by: Ryan Croke
Drake and 21 Savage surprised the world on Saturday with the announcement of an unexpected collaborative project, titled Her Loss. Initially announced with a release date of October 28, 2022, the album was pushed back to November 4th after Noah “40” Shebib, a longtime collaborator of Drake’s responsible for the production and mixing behind his music, contracted COVID-19.
The project comes just four and a half months after Drake’s last project, Honestly, Nevermind, the closing track of which was a collaborative track between the two hip-hop artists. Jimmy Cooks was one of the defining songs of the summer and is commonly regarded as the clear standout from the controversial record.
Drake and 21 Savage gave the world a glimpse of what they can do together on Jimmy Cooks, and considering how well-received their previous collaborations have been, it’s no wonder they have decided to put out a full-length LP. This project has the potential to be something great and memorable, and if the success of Jimmy Cooks is any indicator, Her Loss is going to be just that.
Despite the overwhelming potential Her Loss has, there is still plenty of reason for fans to have doubts about the quality of the upcoming release.
The last year and change has been a wild time for Drake. The Toronto hip-hop artist released Certified Lover Boy in early September last year, and Honestly, Nevermind in June of this year. Both records, much like most of Drake’s work over the past few years, were met with immediate criticism, but as time went on, his fanbase began to appreciate and connect with the music more. However, Drake’s effort, or lack thereof, has been brought into question in recent years, as many feel that he’s favoring profits over quality artistry, which is certainly an arguable position.
Each one of his records over the past six years or so has been quality enough to keep his audience entertained, but he hasn’t been the Drake from the early 2010s, continually producing masterfully written and well-thought-out songs over the course of a full-length LP. Of course, his recent works still have a selection of tracks on that level, but the lack of consistent effort is glaringly apparent and has alienated a large portion of his listeners.
Despite the abundance of reasons to doubt Drake’s ability to produce a quality album these days, pairing him up with an artist like 21 Savage could bring out the best of him. It’s the hope of many of his fans that having a partner in the studio to compete with will force Drake to show his talents more consistently.
21 Savage, hailing from Atlanta, has a bit of a different storyline with his solo ventures at the moment. 21 currently only has two solo studio albums under his belt, both of which have their moments, but leave plenty of room for improvement. He shines, however, when he is put in a collaborative setting; 2016’s Savage Mode with Metro Boomin and its 2020 sequel are both outstanding, and 2017’s Without Warning, which saw the rapper/producer combo add Offset of the Migos to the mix, remains one of the best trap albums in recent memory.
21 has less experience working with Drake, but the pairing already holds a few incredible collaborations under their belt. With tracks like Jimmy Cooks and Knife Talk, the two have certainly shown that they bring out the best in each other when it comes to singles. The question then becomes one of consistency: Can they keep up that quality over the span of a commercial LP?
Only time will tell, and despite the recent shortcomings in Drake’s solo career, and 21 Savage’s own struggles to deliver on a solo release, Her Loss could end up being one of the most memorable and exciting hip-hop albums of the decade.