21 Savage’s “Slaughter King” is a steady progression of hard, dark trap beats and street lyrics that goes above and beyond its genre cliches.
[Rap & Hip-Hop] [RTS: Real Trap Sh*t]
21 Savage – Lord Forgive (prod. by Fukk 12)
21 Savage – Mind Yo Business
More from 21 Savage
If you’re not familiar with current Atlanta trap music “slaughter king,” 21 Savage shame on you…and me. I was not either until a few months ago back in early Spring. As an old head (or maybe slowly becoming an old fart), I had stopped following this generation of “trap” hip-hop after Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like” and similar songs dominated airwaves in the past year or two. Of course, here and there I’d hear a song I liked, mostly off of the radio, but I’ve always identified more with “trap” music of the early to mid 2000s (think Gucci Mane, T.I., Lil’ Boosie, Cam’Ron and a host of long fizzled out local ATL groups, like Crime Mob or D4L.
While recently chillin’ with some young bucks in the ATL streets, they did not hesitate to introduce me to the budding rapper. Just as I was with dubstep, trap EDM and IDM music, I did not immediately embrace this new type of music shown to be by friends. Especially as it seemed so braggadocious and over-laden with swag flexing, I initially could not take it seriously. Over time however, I began to hear of Savage more and decided to give his mixtape a listen. What could it hurt, right? Turns out I was glad I did.
I may not fully identify with Slaughter Gang, Chiraq Boys, or this young people’s generation of trapping, drug-dealing, “runnin’ up in them bandos”, pulling heists or other actions that might declare one as hard, but I can identify when music is bumpin’ as fuck (excuse my language, it is necessary here).
Slaughter King: Rating (4.5 out of 5 stars)
21 Savage’s “Slaughter King” is a solid tape full of hard, trap beats and lyrics that actually go above and beyond what I would expect from another trap rapper from ATL’s hoods to come up with. Not to say these rappers or this type of music isn’t ever witty or creative, but as is the problem in many genres (my god, like dubstep) after some time you realize a LOT of it sounds the same.
Thankfully, Savage switches it up with clever lyrics, original if not downright catchy ad-libs (21, 21, 21!!) and hooks. Two of my favorites so far off his December mixtape include “Lord Forgive”: the reflective, but very deep opening trap banger with Savage reminiscing on his come up in the rap game and in urban street life in general. For whatever reason, the instrumental ( masterfully produced by Fukk 12) makes me feel very nostalgic, but also very contemplative. The song definitely immediately feels heavy and while listening to it, as one YouTube commenter put it, “[you] can feel Savage’s pain on the track,” which comes across as sincere and certifiably street.
“MInd Yo Business” is probably one of the catchiest on the tape with a repeating hook (“Mind yo bidness b*tch”) over a similarly hard beat. The track is far more active compared to “Lord Forgive” and is already a favorite among many. There are many other standouts on the mixtape, “Deserve,” “No Peace” and very few boring or even similar sounding songs, save for one or two. Even on those tracks Savage still manages to make them entertaining.
Do yourself a favor (if you’re not an original/true fan of this genre of rap): suspend your judgement and how much you identify with gangsters and hood stars, or even the killers (as Desiigner’s “Panda” would like you to do) and simply enjoy and appreciate the power and feeling behind these trap-heavy numbers. You might be glad you did! Also in similar style of rap, also from Atlanta was Bankoll Fresh who has many now classic releases, following his tragic death in a shooting in March 2016.