“Heroes and Villains”: An Album That Went Off The Rails

Aico Miao, Staff Writer

Like a craftsman to his tapestry, Metro Boomin weaved together a flawless album that further solidified his already celebrated role as one of the best hip-hop and trap producers. “Heroes and Villains” was released in December of 2022 and wrapped up a year of ups and downs for hip hop.

Metro Boomin, age 29, has been in the industry for years. His rise to fame is contributed to multiple factors: his collaborations with Future, his work on Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo”, the song “Jumpman”, but most of all, his talent and vision. 

“Heroes and Villains” is full of artistry and power. I interpreted it as leaning closer toward the “Villain” theme of the album, with each song captured under a mysterious, dark tone. Every song has an amazing intro that flows well. In “Umbrella”, the seamless transition from sweeping drums to the hard-hitting beats of 21 Savage’s verse was especially clean and vigorous. 

“Niagara Falls”, “Superhero”, and “Too Many Nights” were part of my favorites, but “Creepin’”, featuring The Weeknd and 21 Savage, is undeniably the best song on the album. The song is a cover of Mario Winans 2004 “I Don’t Wanna Know”, which Metro Boomin transformed completely. I was blown away when I first heard “Creepin’”, with its serene intro and catchy lyrics. It’s a breath of fresh air and an entirely different style compared to the other songs on the roster, yet still touched base with the dark mood of the album. Of course, credit also has to be given to The Weeknd’s phenomenal performance.

In regards to the discourse over the lack of variety in the artist features, I have to both agree and disagree. A song with Drake or Nicki Minaj (both of whom the producer has worked with in the past) would have made the album even more phenomenal, but I also believe the songs with the repeated features offered some of those artists a chance at redemption from their individual albums. Future (featured in four songs) in “Superhero” was honestly better than the entirety of his own 2022 album “I Never Liked You”– all due to Metro Boomin’’s incredible production. I’m also not the biggest fan of Don Toliver, but his contribution to “Around Me” encouraged me to give his music another try (which I have to add, with apologies to Don Toliver fans, did not actually go anywhere). 

I rate this album an 8.5/10. Metro Boomin went above and beyond with “Heroes and Villains” and I simply can’t get enough of it.