Metro Boomin returns with authority and confirms to us all that he is the king of trap banger beats; boasting a collection of hits with some huge names on his new album NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES. While it’ll never be a conceptual masterpiece, it is a glowing example of Metro’s status as the gold standard producer in hip-hop; if you’re after red-hot anthems, then look no further.
At just 25 years old, it beggars belief that Metro Boomin, born Leland Tyler Wayne, has been at the forefront of commercial hip-hop production for basically the whole of his 20s. Ever since his production on ILoveMakonnen’s 2014 hit Tuesday onwards, he has rose to stratospheric levels of fame and stock; working on Drake & Future’s 2015 collab album What A Time To Be Alive, producing the huge hit Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 from Kanye West’s 2016 album The Life Of Pablo and a whole host of massive charting singles. Bad & Boujee, Mask Off, Bounce Back, Tunnel Vision, Congratulations, Bank Account, you name it, Metro did it.
A stellar joint release with 21 Savage and Migos’ Offset last year titled Without Warning proved the St. Louis beat-maker was more than capable of holding his own over a whole project; as did his 2016 work with 21 again on Savage Mode. After a brief stint of “retirement” he has returned with a full-length project of his own, and what is so apparent on this project is the level of focus put into it.
Metro is a world-class producer, he can make a chart-topper in his sleep, but when he truly settles in and focuses fully the result can be mesmerising, as can be seen throughout the majority of this debut solo effort NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES. Straight from the off this album bursts into life with exuberant samples and hugely catchy trap drums, rolling off onto a three song run that sounds excellent. Transitionally this album is brilliant as we seamlessly flow from song to song through the use of impeccable sampling, especially between Overdue and Don’t Come Out The House.
The obvious talking points for this album come in the form of the feature list. Metro can make the best beats of all time, but if the rappers trusted with rhyming over it don’t deliver then what’s the point? Well, the stars of the show come in the form of 21 Savage and Travis Scott, both of which feature regularly on this project and show off their strengths with authority. 21 sounds like a cold-blooded killer throughout here and Trav offers lovely melodies and hooks along with the likes of Swae Lee, Young Thug and Gunna. Pretty much everyone on here gives a great account of themselves when called upon, a rarity on an album of this style.
The big hits from this will surely be Don’t Come Out The House for 21 Savage’s cold whisper flow, Up To Something for that sumptuous Travis Scott x Young Thug blend and No More for 21, Trav and Kodak Black’s personal punch and catchy deliveries. Metro’s influence is clear for all to see as he not only sets tracks alight in the production, but he also finds a way to bring the best out of everyone he works with.
While this album isn’t without it’s faults, it’ll never be a straight ten due to the lack of a concept beyond trapping and living the millionaire lifestyle; and there are one or two pretty dull tracks (namely Only You), it is a thoroughly enjoyable rap project with slick diversity from some of modern hip-hop’s absolute finest. Above all else, it is confirmation of Metro Boomin’s brilliance; he really is in a league of his own when it comes to producers.
BEST SONGS: Overdue, Don’t Come Out The House, Space Cadet, 10 Freaky Girls, Up To Something, Lesbian, No More
WORST SONGS: Only You, Borrowed Love