Without Warning is an unexpected collaborative project from Atlanta rappers 21 Savage and Offset (of Migos fame), and producer Metro Boomin. The album dropped on Halloween, and the holiday serves as its major theme. Without Warning maintains a dark and eerie feel right from the beginning, brought to life through Metro’s unsettling shrieks, shouts, and cutting winds mixed into the music. Horror references abound, such as in Offset’s namedrop on the hook to ‘Nightmare:’ “Freddy Krueger, give ‘em a nightmare.”
Both rappers have a history with Metro Boomin. He is 21’s go-to producer, and they previously released the collaborative EP Savage Mode. Metro’s most notable work with Offset is on Migos’ mega-hit ‘Bad and Boujee.’ Though an unusual seeming pairing, 21 and Offset have also previously worked together, on tracks by Mike WiLL Made-It and DJ Khaled. On Without Warning, the vocalists complement each other, each providing what the other lacks: to balance 21’s chilling monotone and direct lyrics, we are offered Offset’s energetic and amplified rhymes.
21 relishes solo tracks such as ‘Run Up the Racks’ while Offset shines on ‘Ric Flair Drip’ and ‘Nightmare.’ These are refreshing moments allowing the individuals to display their unique flair and help the album to flow.
The highlight of the 33-minute record is opener ‘Ghostface Killers,’ featuring Travis Scott. With the Wu-Tang references and 21 boasts that he is as powerful as Kim Jong-un, this is a track not to be missed.
In a nutshell: Dark, ghostly, thrilling, Without Warning creates a vivid atmosphere through its lyrical allegory and thundering bass.