s, if not more. Still, he’s relatively new not only to the industry, but to rapping itself, having only picked up a mic for the first time in 2014. In this light, we believe he’s often harshly critiqued for what is genuinely a unique style all his own.
21 thrives in nuance. He isn’t showy, he’s calculated and measured. He can make a simple “yeah yeah” ad-lib sound like a sinister sneer. He can go from making a carnival bop about Playboy Bunnies to deconstructing the American prison-industrial complex two tracks later. His versatility is as understated as his stark imagery or dark, karmic sense of humor. The most noted aspect of his style is his deadpan delivery, but his infectious sense of rhythm, ear for beats and frequently poignant point of view are often ignored.
Sure he’s not versatile in the traditional sense (his playfully off-key singing, for example, still has ways to go), but he’s definitely not as one-note as he may first appear. Therefore, we took some time to shift through his super productive in search of the verses that best bookend his growth as an artist thus far.
Here are 21 Savage's top 13 verses of 2017. Do you agree? Sound off.