Review: Drake & 21 Savage’s ‘Her Loss’ brings world-renowned rappers together

While the collaborative album remains controversial, Drake and 21 Savage encompass themes of money, misogyny and the music industry in “Her Loss.”

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Aaliya Luthra

“Her Loss” is an album by Drake and 21 Savage, released on Nov. 4. (Illustration by Aaliya Luthra)

Ryan Carney, Contributing Writer

Last summer, Drake and 21 Savage came together on the closing track of Drake’s album “Honestly, Nevermind,” titled “Jimmy Crooks.” Halfway through the music video of “Jimmy Crooks,” Drake surprised fans with the announcement of his collaboration with 21 Savage on their album “Her Loss.” The two artists rolled out the album perfectly with a fake performance on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk, a mock interview with Howard Stern, a fictitious SNL performance of “On BS” and a faux Vogue cover. While “Her Loss” is the pair’s first official collaborative album, they have also worked together in the past on Drake’s “Sneakin,” and “Knife Talk” and 21 Savage’s “Mr. Right Now.”

Starting off the album with a bang, “Rich Flex” begins the chorus with Drake singing “21, can you do somethin’ for me? / Can you hit a lil’ rich flex for me? / And 21, can you do somethin’ for me?” As the beat stops in his verse, he mimics the cadence of Megan Thee Stallion’s hit song, “Savage.” Drake interrupts 21 Savage’s energetic bars with a melodic chorus about the consequences of accruing fame as a musician.  

On “Major Distribution,” Lil Yachty’s ad-libs replace Drake’s harmonious singing, which switches into Drake rapping. On a bouncy cadence, Drake refers to Macaulay Culkin, the child actor from the movie “Home Alone,” to describe his loneliness in his 50,000-square-foot mansion. Drake leans into glamorizing his wealth by “Buyin’ Benz Benzes out of spite.” 

In the third song “On BS,” starts with a strong beat by 21 Savage. The duo compliments each other by switching verses while joking around, “I jump on your song and make you sound like you the feature / I jump on your song and make a label think they need ya.” With tongue-in-cheek lyrics, Drake claims that he’s a feminist, “I’m a— ayy, I’m a gentleman, I’m generous / I blow a half a million on you hoes, I’m a feminist.” 

However, he forgets his self-chosen title later in the album when he disrespects rapper Megan Thee Stallion. On the song “Circo Loco,” he falsified her claims of being shot in the foot by rapper Tory Lanez in July 2020. When Stallion came forward about the incident, many people did not believe her. In a sneak diss, Drake raps: “This bitch lie ’bout gettin’ shots, but she still a stallion.” Lil Yachty, one of the album’s producers, and several others refuted the diss, but it is clear that the reference is directed towards Megan Thee Stallion. She posted a photo of her foot for evidence, and responded, “I know I’m very popular but y’all gotta stop attaching weak ass conspiracy theories in bars to my name.” 

The irony in Drake’s claim to feminism is not lost on the audience, as many songs within the album directly objectify women for the profit of the artist’s brand. “Spin Bout U,” which samples the R&B lyrics from the B.G.O.T.I.’s 1995, “Give Me Your Lov-N,” starts off with a slow tune, and 21 Savage raps about the girl he had feelings for through his desire to spend money on her: “American Express, you can have it all.” Drake reflects on the overturning of Roe v. Wade this past summer: “Damn, just turned on the news and seen that men who never got / pussy in school are makin’ laws about what women can do.” 

On “Pussy & Millions,” featuring Travis Scott, Drake melodically sings, “they say more money, more problems” with a few ad-libs from Lil Yachty. The song alludes to the success, accolades and wealth that the trio has achieved. Overall, the album is filled with corny lines, excellent bars and beat switches galore. As Drake says, “can you do something for me” — listen to the album.

Contact Ryan Carney at [email protected]