Hit-making rappers Drake and 21 Savage teamed up in 2022 for the collaborative album Her Loss, marking the first full-length collaboration between the two artists. Because of Drake having more years in the industry and No. 1 hits to his name, 21 Savage was mindful when working with him that he didn’t want to appear as though he was using his friendship with the rapper to advance his own career.
Drake and 21 Savage’s recent collaborations, from ‘Jimmy Cooks’ to ‘Her Loss’
Drake and 21 Savage first collaborated in 2016 on the single “Sneakin’”. The two later linked up on 21’s song “Mr. Right Now” and Drake’s song “Knife Talk,” and in 2022, they joined forces for “Jimmy Cooks” from Drake’s hit seventh studio album Honestly, Nevermind. “Jimmy Cooks” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. When the “Jimmy Cooks” video was released later that fall, it revealed that a collaborative album between the two artists titled Her Loss was on the way.
Her Loss debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and in the week after its release, eight songs from the album occupied spots on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 (though not No. 1, as Drake celebrated the occasion by covering Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” in his post acknowledging the achievement). The album also sparked controversy regarding Drake’s lyrics seemingly calling Megan Thee Stallion a liar for alleging that his fellow Canadian artist Tory Lanez shot her, as well as Drizzy calling Serena Williams’ husband a groupie.
21 Savage was worried about Drake thinking he was using his friendship for a collab
Coming into Her Loss, 21 Savage knew that Drake was a massive global artist with more hits and album sales to his name. The two remained friends after their first collaboration, so when it came to making an album together, he wanted it to be an organic collaboration, rather than it appearing to be transactional.
“I was already thinking about [collabing with Drake], but I didn’t want to look like a thirsty a** young rapper who was like ‘Drake, let’s do a mixtape!’ because I know how I would look at it,” he admitted in a January 2023 interview with Complex. “I didn’t want to overstep what we had going on, because we talk on the regular. I didn’t want him to think there was a motive behind how I f*** with him, so I just played my role and let him know that I f*** with him, period. He’s got a good heart, so we already be talking about regular s***, and then he was like, ‘Let’s just do a tape,’ and we started sending each other s***.”
“Everything that I do is genuine,” he went on to say. “I’m not f***ing with somebody just to use them, and people can see when you’re that type of rapper. That’s why I get the blessings I get, because I just move in a genuine way.”
21 Savage admitted Drake is on a different level than he is
When asked if he considered artists like Drake or J. Cole his direct peers, 21 confessed that they’re leagues ahead of him.
“There’s just a difference, bro,” he told Complex. “That’s, like, years of work and a fanbase that is going to be there until they die, that’s different. I feel like I’m working to be on that level that they’re on, but I don’t feel like it’s the same. I feel I could do something corny, and I would lose a lot of what I got. That wouldn’t happen with them.”
“Drake could do whatever, Cole could do whatever, and their s*** not going anywhere,” he continued. “I’m working toward that level for sure, but I don’t I’m there yet. I’m not saying I’m light-years behind. They’re more solidified, and I’m still building on what I got. But I could be wrong… It’s all about how the fans look at it.”