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Album Review: Dynamic duo Drake and 21 Savage take over with “Her Loss”

Drake and 21 Savage have become one of the most well-known duos in hip-hop. They've worked together several times over the past few years, and on Oct. 22, the duo released the music video for their latest chart-topping collaboration, "Jimmy Cooks." Along with the video came the announcement for "Her Loss," a collaboration album between the two artists.

After a week-long delay and a fake promotional run, including a faux Vogue cover and a mock promotional video for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, the album was released on Nov. 4.

The album opened with "Rich Flex," which sees great opening verses and perfect beat selection to accompany their flows. 21 takes the first half of the song, but after a beat switch, Drake shows that he's here too, with an aggressive verse over a piano-heavy beat.

Fans were skeptical after Drake's somewhat lackluster dance album "Honestly, Nevermind" from earlier this year, but he proved that he's still got the talent he's known for with the album's second track, "Major Distribution." The song starts with Drake singing a smooth melody before switching to a nocturnal "Tokyo Drift"-esque beat. With a quick snappy flow, Drake switches with it, referencing actor Macaulay Culkin and comparing his numbers to Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny. 21 Savage then comes in, delivering a menacing verse and comparing his numbers to pop star Harry Styles.

On "Spin Bout You," the two rap over a soul sample accompanied by heavy bass. Drake gets somewhat political, dissing the policymakers who overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year. He raps, "D---, just turned on the news and seen that men who never got p—- in school / Are makin' laws about what women can do."

"Circo Loco" samples Daft Punk's "One More Time." Drake delivers a controversial line early in the song, rapping, "This b—- lie 'bout gettin' shots, but she still a stallion." Many fans see this as a shot at fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion, whom Tory Lanez allegedly injured after he shot at her foot after a Hollywood party in 2020. 

Drake and Lanez are both Canadian rappers and have been known to be friends. Here, Drake seems to be siding with Lanez in the situation. Megan took to Twitter after the album's release to express her frustration, claiming that people never call her out directly and that people read too heavily into conspiracy theories.

On "P—- & Millions," Travis Scott appears, the only official guest feature on the album. A lot was riding on his verse, and Travis delivered. He uses his unique ability to take songs into his own world and utilizes the beat switch perfectly to deliver a great guest verse.

Later in the album, Drake stands alone again on "Middle of the Ocean" and "Jumbotron S--- Poppin," which are drastically different songs. "Middle of the Ocean" sees Drake with a smooth flow, rapping from a more introspective viewpoint we haven't seen from the superstar for some time. "Jumbotron S--- Poppin" is much more melodic and seems inspired somewhat by fellow rapper Young Thug.

21 shines on his own toward the end of the album with "3AM On Glenwood," his only solo song. Drake has a history of songs with similar titles that include a time and location, and many fans were surprised to see him handing one off to 21 Savage. He raps effortlessly over the beat and once again shows his versatility and talent as a rapper.

Drake then takes over again for the outro, "I Guess It's F— Me", a very honest, almost ballad-like song that fans of Drake haven't heard for a long time. He seems to be at his most serious and vulnerable here, and all the confidence we've seen from him drops away.

"Her Loss" is an album from two superstars coming together to create something special. Showing their versatility over 16 tracks, Drake and 21 Savage prove why they work so well together and give each other room to experiment. 

Drake handles most of the work on the album, taking around two-thirds of the vocals (according to a breakdown by HipHopNumbers on Twitter). But with 16 tracks, he has the versatility to do so. 21 Savage plays a great supporting role, and his performances are definitely on point when they come. 

This album will likely be seen as a landmark for the two artists and will definitely be remembered as a showcase of the versatility of the talent of two of the biggest names in music right now. 


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