Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph better known by his stage name 21 Savage has just debuted his second studio album titled ‘i am > i was.’ This 2018 album follows his 2017 project ‘Issa Album,’ which has been critically praised and certified Gold in sales by RIAA. The album also reached #2 in the US, and the new album has high expectations to live up to. Looking at the tracklist of ‘i am > i was,’ we believe 21 Savage has outdone himself.
‘i am > i was’ album was released on December 21, 2018 after a private listening party held a few weeks back. No mobile phones or other recording devices were allowed into this event.
What Does 21 Savage’s Album Title ‘i am > i was’ Mean?
21 Savage has a clear message to deliver in his second studio album title. He uses the album title to tell the world that he is a better person than he was. What aspects of his life is he alluding to? We might never know.
“i am” reflects is current self and “i was” his past. The ‘>’ symbol is used in Mathematics to denote sizes. The open end of the triangle denotes the larger/bigger/greater side compared to the closed end. So, 21 is telling us that his current self is better/bigger/greater than his past. He might be talking about his personal growth, career growth or even maturity as an artist over the years.
Stream ‘i am > i was’ Complete Album by 21 Savage
Tracklist of ‘i am > i was’ Album by 21 Savage
The album was released in two editions-normal and deluxe. The only addition to the deluxe version is “out for the night, pt. 2” featuring Travis Scott. Below is a complete list of the songs on deluxe edition.
- a lot Ft. J. Cole
- break da law
- a&t Ft. Yung Miami
- out for the night
- gun smoke
- 1.5 Ft. Offset
- all my friends Ft. Post Malone
- can’t leave without it Ft. Gunna and Lil Baby
- ball w/o you
- good day Ft. Project Pat and ScHoolboy Q
- monster Ft. Childish Gambino
- letter 2 my momma
- 4L Ft. Young Nudy
- out for the night, pt. 2 Ft. Travis Scott
Compared to 21’s first studio album ‘Issa Album,’ which had no featured artists, the new album has several prominent names in hip-hop such as Childish Gambino, J. Cole, Offset and Post Malone.
What Does 21 Savage Talk About in ‘i am > i was’ Album?
The new album by 21 Savage covers a diverse array of topics. Most notably, he talks about his affiliations with gangs and his troubled childhood. He also gets into topics such as drugs, money, sex and problems in the current world and music industry as a whole.
Songs such as “a lot,” “can’t leave without it” and “gun smoke” clearly talk about 21’s use of firearms and how he thinks its a necessary evil for his personal protection. “break da law” is a look back at the criminal history of 21 and his POV of all such scenarios.
Other songs such as “out for night” and “a&t” contain very explicit material with regard to sex and booze. The second part of “out for night” featuring Travis Scott continues a similar theme.
21 and Gambino’s collab “monster” delivers a message how money and greed are the roots of all evil. This industry can create some real monsters, through different dark alleys such as prostitutes, drugs, pills, fame and greed.
21’s most heartfelt track on ‘i am > i was’ is probably titled “letter 2 my momma.” In this ballad, 21 pays homage to his mother-Heather Abraham-Joseph. He talks about the rough upbringing and how she was his shadow and mentor growing up. 21 credits his affiliations with gangs and use of guns to his father who was never around him growing up. 21 also proudly brags that he was able to help his mother out now that he is financially stable.
There are a few more interesting tracks on this album, which we intend to analyse deeper in future articles. So, stay tuned.
Drop in your thoughts about this new album by 21 Savage? Hit or miss?