Published Jul 20, 2016Welcome to the real Atlanta. 2016 XXL freshman 21 Savage and production prince Metro Boomin pair up for independent release Savage Mode, a grim, pearl-clutching street narrative straight from the South.
At first blush, Savage Mode doesn't give much to hold on to — both Savage and Metro Boomin have catchier, more memorable tracks in their growing discographies — but the simplicity of the EP starts to become its strongest selling point after a few repeats. The uncomplicated rhymes and trunk-thumping beats are classic Georgia, but served with an edge not typically seen from the Peach State.
Savage takes a "what you see is what you get" approach to his blunt, impolite bars, and Metro underscores them with straightforward, subtle production throughout. "Mad High" is an infectious trap anthem filled with dope boy braggadocio; "X," featuring fellow ATLien Future, is a fat middle finger to past love; and "Ocean Drive" is a bright spot amidst the project's overall murkiness, playing like the score to a trap King's vacation.
While Savage Mode's generally slow pace and no frills structure is true to its Southern roots, the project's sound might be a bit too regional for some. It lacks universal appeal, but there's an authenticity to it that can't be ignored. (Independent)