Is “Without Warning” better than “SUPER SLIMEY”? We investigate, song-by-song.
SUPER SLIMEY caught us all off-guard, but mainly because of how safe it felt. Two of Atlanta’s greatest innovators ever had been teasing material for damn near a year now; people werecalling the project great back in December, 2016 and the snippets we’ve received since then have ranged from freestyled little gems to awe-inspiring anthems. To some super fans, SUPER SLIMEY is a great teaser - but even then, it’s just that. It’s more off-the-cuff and playful than it is daring and experimental. It’s sequenced purposefully, gaining momentum as it builds towards two of Future and Thug’s best songs of the year (“4 Da Gang” and “Killed Before” respectively), but suffers from an identity crisis. The duo didn’t know whether to fully embrace their commercial aspirations or stay true to their experimental roots. Hopefully a follow up - if there ever is one - sees them fully embrace one side and push those theoretical boundaries to their limits.
Without Warning didn’t have as steep of a hill to climb. There’s one mega-star producer at the helm (shoutout to Metro Boomin by the way, he really is a legend in the making) and two of the most talked-about rappers of the year, 21 Savage and Offset. It’s exciting, menacing, a perfect gift for Halloween. And where SUPER SLIMEY saw two highly skilled MCs go toe-for-toe each chance they got, 21’s deadpan style rarely gets in the way of Offset’s more dexterous rhyming. This repeatedly places Set in a position to dunk on his friend, flexing his lyrical prowess. But there is balance there, a spark of newly uncovered charisma.
Ultimately though, both tapes are a bit uneven and a bit of a disappointment. Without Warning has less of an identity crisis - it’s a streamlined 10 songs that fully embraces the 21 Savage x Metro Boomin slasher-flick aesthetic, with a loose cannon, Offset, along for the ride - but neither project is anything more than a triumphant victory lap to cap off another year of Atlantan domination. There is no trendsetting going on, no new waves being created for 2018 - everyone is comfortably in their respective pocket.
We've seen comparisons of SUPER SLIMEY to Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 mega-event, Watch The Throne-- which isn't all that crazy. Future and Thug do deserve to be regarded in the same breath as legends. Unfortunately, SUPER SLIMEY isn’t the project that’s going to convince non-believers of that fact. Therefore, it probably makes more sense to compare these ATL veterans to the new cats strong-arming the game.
So, without further ado, here is a track by track comparison of SUPER SLIMEY and Without Warning.