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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


21 Savage’s New Album Allows Us To “See The Real” In His Life

On Jan. 12, 21 Savage released his third studio album, “American Dream.” The album displays the hardships he and his family endured to move to the United States and his difficulties in his teenage years. In addition to the deeper meaning it displays, the album escapes the usual rap norms by being versatile, with various genres of music.
The cover of the album, “American Dream” shows a version of Savage’s old passport hinting at the idea of him restarting his life in a new country. Photo Courtesy of Slaughter Gang Entertainment.

This album definitely lights up my “dark days.” On Jan. 12, 21 Savage released his newest studio album, “American Dream.” Due to 21 Savage being one of the most influential and popular rappers of the modern era, with songs like “rockstar” peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2017, this album was highly publicized. Adding to the anticipation, “American Dream” also features several star-studded artists, such as Doja Cat and Brent Faiyaz. 

Fortunately for Savage, critics had positive reactions to his album. From Metacritic, Savage received a 73/100, an immaculate score when compared to other prominent rap albums released recently. Robin Murray, a critic from Clash Music, gave this album 8/10 due to its diversity and how it lived up to its promotion. “A blockbuster that lives up to the hype, ‘American Dream’ is 21 Savage at his most luminescent.”

“American Dream” follows Savage’s immigration from London to the United States, and how he had to restart how he lived his life. It follows his childhood from days as a troublesome teenager to the hardships of his adulthood. Near the end of the album, specifically on “dark days,” Savage reflects on himself and his significant self improvement, citing words of wisdom, such as “stay in school.”

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In addition to the deeper meaning this album displays, it breaks through generic rap norms. As the first song of the album, “American Dream,” opens, Savage’s mother provides an inspirational speech about the hardships she endured to bring Savage to the United States. “As a mother, every path I walked was for my son,” Savage’s mom said in the track. A sentimental introduction as such is rarely seen in his genre of music. This is also significant because it shows the uniqueness and overall deeper meaning repeated throughout the album.

Additionally, the album is very diverse, including electric beats in songs like “should’ve wore a bonnet,” while displaying slow, vintage beats such as those featured in “all of me.” All in all, by the end of the album the songs begin to transition to mainly R&B, a sharp contrast from the drill and rap styles featured in the first half. 

Although the album goes against stereotypes, there are some songs that fall into the category of generic. In the song “née-nah,” featuring Travis Scott, the lyrics are mostly about how Savage rules the street and how it is unsafe to get in his way. Additionally, it talks about Savage’s and Scott’s relationship with women. Scott also hints at his idea of casual, no-strings-attached attitude when it comes to relationships through the lyrics innée-nah.  This is a regular theme found amongst rap, such as most of the songs in the album “Decided 2” by NBA Youngboy as well as “Baby on Baby 2” by DaBaby. 

In conclusion, “American Dream” is a unique and inspirational album. Not only does it display diverse beats, with R&B music as well as drill rap, but it also includes a heartfelt speech by 21’s mother. These characteristics are not shown in many other albums, and overall add to the deeper meaning of the album.Taking all of these factors into consideration, it deserves at least a 95, rather than an 80/100. Perhaps Savage’s next album will increase his influence in the rap genre and “prove it.”

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About the Contributor
Arnav Mahajan, Staff Writer
Arnav Mahajan is a freshman and it's his first year on the newspaper staff. He joined the newspaper because he has a strong passion for writing, which he uses to express himself. His main style of writing is argument and opinion-based pieces. He's looking forward to getting good work done and meeting the rest of the staff. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing sports and video games, especially puzzle-based ones. He’s so excited to be part of the staff this year.

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