Heroes & Villains proves to be Metro Boomin’s best effort despite flaws such as Travis Scott’s lackluster effort


Even with its flaws, Heroes & Villains is Metro Boomin’s best effort to date.

Leland Tyler Wayne, better known as Metro Boomin, released Heroes & Villains in December 2022. This album was highly anticipated as Metro Boomin’s previous albums such as Savage Mode II and Without Warning were incredible displays of Boomin’s producing talent. Heroes & Villians certainly has its flaws, but many would agree that it’s a worthy follow-up to Boomin’s previous record.  

Heroes & Villains’ intro track delivers on what the vibe of the entire album is going to contain. “On Time” (with John Legend) seems tacky in its message, because it’s very similar to Boomin’s past album, Not All Heroes Wear Capes. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a featurette from a popular TV show, The Boys, that culminates what a “hero” should and should not represent, which was a nice detail to include. An incredibly welcome surprise is that actor Morgan Freeman often narrates. His voice is calming and guides the audience through Heroes & Villains

Freeman connects  “On Time” to the next song, and the transitions of this entire album are euphoric. When the beat starts, listeners can identify that this is a Future beat immediately. “Superhero (Heroes & Villains)” (with Future and Chris Brown) is how producers should showcase Future’s prowess. He absolutely carries Brown. Brown’s little segment at the conclusion of the song is so weak. To be fair, Future’s verse was so outstanding that it overshadows Brown’s segment. 

Don Toliver appears on the next track, “Too Many Nights,” with Future, and this collab is what listeners love from Boomin. This pairing is rarely explored, but it needs to happen often because their verses play off each other amazingly well. Toliver’s upbeat, house party vibes bounce off of Future’s melancholy piece. A common complaint of this song however is that Future is underutilized in this song. He only got a couple of bars in, but it still left a resounding effect on fans. 

The lead into “Raindrops (Insane)” (with Travis Scott) is puzzling. After the previous track, there was a subtle sound of a roaring thunderstorm which is pretty cool and fitting for the title. Unfortunately, this is one of the most disappointing songs on the album. Scott is so lifeless until he pops off near the end of “Raindrops.” Being so sorrowful normally works on Scott’s beats, but it sadly just wasn’t working for this track. 

Many enjoy how the previous song is sort of a prequel for the absolutely outstanding song “Umbrella” (with 21 Savage and Young Nudy), which shows what 21 can deliver and more. Nudy’s part is not bad in the slightest, but it’s very hard to outperform 21 Savage. Nudy’s portion is what listeners expect from Boomin and his direction; however, 21’s chorus is too cold. It evokes a suspenseful, yet powerful emotion in the audience. It also is a prelude to what 21 will deliver later on Heroes & Villains

“Trance” (with Travis Scott and Young Thug) is where Scott’s’ melancholy tone works. The Boomin beat helps him deliver as well. Young Thug still thoroughly outdoes Scott, though. His verse is simply more entertaining to listen to. Listeners are left disappointed with Scott’s performance, especially since he had his own track to play with. 

Everyone has to commend Boomin and Toliver’s work because they’re phenomenal when they work together. “Around Me” (featuring Don Toliver) is how to perfectly execute a Toliver beat. It still gives off the house party feels, but with the unique Toliver style. This is a heavily underrated song from the album. At the end of “Around Me,” there’s even a Morgan Freeman snippet, so it definitely needs more recognition. 

Young Thug preaches on his solo contribution to Heroes & Villains. Many agree that Boomin and Young Thug’s collaboration “Metro Spider” (with Young Thug) is at least in the top three songs on the tracklist. The beat has moments of an evangelical choir, which only adds to its complexity. All and all, this song outperforms “Trance” in every aspect. It even includes such a clean transition that many didn’t even notice a different song was playing.

Even though  “I Can’t Save You (Interlude)” (with Future and featuring Don Toliver) serves as an intermission, many haven’t seen such a short track that grabbed their attention. The bars from Future and Tolvier are addictive. Many are caught off guard because it’s so catchy. Boomin also includes a transition into possibly the best song on Heroes & Villains. 

It’s hard to detail how unbelievable “Creepin’” (with The Weeknd and 21 Savage) is. Who’d ever believe listeners would receive a 21 and Weeknd track? It’s so unconventional, but it somehow culminates into a banger. Boomin deserves so much more credit for bringing these two together and developing a beat that fits both of their unique styles. The beat is melodic when The Weeknd is serenading people with his tranquil voice, and then a sudden switch to 21’s verse is surprising but welcome. It offers diversity, and it delivers on the usual, but chilling, 21 bars everyone’s accustomed to. Scott also appears on “Creepin’” to perform some background vocals. Maybe he’s trying to make up for his lackluster performances from earlier on the record. 

Despite the previous criticism of Scott earlier, he actually performs well on, “Niagara Falls (Foot or 2)” (with Travis Scott and 21 Savage).” Admittedly, 21 did have the best verse on the song, but at least Scott doesn’t completely flop this time. Scott only does slightly better than Morgan Freeman, who sadly only appeared for five seconds on the track. 

“Walk Em Down (Don’t Kill Civilians)” (with 21 Savage and featuring Mustafa) underscores Boomin’s great creative direction. Normally in rap songs, piano-based melodies are diluted, but “Walk Em Down” has a prominent piano sound. It pays off because 21’s verse is only enhanced by such a great beat. 21 obviously pops off, but everyone knows it’s hard for him to flop. An interesting segment of this song is Mustafa’s verse. He delivers a more soul-driven melody. It’s very peaceful despite the bars spoken, and many don’t like to compare the two verses. They’re so dramatically different: it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

Listeners weren’t really feeling “Lock On Me” (with Travis Scott and Future). It’s just a very dull song overall. Many listeners often have playlists with gloom songs, so perhaps this is the audience Boomin is looking to attract. 

It’s such a shame Kanye got himself involved in a political dilemma because he’d thrive on “Feel The Fiyaaaah” (with A$AP Rocky & featuring Takeoff). The gospel beat would pair with Kanye’s overall flow so well. People do have to commend Rocky because he does so well spitting his bars on the beat. Many other artists couldn’t do the same given the opportunity. “Feel The Fiyaaaah” has sentimental notes as recently deceased rapper Takeoff has one of the best verses he’s ever rapped on this song. The melancholy beat rolled with Takeoff’s vibe perfectly. A detail many miss is that on Spotify, the video associated with the song features white doves flying off. Obviously, this symbolizes Takeoff’s passing, but it also pays homage to Takeoff’s group, The Migos. They often utilize doves similarly to represent their mother’s and grandmother’s passing. Many agree that this was a perfect way of appreciating his music especially since he’s not here to receive all the positive feedback. This song is up there as one of the best songs on the album.  

The final track “All The Money” (with Gunna) isn’t a bad song; however, it seems like generic Gunna lyrics just put on a Boomin beat. Again, not anything special. Honestly, it shouldn’t be named a “bonus song” because there’s nothing nuanced about “All the Money.” 

Many are impressed with Boomin because he’s come so far in regard to his producing abilities. Heroes & Villains is proof of his progress, but there are a few flaws on the album. Many agree that more diversity among rappers present in his album would’ve brought the different tones and themes he’s trying to elicit. More specifically, less Travis Scott, because he doesn’t bring the effort that other artists do when working with Metro Boomin. 

The overall best artist of the album is 21 Savage. With big names such as A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd, and Future, he had tough competition. 21 brought an immaculate vibe with bars to support his imposing presence. The best feature had to be Takeoff. Obviously, with his passing, there’s a saddening element to his verse, but despite that, it’s so upbeat and great to listen to.