‎HEROES & VILLAINS by Metro Boomin on Apple Music

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    For pretty much as good as he’s at making singles (“Bad and Boujee,” “Mask Off,” Post Malone’s “Congratulations,” and The Weeknd’s “Heartless”), Metro Boomin also knows learn how to put together an album. 21 Savage’s Savage Mode and SAVAGE MODE II, the Savage and Offset project Without Warning, 2018’s NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES and its sequel—and the second installment in a planed trilogy—HEROES & VILLAINS: They’re all proof that rap in long form continues to be as dynamic as its bite-sized counterparts. “I didn’t need to be doing those things where it’s like, ‘Okay, I just called every artist on my phone,’ or ‘Let me just show you and flex everybody I could get on the song,’” he tells Apple Music. “It’s like a movie, what I’m saying? Possibly on this scene we got these two characters, and you may not see this character until two scenes later. And now he’s in here with this guy again. And now all three of them are together. Just mixing up the luggage.”

    Easy enough, or at the very least sounds it. However the shape of HEROES & VILLAINS is a seductive and addictive thing, flowing from punishing to reflective and sleek to classic-sounding with a grace that feels each commanding and natural. And the “characters” he alludes to aren’t just a few of the most iconic voices in modern rap, they’re juxtaposed in ways in which bring out their essences: the boom of Future (“Superhero”) and deadpan menace of 21 Savage (“Walk Em Down”), the alien croon of Don Toliver (“Too Many Nights”) and the mania of Young Thug (“Metro Spider”). “I mean, nobody can really say or guess what’s in Thug’s head,” Metro says. “He’s one in a trillion, man.”

    And for those who think he can only work with rap, take heed to the dance-adjacent “Around Me” or The Weeknd feature “Creepin’,” which turns the airy heartache of Mario Winans’ 2004 track “I Don’t Wanna Know” into something haunted and recent. And for anyone who already knows NOT ALL HEROES and was wondering: Yes, Morgan Freeman’s here, too. “It was like, ‘What is the craziest thing we could consider?’ Morgan, he had really liked the script, and what it was saying, and the values, and certain things in it, and he felt prefer it was essential for young people to listen to those things.”

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