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First-Listen Reviews: 21 Savage, Kid Cudi, Ariana Grande

The first week to have some heavy hitters in 2024 is this week with the much-anticipated return of 21 Savage and Ariana Grande and a new album from Kid Cudi. I'll give you guys my thoughts based on my first listen.

21 Savage - american dream

American Dream album cover
via Epic Records

21 Savage hasn't dropped a full solo album since 2018's i am > i was (remember Savage Mode 2 is technically a collab album with producer Metro Boomin). When it's that big of a break, this was highly anticipated and people were also questioning his ability to make quality music or if he was just making the same music and sticking to the same sound. He comes back to american dream and uses the same style we know of him. With 21 Savage it kind of feels like "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Even though it does get tiring I feel like this album did drag on in the middle. I believe this album is a decent project from 21 but it is worse than his last 3. The feature list was very strange to be on this album and I feel like some of them could've brought more of a punch.

Best Song: should've wore a bonnet

Worst Song: n.h.i.e.


Kid Cudi - INSANO

INSANO album cover
via Republic Records

I might get a bit of flack for this, but I am not a big Kid Cudi fan. I did want to give this album a chance as I always try to do. The feature list was a long and star-studded one and I feel like none gave it their best effort, other than Travis Scott on the two songs he was on. This album felt forgettable to me and just the sound didn't fit Cudi and it just fell flat for me. It's not the worst project I've ever heard but it was a slog to get through at its 21-song, hour-long run time.

Best Song: GET OFF ME



Ariana Grande - yes, and?

yes, and? cover
via Republic Records

I'm a big Ariana Grande fan and she is probably my favorite popstar. So I was excited to hear she was returning after a turbulent year in 2023. She comes back with an upbeat dance song and it's a good song I believe this shows what her new album will consist of, sound and content-wise. This song has me excited for the seventh studio album from Ariana Grande.



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