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Following up his debut album after a long hiatus, Metro Boomin’s sophomore release feels lackluster. While Metro’s producer credits are nothing to scoff at, becoming one of the most iconic features of the trap scene to date, his newest release feels like a checklist of sorts. Aiming to only give audiences what they want, without providing anything fresh.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes had plenty of memorable moments that this album completely lacks. The opening track of Gucci Mane was still caught in the aura of Gucci’s post prison release, being on an endless feeling run along with one of his best works to date in the form of the collaborative album with Metro called DropTopWop. This along with Metro announcing his retirement, only to come back out with Gucci giving a million, the hype for the track felt insurmountable.
Metro Boomin – 10AM/Save The World (ft. Gucci Mane)
This album tries to recreate this feeling in the form of “Superhero,” which sees Metro working with Future for the first time in years. Last having worked on the song from HNDRXX called “Sorry,” a seven-minute loathing fest, it felt like this would’ve been a perfect wrap for the duo’s long career. A new track together is something that would need to be pulled off with flying colors, but here it does not succeed.
Not only do you need to suffer through a boring John Legend feature to get to this track, but you also get a sub-par feature from Future as well. Many tracks feel underdeveloped, with this being a prime example.
You get about two minutes of the long awaited collab before its interrupted by a pointless Chris Brown feature. Normally Chris Brown on hook duties wouldn’t be a bad thing, but that’s not what you get here. He wraps the back end of the track with a boring performance, one that should’ve been handled solely by Future.
Metro Boomin & Future – Superhero (Heroes & Villians)
The weakest elements of Not All Heroes Wear Capes were the tracks handled by Travis Scott, whose brightest quality on features is sucking the soul out of a track. On this album, what better way is there to double down? Not only do you get Travis’ lifeless performances, but you also get his signee, Don Toliver.
Don is far more capable of a performer, but here all his hooks feel generic. This should’ve been a chance for Don to make his next “No Idea” level hit, yet all of them never reach that level. Travis features should’ve also been left in 2021.
21 Savage was a bright star on the previous album as well, making for some of the best moments, especially with the whisper flow on “Don’t Come Out the House.” Here though we get him in autopilot for the most part, using that beat-to-death “Pussy” adlib that should’ve been left behind two albums ago. Even when you get a fantastic performance out of him, you get a weirdly structured track.
“Walk Em Down” is easily the best beat here, with bone-chilling bass & a genuinely sinister vibe, but then it transitions in the last half to a poor feature from Mustafa. It almost gives the feeling of not knowing how to end a track, which is clearly not true considering Metro’s production history, but you get that feeling here.
Metro Boomin, 21 Savage – Walk Em Down (Don’t Kill Civilians) ft. Mustafa
Adding to the checklist feeling of this tracklist, of course we see the return of Morgan Freeman. While a cool moment on Savage Mode 2, that albums replayability has suffered due to this aspect. There was absolutely no reason to see a return, but because it had been done before, it had to be done again.
There’s such a lack of fresh ideas that a feature from The Weeknd winds up being a cover. The hit ratio the duo have together is impressive (“Heartless” & ” Low Life” being just a couple), but on “Creepin'” you get a fairly prototypical performance. The Weeknd’s not a stranger to covers, “Dirty Diana” still being one of his best performances yet, but The Weeknd doesn’t do anything to reinvent or push the original song further. Just to add insult, 21 Savage drops a feature that feels more out of place than anything else in the tracklist.
Gunna was one of the standout performances from the previous album, “Space Cadet” being a beautiful beat & an insane catchy performance from him, but here he is reduced to a bonus track. As if any performance from Don Toliver or Travis Scott are any better, we get Gunna slapped on to the very end since Metro lost all sense to structure a song or tracklist. It’s a fairly decent performance from Gunna as well, even if doesn’t come close to their previous work together.
Metro Boomin – Space Cadet (ft. Gunna)
The highlights are few, Young Thug’s performance on “Metro Spider” is one of the more fun features here. Young Nudy completely steals the show on the shared track with 21 Savage. “Feel The Fiyaaaah” sees Metro chopping up a soul sample with an unlikely performance from A$AP Rocky, along with the first posthumous feature from Takeoff. Truthfully though, that’s all there is to take away from it.
Moments of risk & innovation are what makes Metro’s music & collaborators so much fun. On this album, it’s played fairly safe, seeing him work with few new guests. There is not a single beat here that comes close to the previous album, let alone the rest of his discography. Playing the albums side-by-side, there is a clear difference even from a mixing standpoint, with this one feeling a lot dirtier & the previous one feeling damn near flawless. Metro may be one of raps most sought-after producers, but he fails to prove it on this album.