Once 21 Savage’s first two mixtapes got him noticed in 2015, his career absolutely took off. He’s been part of massive collaborations with other artists from Drake to J. Cole and found constant chart success with his albums and singles in the years since, becoming one of the biggest names in hip hop on the back of his trap beats and savage lyrics.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the 15 best songs 21 Savage has ever produced.
1. Bank Account
Bank Account was the lead single for 21 Savage’s debut studio album Issa Album in 2017. To date, it’s still his most streamed song on Spotify, cementing its place as a fan favorite and potentially the best track he’s ever released. Surprisingly, it’s the only song on his debut album that’s self-produced, so it’s a bit less complicated musically than the other tracks.
That takes almost nothing away from it though, his deadpan line delivery gives it a serious tone that pushes the song over the top. It’s the minimalism and clean aspects of the track that give it such depth and contrasts the lyrical content describing the lifestyle that comes with wealth. It rose to number four on the Hot Rap Songs chart and number five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
2. m y . l i f e
The track m y . l i f e was featured on J. Cole’s album The Off-Season in 2021 and was the highest-charting single of both their careers. It debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the second time they collaborated to be a massive success. Seeing the contrast between the two artist’s styles was mesmerizing despite J. Cole moving into a harsher and sharp tone than he normally works with. It went on to receive two Grammy nominations as well, for both Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.
3. Red Opps
Before the fame, the massive chart success, and the collaborations with huge stars, there was Red Opps. It was the second single to be released from his debut extended play Free Guwop in 2016 and sees him at his best-unfiltered form.
The song would eventually be certified platinum by the RIAA in the US and had moderate chart success. It made it to number 31 on the Hot Rap Songs chart and peaked at number 74 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
4. No Heart
No Heart was the second single released for 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s collaborative EP Savage Mode in 2016. It masterfully switches tempos in the song and is one of 21 Savage’s best deliveries in his career. While drill music isn’t far off of trap in terms of beat style, this one leans more into the drill side of the two, feeling harsher in the best way possible.
As a single, it would eventually receive a platinum certification from the RIAA and rose to number 12 and 17 on the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts respectively. It just missed out on being a top 40 hit by peaking at number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
5. Skrrt Skrrt
Here’s another one of 21 Savage’s best songs that came during the earliest part of his career when he was most in touch with his roots. The term ‘skrrt” can have two meanings, either referencing the squealing of times or a fork in a crack bowl. This track uses both meanings, sometimes at the same time.
Skrrt Skrrt came out on his The Slaughter Tape album in 2015 and helped serve as an introduction for him to the world. If you want to hear him in his purest form, this song—and the rest of the tape—is what you should be looking for instead of his chart-toppers.
Immortal is the perfect example of standalone singles for artists sometimes ranking amongst their absolute best works. While it was originally expected to release as part of 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was album, it was left off. He later teased the lyrics on his Twitter and released it as a standalone in 2019.
The song was previewed in the trailer for the video game Mortal Kombat 11, featuring 21 Savage including references and name drops of characters from the series. It made it to number 16 on the Rolling Stone Top 100 and broke into the top 25 of both the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
7. Rich Flex
The rapper 21 Savage sees a lot of artists want to collaborate with him, including huge names like Drake. Rich Flex served as the opening track for the two artists’ collaborative album Her Loss in 2020. It pulls a lot from other artists, interpolating on his own Red Opps and work from Megan Thee Stallion, T.I., and Charles Berstein.
Watching Drake and 21 Savage go back and forth is a treat and one of the reasons the song grew to be so popular. It skyrocketed to number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, only being blocked from the top spot by Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero. It topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and Rhythmic Airplay charts, as well as becoming 21 Savage’s first Canadian number-one single.
8. A Lot
A Lot served as the lead single for 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was album in 2019, first being uploaded to his YouTube account at the end of 2018 and seeing radio release a couple of weeks later. J. Cole is featured on the track, though he only appears on the digital and streaming versions, not the radio edits. The song itself is a massive reflection of how far he has come. It’s got more of a funk feel to it than his original deadpan trap beats, but the change did nothing but increase the rapper’s audience.
This ended up being a smash hit, making it to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number five on both the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. He saw excellent critical reviews for the track as well, with Billboard Ranking it as the sixth-best song of 2019 and winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song.
9. Ocean Drive
With all of the success, wealth, and fame that 21 Savage has earned over the years, it would be understandable if he lost touch with his roots in some way or sort of forgot where he came from. If you’re worried about that happening, just listen to Ocean Drive. The song compares and contrasts his current lifestyle with what he was used to growing up but reaffirms he hasn’t forgotten and is just as tough as he’s always been.
He still lives much the same way he did in the old days, he’s just made it into a richer neighborhood now, but he still isn’t someone that you should even think of messing around with. It’s also an ode to music as a whole, with plenty of tracks referring to the illustrious Ocean Drive throughout music history thanks to its significance as a cultural location.
Originally titled X Bitch, X was released as the lead single from 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s collaborative EP Savage Mode in 2016. It’s been critically described as a great place for new listeners to begin listening to 21 Savage thanks to its catchy lyrics and simpler beat. The collaboration between 21 Savage and Future also makes for one of the best flexing songs of the year.
In the end, the track was certified triple platinum in the US and double platinum in Canada. It made it to number eight on the Hot Rap Songs chart, number 12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remained his highest-charting track as well, at least until m y . l i f e peaked at number two. Overall, the song was a standout on the album and served as a celebration of his career to that point.
11. Ball W/O You
Ball w/o You is the perfect song for anyone who’s been done wrong in relationships so many times that you’ve given up on love. The rapper 21 Savage uses the track to dissect the differences between love and loyalty, preferring loyalty because it demands more respect than love and love can feel like an overinflated emotion.
It features an energetic beat but is more of a meditation on his past relationships with the perfect amount of ambivalence when it comes to whether those experiences or feelings even matter. He himself denies that it’s about relationships, but it’s pretty easy to read between the lines on this one, and it’s still a great track no matter what it’s about.
12. Savage Mode
Savage Mode was the title track of 21 Savage’s first collaborative EP with Metro Boomin and dives into both what savage mode means to the rapper and what drove him to it.
He states drugs, gangs, and poverty made him go as hard as he has but never forgets that they were integral parts of his life. It then turns from reflective to a flexing rap song, with him boasting about the wealth, women, and cars he’s able to have now that he’s gone ‘savage mode’ and made himself into such a big artist.
Runnin might have been the best song to come from Savage Mode II in 2020. The track sampled a 1976 Diana Ross song to add an almost haunting depth to the instrumentals that matched the threats he delivered throughout the track. It isn’t a song about running away by any means, at least not for him. It sees his enemies running away when they know he is around because they know he won’t spare them if he catches them.
If any rap song would make you feel afraid, it honestly might be this one. This became Metro Bommin’s highest-charting song after debuting at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
14. Glock In My Lap
One of the ever-present features of 21 Savage’s music is the Glock he carries on him at all times. Coming from his collaborative album Savage Mode 2, Glock In My Lap showcases some of the most polished lyrics he has ever delivered on top of a sinister and anxiety-inducing beat. It’s threatening and deadly, exactly what you want from a 21 Savage song to make you feel absolutely invincible for a little while.
This was also a solid commercial success for both him and Metro Boomin. It peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On Billboard’s Global 200, it rose all the way to number 22, giving him an international hit single.
In 2017, 21 Savage teamed up with Post Malone to produce Rockstar for the former’s Beerbongs And Bentleys album, for which, it served as the lead single. Critically, the song saw mixed reviews, but fans ate it up. It rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming both 21 Savage and Post Malone’s first number-one single. It then went on to earn nominations for Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance at the Grammy Awards.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.