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Celebrating the five-year anniversary of ‘Without Warning’

Happy Halloween OGM Gang! Although we celebrate this everlasting, spooky holiday every year, the most thrilling part is seeing what our friends and colleagues have in store for their costumes.

In 2017, a group of our favorite rap artists revealed a surprise of their own on Halloween, dropping the appropriately named Without Warning — 10-track, 33-minute collaborative album from 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin.

At the time, 21 Savage was at the end of a wildly successful first chapter of his career. Almost four months removed from his debut album Issa Album — which capitalized on his viral meme and gave him his highest charting solo single with “Bank Account” — 21 was ready to take his career to the next level. Four days before Without Warning dropped, he achieved his first ever No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 riding shotgun on Post Malone‘s “Rockstar.”

Offset — being the most lyrically potent third of the Migos trio — was less than a year removed from the group’s magnum opus Culture in January, establishing the trio as bonafide hip-hop superstars. It was around this time that the prominent discussion of which Migo was the best became commonplace among rap fans. Offset’s performance on Without Warning would essentially launch his campaign for the “Best Migo” title as he went on a feature run for the ages in 2018.

Metro Boomin was renowned as one of, if not the best hip-hop/trap producer in the mid-to-late 2010s. His producer tags such as “If Young Metro don’t trust you, I’m got’ shoot you” and “Metro Boomin want some more n***a” were staples from several hits performed by Drake, Kanye West, Future, Young Thug and several others. His production was so impactful that artists would reach out to him to produce entire tapes rather than just a song, leading him to completely curate the production behind Without Warning.

21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin came together on Without Warning and truly brought the best out of each other. Right off the bat, the intro “Ghostface Killers” set the tone with eerie bells on the instrumental at the song’s opening. Elite verses from 21 and Offset, as well as the Travis Scott featured on the back end, let the listener know they did not come to play.

Throughout the record, the duo sounded hungry and energized, finding an intensely intimidating atmosphere that catered to both of their styles. While gritty songs like “Mad Stalkers” and “Disrespectful” proved this, the culture-shifting hit they were seeking was found in “Ric Flair Drip” with just Offset — which peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100.

Both 21 and Offset had two solo songs each on the album, which contained some of the best work on the whole project. “My Choppa Hate N****s” by 21 Savage showcased the creative diction and quirky, assertive bars that attracted fans to him early on in his career. Offset’s other solo track “Nightmare” continued to prove his ability to work on his own without his Migo brothers, as he intriguingly meshed Halloween themes with street activity.

Without Warning dropped in a compelling era of rap when collaborative albums reigned supreme, and fans were brainstorming which of their favorite artists would sound the best together. Young Thug and Future came together for SUPER SLIMEY a week and a half before this release. Quavo and Travis Scott linked up for Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho in December 2017, as well as Big Sean and Metro Boomin (again) for Double or Nothing in the same month.

Overall, each of the three names involved in Without Warning came out of this project in better standing than before. There is a strong argument for this album to be the best among all those released in this collab album era, and it still sits in the upper echelon trap albums to this day.

To celebrate this outstanding moment in rap history, revisit ‘Without Warning’ by 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin below!