On the final day of 2021, 21 Savage surprised fans with a pair of high-energy loosies called "No Debate" and "Big Smoke." With 'Savage Mode II' having arrived in fall 2020, these songs were Savage's first solo singles of the past year, save for "Spiral" from 'The Book of Saw.'
Packaged together in one 7-minute day-in-the-life video, the first track ("No Debate") offers a lo-fi trap sound with 21 opening up about those who have betrayed him in his life, including his dad.
"My daddy broke my momma heart, why she carry me? / I don't respect him enough to even ask him for the clarity," he raps.
"Big Smoke," meanwhile, aligns with 21's signature piano-driven, cutthroat mood: "Gamblin' in the hallway, posted on Parkway / He was talkin' that rah-rah s**t, he got hit broad day."
Back in 2018 when he had just released his sophomore album 'i am > i was,' Savage discussed why he felt like he needed to make his songs personal and vulnerable.
"You got a car, you got a watch, you a rapper, you f**k bad b*****s and you [like to] party. But it's like, what the f**k else are you talkin' 'bout? What else have you been through?" he wondered.
Despite the lack of solo releases, Savage still had a huge 2021 with a slew of memorable guest verses. In fact, after Spotify’s Rap Caviar account highlighted his successful year as a featured artist, the Atlanta rapper decided to share his favorite collab of them all, though it wasn't what fans expected.
Despite working with power players like Drake, J. Cole and the late Pop Smoke, among others, 21 claimed his favorite verse arrived on his cousin Young Nudy's haunting track "Child’s Play" from his 'DR. EV4L' album.
"Big 4L, p***y / Spray the block down, turn the car 'round / When we come around, shells on the ground / Strip a n***a, now his pants on the ground," Savage boasts, opening his verse with zero fear.