“I used to give out CDs before they bought it,” Drake succinctly explains on “Privileged Rapper,” the fifth track off “Her Loss,” his new collaboration album with 21 Savage, released on Tuesday. November 4.
Now more than 15 years into a music career in which he’s comfortably placed himself at the pinnacle of the hip-hop genre, Drake doesn’t need to give promotion time to make a smash record. In fact, he teased those who still do.
“Her Loss” was unexpectedly announced in the “Jimmy Cooks” music video released on October 22. The song, of course, stars with 21 Savage on Drake’s latest solo album, “Honestly, Nevermind.”
Following the announcement, Drake and 21 Savage went on a press tour.
The pair graced the cover and content of an issue of Vogue, released excerpts from an unreleased NPR Tiny Desk concert, and released short clips of a joint interview with Howard Stern in which Drake shared his tendencies to watching porn and his thoughts on love “absolutely NO filter”. Drake said when he shared the clip on Instagram).
The album campaign would have been one that any musician could have found satisfaction in – at least, if it had been real. The whole tour was a travesty. The fashion number was a fake photo shoot, and the concert was on green screen and the interview with Howard Stern never happened.
The reality of the situation was that Drake and 21 Savage skipped a few steps before releasing their album. Frankly, because they can.
“Her Loss” gives us the best of both rappers.
From start to finish, it’s clear these two are very comfortable sharing a track. That should come as no surprise to the guys who brought us “Sneakin’,” “Mr. Right Now” and “Knife Talk” on past projects.
The joint album is Drake’s first since his widely acclaimed 2015 collaboration with Future, “What a Time to Be Alive.”
Drake’s success has always been his commitment to the formula. He knows how to make a hit, as evidenced by his long list of accolades. Now it’s back to a boastful, confident rap flow, giving way to melodic ebbs in between.
In 2018, 21 Savage reached new heights with his album “I am > I was”. His fierce words go hand in hand with authenticity and honesty which he integrates with ease.
While 21 Savage may be considered one of the finest MCs of his time, he excelled when lending his vocals to collaborations. Whether it’s his “Savage Mode” saga with Metro Boomin, or “Without Warning” with Offset and Metro Boomin, he’s able to match any beat or artist he associates with. And when he bonds with Drake, the results are unmatched.
Whether it’s exchanging during the chorus or delving into each other’s thematic worlds, there’s a clear exchange between the two.
Drake goes in and out of his feelings throughout the album.
21 Savage adopts the confidence that Drake selectively expels, finding himself as his own type of Certified Lover Boy. Not stuck in the mix Macaulay Culkin describes Drake’s life, but right there with him. He raps about money, cars, guns, success and a steady stream of women, maintaining an edge from his come-up that he reminds us of throughout.
“Spin Bout U”, “Hours of Silence” and “Treacherous Twins” each flirt with the idea of relationships and love.
Just as 21 Savage dives into Drake’s world, Drake dives into his own. There’s no better example of that than when Drake recreates 21 Savage’s “Slaughter Gang” bridge from his 2016 song “Red Opps.”
At worst, “Her Loss” is a superficial album full of success. There is a lack of exploration in the lyrics, with each rapper sticking to the ideas that connect them instead of experimenting with something more off the beaten path. They pride themselves on being bold and shy away from letting people into their thoughts, which has been successful in the past. It’s not the subject of this album, it’s “Her Loss”.
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The album culminates with three songs. “Circo Loco,” samples Daft Punk, “Rich Flex” finds 21 Savage interpolating Meg Thee Stallion’s hit song “Savage,” and “Broke Boys” a quick claim to success, reminding everyone else in the industry why they are below.
And Drake certainly wasn’t shy about being specific, dissing Ye, Megan Thee Stallion, and Serena William’s husband, Alexis Ohanian — to name a few. The album could have done without, as it seemed like 21 Savage was there to deliver and nothing else, but Drake is going to be Drake.
Even when the pair break up on a track, they add to the record with individual perspective.
Drake has four solo songs on the album, “BackOutsideBoyz” in which Lil Yachty donates his adlibs, “Middle of the Ocean”, “Jumbotron Sh– Poppin” and “I Guess It’s F**k Me”.
21 Savage has a solo song on the album: “3AM on Glenwood”, a rare track. He finds the rapper talking about the trials and tribulations of his life: putting his kids in private schools, PTSD, and telling his brother about a jail cell. He finally concludes the track with “I don’t want to make friends, I just want to chase the M’s”.
The only feature on the 16-song album comes from Travis Scott on “P*ssy and Millions,” a good way to encapsulate the main idea of this duo project.
From delivery to beats, “Her Loss” has gotten better with every play and is set to top the charts well into 2023. “Her Loss” is a hip-hop fan’s win.
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