Atlanta’s 21 Savage gets a taste of the American dream in new album

The 15-track album features Doja Cat, Travis Scott, Burna Boy, Young Thug, Summer Walker, Brent Faiyaz, Mariah the Scientist and longtime collaborator and producer Metro Boomin. The album opens with the title track, where his mom, Heather, offers a heartfelt note about her journey to ensure her son could have the best life possible (”For all the trials and all the pain, the mission is, as it’s always been, for my son to become a man and live free in his American dream”).

By the end of the album, 21 Savage delivers a sobering outro with “Dark Days.” The Mariah the Scientist-assisted track shines as he trades lines about losing loved ones along the way to freedom. Throughout the song, the rapper shares how, amid his fame and success, he’s often haunted by the deep losses he suffered along the way (two of his biological brothers died and his close friend was fatally shot on the day of 21 Savage’s 21st birthday). It’s hard not to think about the troubles of Young Thug, too (Mariah the Scientist is Young Thug’s girlfriend). The Atlanta native was arrested in 2022 and indicted on RICO charges. He’s currently on trial.

21 Savage seemingly alludes to this: “Heard they lockin’ [expletive] up for what they put in rhymes / Standin’ on this [expletive], [expletive] it, I’m still writin’ mine / This what growth look like, no more committin’ crimes / I stayed out the way and made a way for us to grind.”

Along with the album, 21 Savage also released the video for “Redrum.”

Lil Nas X makes a Biblical return

Credit: Robb Cohen for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Robb Cohen for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In case you forgot, Lil Nas X is a professional troll. If there were Ph.D.’s for Internet trolling, he’d have multiple. Such was the case as he previewed his latest single “J Christ” earlier this week, which is apparently a clapback to those who labeled him a “devil-worshiper” following the visual for 2021′s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

“My new single is dedicated to the man who had the greatest comeback of all time,” the Lithia Springs native said in a press release about his new music.

The roughly three-minute video for the song features a variety of Biblical imagery — Lil Nas X opening the gates of Heaven, Lil Nas X playing basketball against the devil, Lil Nas X imitating Jesus on the cross, Lil Nas X imitating Moses parting the Red Sea and more.

Miami-bred, Atlanta-based TV personality TS Madison makes a cameo in the video.

The track sees the pop star teasing a new chapter: “Is he up to something? Only I know,” he repeats in the chorus.

“J. Christ” is Lil Nas X’s first single since 2022′s “Late to Da Party” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again and “Star Walkin (League of Legends World Anthem).” His debut album “Montero” was released in 2021.

The Grammy winner’s upcoming documentary “Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero” is set to air on HBO and Max on Jan. 27.

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