“Without Warning” the joint, trap album by two of today’s hardest, mainstream rap artists, and one of the hottest beat-banging producers Metro Boomin, dropped on Oct. 30 just in time for Halloween. Nightmarish tracks that fit perfectly with the season house eerie beats, dark tones, and nods to Jason, and Freddy Krueger’s Nightmare on Elm Street. Metro Boomin, formally Leland Tyler Wayne, and 21 Savage, formally Kiari Kendrell Cephus, have taken us down a dark path before when they collaborated for “Savage Mode,” 21’s breakout mixtape. The numbness to street life and murder within 21 is only further explored in this project, channeling the same, hard vibes and making murder blood-sport. With the addition of Offset, one of the most ambitious rappers of 2017, the trio of have created one of the most supernaturally punishing albums of the year where the bad guys get all the glory.
Offset, formally known as Kiari Kendrell Cephus, and 21 are completely in their comfort zones, utilizing their signature flows in the 10-track treat. A partnership you wouldn’t quite expect, the pairing takes you by surprise by how well they actually compliment each other . Offset’s adrenaline-fueled flow holds precision and fierce execution of his lyrics over Metro’s sinister beats that explode with heavy bass. 21 is much more lifeless with his delivery, numb to the horrors of life, and more hostile in his lyrics. Where 21 starts to get effortless in his execution with his disinterested mumbles, Offset fills in the gaps with his eccentric showmanship. And when Offset’s raps get too tangled and dense, 21 comes in with spine chilling simplicity. The balancing of each other, howver, wouldn’t be what it is without Offset’s adlibs and Metro Boomin behind the wheel with the production.
Metro’s production has never sounded as sinister as he finds the perfect balance between ghostly, ghastly, dark tones, and paranormal key notes. “Run Up the Racks” and “Mad Stalkers” are the two most apparently blood pumping and ghoulish tracks on the album, where the music feels as its pushing creepy thoughts into your mind. The solo tracks give Offset and 21 a chance to shine, and are also some of the funnest songs to groove along too. Offset takes off on “Ric Flair Drip” with explosive bars that make for one of the best tracks on the album. While 21 sounds completely menacing and threatening on “Run Up the Racks,” keeping the Halloween spirit alive.
It’s no surprise that two of the most popular tracks on the album have some big name features. Travis Scott lends his vocals on “Ghostface Killers,” while Quavo, Offset’s cousin and another third of Migos, spit on “Rap Saved Me.” The two tracks give the album a little taste of variety, a characteristic that is lacked in its beats.
In a time where trap music is in style, this album still manages to come as a surprise, and is by far one of the better collaborations in recent years of rap music. “Without Warning” won’t top the likes of “Watch the Throne,” but it is a fun collab and keeps fans in store for more to come by the unexpected trio.