Zach Napora, Contributing Writer
Six years after their first collaboration “Sneakin’,” 21 Savage and Drake have linked up for a joint album. In “Her Loss,” Drake and 21 Savage fall into their natural roles while still sounding like they compete on every song. Drake takes the leading role on the album, as he contributed two-thirds of the vocals. While many fans seemed upset at this split, it allowed 21 Savage to shine in the feature position, something he has done consistently for years.
While “Her Loss” is far from a perfect album, it is Drake’s best release in a couple of years. Whether it was the negative response he got from his last couple of releases, or Savage igniting his fire again, there are flashes of vintage Drake on the album. On one of Drake’s solo tracks, “Middle of the Ocean,” we are treated to three minutes of Drake in his rapping bag, with no melodic singing or techno noise to be found. The instrumental track is also a much more classic style, as it is more reminiscent of something Jay-Z would rhyme on his yacht than a flashy Drake-style beat, giving Drake all the room he needs to flex his lyrical muscles.
One of the strengths of this album is that Drake is not afraid to blend the styles of his previous releases. On “Circo Loco,” they sample Daft Punk’s “One More Time.” The result is a beat that sounds like it could belong to Drake’s recent house-inspired album “Honestly Nevermind” (2022). Instead of the R&B sound we got on that album, however, we get a Drake that sounds a lot more like the one on the more rap-heavy “Certified Lover Boy,” (2021). It’s a combination that works great, clouded only by Drake’s mystifying decision to wade into the Megan the Stallion and Tory Lanez trial, claiming that Megan lied about being shot. Drake was certainly not shy about dissing people throughout the album, even Serena William’s husband was not safe from catching a stray on “Spin Bout U.”
A collaborative album lives or dies on the artists’ chemistry with one another, and Drake and Savage’s chemistry is apparent. Drake’s R&B sensibilities mesh perfectly with Savage’s roughneck rhymes. For example, on “Spin Bout U,” Drake’s smooth melodic hook flows naturally into 21 Savage’s menacing response, showing this duo’s lethal potential. While this album is not always a deep one, it is still very enjoyable. Punchy rhymes over hard beats with a twinge of introspection will always be a fun listen. Overall, “Her Loss” is our gain.