If someone were to ask me to name artists that have helped define Trap music over the last several years, a few artists come to mind. Young Thug, Future, and the Migos are all artists that have shaped the sound of Trap throughout the 2010s. As important as these artists are, the producers who have made the instrumentals for them over the years are just as important. If the artists are the ones who have come up with the ideas for the songs we have come to know and love, the producers are the ones who have made them come to life through the creation of the instrumentals. Out of all the prominent Trap producers who have emerged in the last decade, arguably none are more important than Metro Boomin. His name has almost become synonymous with excellent Trap instrumentals. When a listener hears one of his signature production tags at the beginning of a track(‘If Young Metro Don’t Trust you, Imma shoot you’ or ‘Metro Boomin want some more..’), they can assume that the instrumental is going to be great. Metro Boomin’s first “solo” major label record, NOT ALL HEROES ALL CAPES came out in 2018. It featured vocals from a variety of Hip Hop and R&B artists, and it showed his uncanny ability to be able to work with literally anyone. This album was heralded for its harsh, dark, and sophisticated production, and it helped define the sound of Trap music for the next couple of years. He has now come back with his next record, HEROES VS. VILLAINS . Similar to its predecessor, this record has a plethora of different artists on it, who all come together along with Metro Boomin to make some cool and unique Trap music. Metro Boomin once again proves with this record that he is one of the most talented producers in the Hip Hop game right now. It shows off his versatility and range, as this project has so many different kinds of Hip Hop and Pop music. Below is a list of my favorite songs from Metro Boomin’s new album HEROES VS. VILLAINS. Please let me know in the comments what your favorite songs are from this record, as well as how you feel about it as a whole.
TOO MANY NIGHTS WITH DON TOLIVER AND FUTURE
‘Too Many Nights’ is a great example of a Trap instrumental that sounds so straightforward but it is actually complicated and sophisticated. There is so much going on in this instrumental that makes it flow so well. This song has so many that make it work; the weird sound effects, the rattling bass, the vibrating synths, and the sputtering drum pattern are so intricate, yet placed together they sound so cool and smooth. Not only do Don Toliver’s and Future’s voices mesh so well, but they also sound so great on this instrumental. Their voices contrast nicely and sound so good with the murkiness of the instrumental. It is almost like they have a light and dark feeling. Don Toliver’s vocals are so breezy and light and Future’s are so dark and gruff. This track has club-banger energy written all over it, and i am positive I will be hearing it at bars frequently for the foreseeable future.
RAINDROPS WITH TRAVIS SCOTT
After the catastrophe that surrounded his Astroworld event at the end of last year, I wondered how and when Travis Scott would be integrated back into the industry and accepted by fans again. He has stayed pretty quiet for the last year or so, letting the discourse around that whole situation die down. He has come back with a bang in the form of this record, as he has his fingerprints all over it. I think this was a great way to re-introduce him back pop culture, as it was unexpected and not in your face. Travis Scott’s first of many appearances on this record is in the song ‘Raindrops.’ I will say, as much as I enjoy this song, it sounds and feels more like a typical Travis Scott song than anything. Maybe this is just because of Travis Scott’s vocal performance. The way he sings on this song reminds me a lot of his R&B-tinted tracks from his ASTROWORLD album. The melody and atmosphere do fit the mood of the album to this point very well, and I enjoy how the beat switches up on this one. At some points in the song, the tempo has a Dance-pop sound and at other times it has more of a traditional Trap song. The way this song is constructed keeps the listener on their toes because it does not get too repetitive or typical. Overall, it is a great way to put Travis Scott back into the minds of music listeners.
AROUND ME WITH DON TOLIVER
As I mentioned in the introduction, this album has elements of Dance music in addition to the typical Trap sounds one would expect to hear from Metro Boomin. ‘Around Me,’ which features Don Toliver, is the song where Dance music is most prominent. Most of this song has a fast-paced beat that makes me think of early to mid-2000s Electro-Pop and R&B music. There are elements of this beat and overall instrumental that remind me of artists like Robyn of Nelly Furtado, and there are also elements that make me think of artists like Chris Brown and Omarion. Metro Boomin does change it up and put a Trap beat in there at some points, but for the most part, this track is fast-paced and upbeat. The melody on this track is so somber and chilly; it makes me think about going clubbing late at night in the winter. As great as the instrumental for this song is, Don Toliver really stands out on this track. His vocals and so silky and smooth and fit the feeling of the instrumental so well. The tone and style of his voice add to the ambiance of the track; as much as the instrumental makes me think of clubbing in the winter, the vocal performance enhances this so much. ‘Around Me’ is one of the coolest songs on the album. I would love to hear Metro Boomin explore this Dance music style more, and this song gets me very excited to hear the new Don Toliver record which is coming out soon.
METRO SPIDER WITH YOUNG THUG
There are a lot of songs that have been getting a lot of popularity and traction from this record since it came out, but ‘Metro Spider’ has easily emerged as one of the fan favorites. Everything about this song is excellent; it shows how the insane talents of both Metro Boomin and Young Thug. This song has such an intense and foreboding sound; everything from the melody to the sound effects to the drums is so large and dark. The melody for this one sounds like it is being made on an organ; It has the kind of tone that sounds like it would play in some sort of creepy possession movie. It reminds me of some of the music you would hear at the church in a movie like The Omen The song has all sorts of bells in the background that add help to add a scary Church-like element to this track. Young Thug’s performance is awesome as well. I especially love his rapping in the second verse of this track. I watched a video by the youtube channel Turning The Tables talking about this album, and one of the men on the channel described Young Thug’s voice in this verse as a percussion. His flow is so fast and choppy, somehow making the instrumental sound even more powerful. ‘Metro Spider’ is a song that once again informs the world that Metro Boomin and Young Thug are two of the best at what they do.
CREEPIN’ WITH THE WEEKND AND 21 SAVAGE
As much as fans love the previous song on this list, ‘Metro Spider,’ the real fan favorite from this record has to be ‘Creepin.’ The day this album came out, I saw multiple videos on Tik Tok of when people first heard this song when they were listening to the record. This track contains a sample of the classic early 2000’s R&B track by Marion Winans ‘I Don’t Wanna Know.’ Honestly, as far as the instrumental goes, it does not shake up too much from the original track. As Metro Boomin does on some of the other songs from this record, he speeds up and slows down the beat at certain points of the track. I enjoy it when the beat slows down and takes on a new-age Trap sound, as it gives the song a modern element. The best thing about this track though is the vocal performances by The Weeknd and 21 Savage. I do not want to disrespect Mario Winans, but The Weeknd honestly sings this track perfectly. The emotion in his voice is so palpable and he rides this melody so well. I love how 21 Savage’s rapping provides such a contrast from The Weeknds’ vocals. 21 Savage’s vocals are so harsh and gruff, and they sound so cool following the soft and high vocals from The Weeknd. ‘Creepin’ is a song that I feel will be a hit for years because of how fun it is and because of its nostalgic quality.
NIAGARA FALLS(FOOT OR 2) WITH TRAVIS SCOTT AND 21 SAVAGE
Out of all the Travis Scott appearances on this record, I think this one might be my favorite. I will start by saying that ‘Niagara Falls(Foot or 2) is not the most complicated or innovative song on this album. Instead, in terms of what one might expect from Metro Boomin, it might be one of the most “basic.” But there is a reason that Metro Boomin has become so popular over the years, and it is for bangers like this. This is a Pop-Trap track that has everything it would need to be a smash hit. This is another one I could see becoming a club staple for a long time. It has an upbeat and fun Trap beat that makes the listener want to dance when they hear it and a very hypnotic melody that just draws the listener in. I like how the violin sounds are sprinkled throughout the melody. The melody is driven by a simple piano riff, and the random string instruments in the background complement it nicely. I enjoy the lighter and higher tone that Travis Scott uses on this track, as it creates a juxtaposition with 21 Savage’s tone. Both of these artists are known for working well with other artists and adapting to their sound, and somehow both demonstrate that trait in ‘Niagara Falls(Foot or 2).
FEEL THE FIYAAAAH WITH A$AP ROCKY AND TAKEOFF
Up until this point, this album has had a very murky and dim feeling to it. This is a record that is meant for being played at night; there is not much light on this record. That all changes with the last song of the album(there is technically a bonus track, but this is the last official track). ‘Feel the Fiyaaaah’ which features A$AP Rocky and Takeoff(RIP), has such a bright and colorful sound and quality. This song almost has a Gospel Trap feeling to it; the instrumental makes me think of Chance the Rapper’s work in the mid-2010s. It is the kind of melody that will put you in a good mood because it’s so uplifting. This song has a very triumphant and Heavenly sound and feeling to it. I also enjoy how the beat switches up so many times throughout this track. Metro Boomin keeps you on your toes when listening to ‘Feel The Fiyaaaah’ because of how the tempo on it keeps switching. Both A$AP Rocky and Takeoff absolutely kill it on this track. During his verses, A$AP Rocky continuously changes up his flow, matching the energy of the changes in tempo to the beat. His performance on this track gives it so much texture. Takeoff comes in with one of his signature staccato flows. It sounds so crisp and hard on this track and gives the song the added amount of energy that it needs. Overall, ‘Feel The Fiyaaaah’ is easily top three songs of HEROES VS. VILLAINS, and it is an excellent way to close the record.