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10 Metro Boomin Projects, Ranked

To a degree, hip-hop as we know it wouldn’t exist without Metro Boomin. Born Leyland Wayne, Metro Boomin has been one of the most prolific and influential producers of the last decade. He has produced top 10 hits for Drake (“Knife Talk”), The Weeknd (“Heartless”), Migos (“Bad and Boujee”) and other superstars. According to Lil Durk, he and Metro are currently cooking up a collaborative project. Metro Boomin projects are studded with so many precious metals it would make even the most experienced gemologist blush: 1 diamond single, over 30 platinum songs, another few dozen gold records. Here’s the official, inarguable ranking of the 10 best Metro Boomin projects. 

10. Double Or Nothing

Big Sean is an easy target; he once rapped “I’m Quagmire, I fuck hoes/My cashflow I ‘giggity-get’ it” without a hint of irony. And part of the reason it’s so easy is that a lot of it is also true. While Big Sean has evolved into a more thoughtful and effective artist, Double or Nothing finds him in a weird half space between the artist he was (the musical equivalent of that time Hillary Clinton was just chillin’ in Cedar Rapids) and the artist he would become (an above-average rapper). Here, vagina jokes run aground on Rosa Parks analogies run around on 69 jokes run aground on Colin Kaepernick takes. It’s a weird hodgepodge of juvenilia and half-baked social commentary that not even Metro’s beats can fully salvage. 

9. Perfect Timing

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. Like all Nav projects, Perfect Timing just kind of exists; it sounds nice—the beats are expansive and moody, Nav is capable of twirling out a few earwormy-y melodies, the guest list is star-studded—but you never leave a Nav project hungry for more Nav. In this sense, it’s musical fast fashion, something adequate and satisfying but ultimately disposable. Nav’s greatest strength as a rapper is his ability to match his collaborator’s energy, yet he’s surprisingly inert on Perfect Timing, in large part because Metro Boomin doesn’t provide him with the most exciting backdrop. Ultimately, it’s a project that indulges both of their less good impulses—NAV is all too happy to settle into the low-gear groove that Metro creates for him. In the end, Perfect Timing is enjoyable without being memorable.  

8. Not All Heroes Wear Capes

When Not All Heroes Wear Capes hits, it really hits. Unsurprisingly, the best tracks come from his most frequent collaborators—21 Savage menacingly whispers his way through “Don’t Come Out the House” and is uncharacteristically excitable on “10 Freaky Girls;” Gunna glides through “Space Cadet;” Travis Scott and Young Thug turn the studio space on “Up to Something” into their personal Dreamatorium. The rest of the album, however, is plagued by ponderous songs and gratuitous experiments. Forays into of-the-moment reggaeton and afrobeat sounds are clunky and unnatural; tracks like “Dreamcatcher” and “Lesbian” are so narcotized they border on narcoleptic. As is typical for this kind of producer album, NAHWC has some astounding highs but is padded out by lots of filler. 

7. Droptopwop

Released on the one-year anniversary of his 2016 release from prison, Droptopwop is a triumphant victory lap from one of hip hop’s most beloved elder statesmen. Even if it’s not quite up to the standard of Gucci’s best work, it’s a fun little joyride. Just try not to smile when Gucci tries his hand at Offset’s hypnotic triplets-flow on “Met Gala” or when he calls himself a “conniver, a miser, a plug despiser” on “Finesse the Plug Interlude.”

6. What A Time To Be Alive

Ever since it dropped in 2015, Drake and Future’s collaborative mixtape has had high school basketball layup lines in a headlock. Overall, this is a fairly one-note project, it’s just that that one note happens to bang. Obviously “Jumpman” is the enduring hit but slightly deeper cuts like “Diamonds Dancing” and “Scholarship” offer even greater rewards; Drake’s flow switch in his “Scholarship” verse is just about as good as any other micro-moment in his career.  

5. Savage Mode 2

Whereas the original Savage Mode was a punishing, spartan experience, Metro Boomin and 21 Savage pull out all the stops for their legendary mixtape’s sequel. On Savage Mode 2, the whole enterprise feels luxer—the beats click along at a more head-nod-able pace, the sample budget is fat enough to accomodate interpolating 50 Cent’s “Many Men,” Drake shows up. Perhaps the single biggest flex, though, is that Morgan Freeman narrates the project, which adds depth to the expanding 21 Savage-Metro Boomin universe. 

4. Purple Reign

Released in early 2016, Purple Reign capped an 18 month stretch where Future became the best rapper alive. The full breadth of Future’s powers are on display—“All Right” and “Salute” are bitter, curdled bangers; “Perkys Calling” and “Purple Reign” are two of the tenderest songs of Future’s career, laying the foundation for his balladeer turn on HNDRXX.  Although it doesn’t quite measure up to DS2 or Monster (more on this later), Purple Reign has more great songs than most rappers have in their whole career.

3. Without Warning

A surprise drop on Halloween 2017, Without Warning enlists Offset and 21 Savage to tell horror stories. With Metro supplying eerie, menacing production, Offset and 21 unspool tales of violence and gunplay with unsettling casualness. Although the tape didn’t spawn any radio hits (“Ric Flair Drip” is probably the closest thing to one), there’s a thrilling cohesiveness to the project as all three of its principals work in concert. 

2. Savage Mode

From the moment he rose to prominence in 2014, Metro Boomin has been one of the best producers in hip hop. The Savage Mode, though, established him as an artist beyond merely being a beat-maker. Across its nine songs and 32 minutes, there’s not a single extraneous bar or drum kick. The beats are lean to the point of brutalism and the lyrics are bleak to the point of nihilism. The first album with Metro listed as an artist rather than just as a producer, Savage Mode is evidence of the clarity of purpose that’s fueled his greatness. 

1. Monster

One of the very Metro Boomin projects, if not one of the very best mixtapes at large. If you don’t understand why, go listen to “Throw Away” and “Codeine Crazy until you do. 

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Music

15 of Our Favorite Met Gala-Inspired Rap Lyrics

It’s that time of year again. It’s the first Monday in May, which means the Met Gala is once again upon us. This year the hotly anticipated gala officially returns to its normally scheduled programming. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the annual event, also known as the Costume Institute Gala, was placed on hold in 2020, while last year’s downsized version took place in September during New York Fashion Week.

The Met’s 2022 theme is In America: An Anthology of Fashion. It’s the second half of the Costume Institute’s two-part exhibition dedicated to American fashion, which began with 2021’s In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. For this year’s Met festivities, Hollywood A-Listers Regina King, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are holding down the co-hosting duties.

The Met Gala raises funds that benefit programs and exhibitions sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It also gives celebs a reason to pop out in some of the most unique and eye-catching outfits. With nicknames like the Super Bowl of fashion and fashion’s biggest night out, the Met Gala is arguably the biggest night in fashion. Famous faces from all walks of entertainment come together in celebration of the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s yearly fashion exhibition. It’s a big deal not only for the fashion world, but for the world of hip-hop as well.

Nowadays, hip-hop heavyweights are permanent fixtures on the Met’s red carpet and at the after-party. The likes of Ye, Megan Thee Stallion, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, Diddy, Migos, JAY-Z and many, many others have made their presence felt at the Met Gala. So it should come as no surprise that the Met Gala has been the subject of quite a few rap songs and lyrics. The star-studded affair has inspired some dope bars, as well as some not-so-dope lyrics. The gala has been mentioned by rap stars who have attended and popular artists who haven’t been lucky enough to strut their stuff at the event. In honor of the 2022 Met Gala, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Met Gala raps.

“I was that n*gga locked up in the cell and they treated me like I was normal/Thankin’ the Lord for them blessings I just left the Met Gala dressin’ up formal.” -Offset on Gucci Mane’s “Met Gala” (2017)

“It’s easy to slip, don’t want you to fall/Walk in with the drip, that Met Gala Ball” — Gunna on “Met Gala” (2020)

“You can’t even get on my guest list/They want me to go to the Met Gala/I want a Percocet and a gallon/That Actavis, Hi-Tech it don’t matter” — Future on Drake’s “Grammys” (2016)

“Met Gala, 42/but I fuck ’em like I’m 22/Macking and hanging that’s all I do” — Nas on The Weeknd’s “Tell your Friends (Met Gala Remix)”

“Attitude, gotta holla/She caught me slippin’, dressin’ like the Met Gala” — 24hrs & PnB Rock on “Met Gala” (2018)

“I had to give her a new nickname/Designer call us Met Gala Gang” — Quavo on“Champagne Rose” (2018)

“Watch how I drip when I hit that Met Gala/Codeine I sip with my lip, don’t get splattered” — Gunna on “Drip Or Drown [Remix]” (2018)

“Saint Laurent boots on Gucci saddles, Met Gala/ dab capital, abracadabra” — Quavo on Migos’ “Too Hotty” (2017)

“I’m a great example, great sex haver/In-shape for the Met Gala” — Kevin Gates on “Kung Fu” (2018)

“Red bottoms on, I’m at Met Gala” — Young Thug on “Daddy’s Birthday” (2017)

“They was losin’ they mind when I hit the Met Gala/Tail so long, it dragged 30 minutes after” — Cardi B on “Bet It” (2021)

“Spend a quarter million on a coupe, guess what?/MET Gala, hunnid for the suit, bless us” — Rick Ross on Russ’ “Guess What” (2020)

“A vet stylin’ in Met Gala/tuna salad from La Scala” — Nas on “White Label” (2018)

“I brought a Hollywood bitch to Club Crucial/I was at the Met Gala with my shooter” — 21 Savage on “Runnin’” (2020)

“I missed the Met Gala, eatin’ linguine with the best scallops/I knew we was the best before I met Khaled” — Dave East on “Bad Boy On Death Row” (2016)

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Music

Bops That Just Dropped: ONE37pm’s New Music Round Up

If you’re searching for some new music to add to your daily rotation, look no further than this week’s list of new releases. This roundup of songs and projects that have dropped within the last seven days is packed with lit new tunes that are perfect for just about any contemporary hip-hop fan’s new music playlist. From New York Drill to southern trap, there’s something for just about everyone on this list.

Bronx Drill rapper Kay Flock just dropped a new song with none other than Cardi B and it’s quickly gaining lots of traction. The track, titled “Shake It,” also features verses from Dougie B and Bory300. The high-energy club anthem with its catchy hook can easily get stuck in your head. The Bronx-bred foursome trade verses about running down on opps and turning up. It’s hard not to love Flock and Cardi’s raw energy and lyrics. This is definitely a song that can get you moving. We just had to add it to our new music playlist.

Fredo Bang is back with a new project, 2 Face Bang 2. The sequel to 2018’s 2 Face Bang opens with the soul-baring “Street Lights,” and features collaborations with Roddy Riich, Money Man and Brooklyn Drill rapper Sleepy Hallow. Filled with raw lyrics, infectious beats and catchy hooks, the Louisiana native’s latest Def Jam release should be a hit with fans of his previous work, as well as with newfound listeners.

After all of these years in the game, Gucci Mane remains one of the hardest working guys in hip-hop. He doesn’t let much time go by without releasing a single or two. In 2022, he dropped his YoungBoy Never Broke Again-diss, “Publicity Stunt”, the Young Dolph & Key Glock-assisted “Blood All On It” and “Rumors” with Lil Durk. This week he introduced the solo track, “Serial Killers.” Big Guwop glides over the menacing beat with his signature flow.

There have also been new drops from the likes of Blueface & G Herbo, Trina & Latto, Quando Rondo, Duke Deuce, Yungeen Ace, NoCap, Bas & Gunna and others. If you’re in the mood for some new bops, be sure to run through this week’s collection of new releases. You shouldn’t be disappointed.