Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Album review: ‘Her Loss’ by Drake and 21 Savage

Drake rediscovers his sense of fun with help from 21 Savage
Courtesy of Drake, Facebook

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Standout Tracks: Rich Flex, More M’s, On BS

On “Her Loss,” Drake has finally returned to what he does best. After exploring different styles with the lackluster dance pop album “Honestly, Nevermind” in June and self-loathing, boyish “Certified Lover Boy” last year, Drake has returned to the egotistical rap menace fans know and love. Inspired by their standout hit “Jimmy Cooks,” Drake and 21 Savage deliver a 16-track album. 21 Savage’s playful and humorous flow strongly develops the project’s sense of fun that Drake has been missing recently.

Before its actual release, the lighter tone of this album was teased through the press rollout. With fabricated Vogue magazines, a pretend Tiny Desk Concert and a fake interview with Howard Stern, Drake and 21 Savage poke fun at the industry. They didn’t do any legitimate press for the album; any piece of press you seen is fake and fabricated by them. The rollout was a unique commentary on the state of the industry and generated plenty of hype throughout the rap community.

“Her Loss” is a classic rap album, but it’s not necessarily a true collaboration. Drake has four solo tracks on the album, while 21 Savage has one. In the songs with both artists, Drake dominates each track, getting the most airtime. This isn’t a bad thing, but an observation that the album deviates from a true collaboration. Since Drake dominates the project, fans are privy to everything they missed from “Honestly, Nevermind.” On “Her Loss,” Drake reasserts himself as a pillar of the rap game.

The album’s opening, “Rich Flex,” is possibly its best song. 21 Savage and Drake have equal footing on the track — with multiple beat switches, they both get the time to shine. Drake begins by hyping 21 up in a slightly goofy manner, resulting in various memes about the moment.

21, can you do somethin’ for me? (21)
Can you hit a lil’ rich flex for me? (21)
And 21, can you do somethin’ for me? (21, 21)
Drop some bars to my p*ssy ex for me
Then 21 (21), can you do somethin’ for me? (Yeah)
Can you talk to the opps necks for me? (Okay)
21, do your thing 21, do your thing (21)
Do your thing, 21, yeah okay

I can personally attest to the hilarity of this opening; my friends have been quoting it to each other the last few days, and I laugh every time. 21 starts off strong, switching the flow and delivering  lyrics about strip clubs and guns . He brings a different type of energy and intensity, something Drake’s been lacking lately. His vigor aids Drake and it’s clear once Drake finally comes in. With a switch to a darker piano beat, Drake delivers the usual lines about his sex life and high status, but with a new invigoration. 21 Savage allows Drake to get back to what he does best, gloating his ego and flexing on everyone else.

The duo continues to feed off each other’s energy on “On BS,” “Broke Boys” and “Spin About U,” some of the other collaborative tracks on the album I enjoy. Drake and 21 complement each other well, especially when they play off each other’s flow and exchange bars. “On BS” is probably the best example of Drake and 21 exchanging lines, feeding off each other’s energy and trying to one up the other with each line. None of these collaborative tracks are particularly mind blowing, but they’re all fun songs for your rotation.

Drake’s solo tracks definitely aren’t as enjoyable as the collaborations, and are overall, just okay. “BackOutsideBoyz” goes a little too heavy on the autotune with lackluster lyrics, and “Jumbotron Sh*t Poppin” is more of the same. “Middle of the Ocean” is the best, a tropical sounding beat that switches into a string heavy sound. Here, autotune free, Drake does what he does best, delivering lyrics that are overtly petty and reaffirm his star status. This track reminds me the most of the old Drake, and it’s a welcome return to his roots. With his overall lackluster solo, it’s clear Drake benefits from 21’s support.

21 Savage only has one solo track on the album, “3 AM on Glenwood,” but it’s arguably one of the best songs overall. With a monologue-like flow over a hi-hat haunting vocal beat, 21 laments about days past. He’s not overconfident or outrageous. Instead, he’s subdued and grim as he recounts horrors he’s faced and continues to face today. The song veers away from the typical 21 track, the tonal shift indicating these are real feelings and emotions. 21 is rarely ever vulnerable making the emotional sentiment of the song extremely impactful. “3 AM on Glenwood” is haunting, emotional and one of the best tracks from the project.

What would a Drake album be without a controversy? “Her Loss’” most questionable moment comes on “Circo Loco,” a Daft Punk sample that falls flat. Drake seemingly disses fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion in the following lyrics: “This b***h lie ‘bout gettin’ shots, but she still a stallion.”

Megan Thee Stallion has accused rapper Tory Lanez of shooting her in the foot in an incident back in August 2020  It’s clear in this line that Drake does not believe her. This dig was extremely unnecessary and only aids the culture of misogyny prevalent in the rap world. This isn’t the only controversial bar on the album, but it’s certainly the most offensive in my opinion.

Earlier on in the album, on “Spin About U,” Drake takes a strong stance on abortion. He raps, “Damn, just turned on the news and seen that men who never got p***y in school are makin’ laws about what women can do.”

The support is welcome, sure, but is undermined by his sexism directed toward Megan earlier. One has to wonder if he actually supports women’s rights or is simply engaging in a twisted form of performance activism.

Despite the controversy, and a few lackluster hits, “Her Loss” is simply a good time. The production isn’t revolutionary, but it’s well done, and the beat switches always hit. Both 21 Savage and Drake deliver some fun and occasionally goofy bars and feed off each other well. There isn’t anything necessarily amazing about the album but it’s enjoyable to listen to with something for everyone. “Her Loss” is a fun and flirty listen and a welcome return to the style Drake does best.


Shannon Moore can be reached at [email protected].

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