How a Morgan Freeman-narrated trailer helped 21 Savage & Metro Boomin storm the charts
The sequel to 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s collaboration project stormed charts around the world this week, including a #1 debut in the US and a Top 4 arrival in Australia.
SAVAGE MODE II, the highly-anticipated follow-up to fan favourite SAVAGE MODE, comes four years after the Atlanta superstars’ first joint effort.
The album’s high performance on the charts can, in part, be credited some to actor Morgan Freeman who narrated a viral Hollywood-style trailer.
The 80-second clip – recorded by Freeman at home on an iPhone – resembles a horror-movie script with lines like “To be in savage mode is to go hard” and a reminder of the cinematic atmosphere Savage and Metro often conjure when they get together.
Freeman thought working with the two artists was the perfect fit.
In a new interview with GQ, the actor said that he embraced the opportunity because he wanted to work on a project that didn’t showcase him as the “nice guy” he ordinarily portrays.
“What happens is you sort of get locked into a position,” Freeman said. “Henry Fonda was in it, Spencer Tracy was in it, James Stewart was in it, even though he played a couple of bad guys.
“You don’t really don’t want to be cast into a mold, but after a few years, it’s bound to happen. Every [offer] that’s outside of what you consider [your] mold is fun to do. I got to jump at it.”
Since the trailer’s release on September 28, the YouTube video has clocked over 750,000 views.
The unveiling of the SAVAGE MODE II cover also created its own moment of its own, featuring Savage and Metro paying homage to the “pen and pixel” graphic design style made famous by the inimitable late 90s and early 2000s run of dominant Southern-based record labels.
That said, the horrorcore theme that fans have come to expect from the duo remains present. And with guest contributions coming only from fellow ATL rep Young Thug, they reprise their roles as the primary architects of the world that earned Savage his first RIAA certification.
Like many who have emerged before him on the Atalanta hip hop scene, Savage is not just an artist but an entrepreneur with a social conscience that he uses for good.
In July he launched a free online financial literacy education program – Bank Account At Home – for youth sheltered at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I feel like it’s important more than ever to give our next generation the tools to succeed in life,” the Grammy-winning rapper in a statement.