Album review: Heroes & Villians


Gunner Wahl (Boominati and Republic Records)

“Heroes & Villains” capped off another eventful year in hip-hop.

Andrew Evans, Staff Writer

Another big year in music has passed, and on Dec. 2, 2022, Metro Boomin would top off the year as he released his second solo album, and his fifth overall studio album in “HEROES & VILLAINS”. This album came as a shocker, as it had a star-studded feature list, with names like The Weeknd, Travis Scott, John Legend, Future, and Gunna.

This project delivered when it came to the production. It’s instantaneously felt as the first track “On Time” as the instrumental combines with John Legend’s vocals to make for a great introduction track. The transitions from song to song in this album are sensational and the best of those transitions is the transition from “On Time” to “Superhero.” In “Superhero,” Metro works with one of his most frequent collaborators, Future, to make a more typical trap sound compared to “On Time.” These two tracks do a sensational job at setting the tone for the album. There’s not really a deeper meaning or story, but each artist in this album is either acting as a hero or villain, hence the title “HEROES & VILLAINS.”

This album goes on with its all-star list of features as Travis Scott is featured on “Raindrops.” This sounds like the stereotypical Travis Scott song with a relaxed production and the repetitive use of simple, but catchy melodies. “Umbrella” features 21 Savage and much like “Raindrops” with Scott, it does a great job sounding a lot like 21 Savage’s work with quick tempo, and simplistic beats. Metro Boomin might not make an appearance as a vocalist in every track, but his work with the production is immaculate, which is on par with the rest of his career.

The two best features on “HEROES & VILLAINS” come from Don Toliver and The Weeknd. Toliver is featured on two different tracks, “Around Me ” and “I Can’t Save You,” and his vocals are sensational in both. The Weeknd’s vocals in “Creepin’” are also just as good and the production is even better. 

Metro Boomin’s production in this album is sensational, as he did a great job at creating instrumentals that fit well with the numerous features on the album. The best example of this is “Feel The Fiyaaaah,” where Metro features A$AP Rocky and Takeoff on a beat that fits A$AP Rocky while sampling of “Feel The Fire” by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack.

Overall, “HEROES & VILLAINS” has one of the best feature lists out there. The production by Metro Boomin is world-class and most of the features were good. It felt like the album got stagnant at times with several different tracks sounding similar, but overall the music itself sounded good when it was able to transition from varying beats like with the aforementioned “On Time” and “Superhero.” Although there was no major underlying story, the concept of each artist being a hero or villain was a very cool touch. All in all, this was another good addition to a very underrated discography for Metro Boomin.