Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

21 Savage’s “american dream” is a lyrical adaptation of perseverance

Photo via Epic Records/Slaughter Gang
After a six year hiatus on solo music, 21 Savage released his third album, “american dream” on Jan. 12. The album depicts his struggles with immigration over the years, all while still keeping his iconic vigorous tone.

Six years. 

Six years of resolving immigration concerns with the U.S. government. Six years of occasional features in other songs, collaborative albums and a hiatus from producing music solo — until Jan. 12 of this year.

“american dream” is 21 Savage’s third solo album, nearly six years after his last solo release in 2018, “i am > i was.” The album, consisting of 15 songs, follows the struggle of his immigration status with the U.S. government and adjusting to an American way of living. Born as Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, 21 Savage immigrated to Atlanta from London at the age of 7 with his mother, Heather Carmillia Joseph. 

The first track, “american dream,” is a lyrical monologue from his mother, depicting how much she sacrificed for her son to live a better life than her in America. It is one of my personal favorites, given how personal and moving her words are in the interlude. There’s one particular line that speaks volumes to me: “To make his position as a winner more secured / Now I smile, feeling assured / My choices were not in vain.” Any listener can feel the love she has for her son through her words; it’s the perfect segue into the fast-paced rap album.

With a total of eleven features — a few being popular artists such as Brent Faiyaz, Metro Boomin, Doja Cat and Summer Walker — “american dream” is a diverse variety of slow tempo melodies and fast-paced bars. As a 21 Savage fan, I prefer his more vigorous, trap hip hop-like songs.

A few of my favorites with that vibe are “dangerous,” “redrum” and “red sky.” However, there are a few slower songs included in “american dream” with deeper meanings in their lyrics. “letter to my brudda” is a perfect example, which delves into his personal struggles, such as losing friends and opportunities due to growing up in an unsafe environment: “You know, we be comin’ from, like, the worst conditions / And sometimes we be forced to make decisions that we / don’t even wanna make / It be about survival.” 

On top of the album’s release, 21 Savage announced a memoir film titled “American Dream: The 21 Savage Story,” following his detainment and incarceration by ICE, starring Donald Glover and Caleb McLaughlin the same day. After finally becoming a lawful resident of the U.S. on Oct. 6 of last year, nearly four years after initially being detained by ICE, 21 Savage is now able to fully continue his passion for music. 

Since the release of  “i am > i was” back in 2018, personal growth, a new level of maturity and self reflection is evident in 21 Savage’s newest release. The depth of his lyrics and meaning behind the entire album’s production allows fans to see a new side of 21 Savage. 

 From the looks of it, the Atlanta-based rapper is finally on his way to pursue his true “american dream.”

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About the Contributor
Madeline Rivera, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Madeline Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief and this is her third year on staff. In her free time, she enjoys watching romantic movies, traveling and hanging out with her friends.

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