21 Savage has really made a name for himself over the last year with his Savage Mode EP, his high-profile feature list, and his “X” and “No Heart” singles both going platinum.
Little did anybody know, though, that when the 24-year-old rapper from Atlanta made a name for himself — he was also making a name for many others. Literally.
By the outset of 2017, Hip Hop had seen the introduction of several more rappers and characters borrowing the Savage brand just by, well, adding to the “21” part of the name.
We’ve compiled an Encyclopaedia Savagica, if you will, in order to help fans keep up with the ever-growing world of Savages out there.
Let’s start with the original: 21 Savage. 21 has been on the scene since he dropped The Slaughter Tape in 2015, following it up with Free Guwop, an EP that featured his track “Red Opps” (which we’ll speak more about in a minute).
Since then it’s been a pretty meteoric rise for 21 Savage. He’s worked with Future, Young Thug, Meek Mill and Travis Scott and even snagged a verse on Drake’s upcoming More Life playlist.
No rapper has seen this many imitators since the videos for “The Real Slim Shady” and “Hey Ya,” so it’s safe to say that the original is doing something right.
You could make the argument that since he jacked 21 Savage’s name that 22 Savage is unoriginal. In one sense, you’d be right. In another sense, he’s the original copycat.
22 Savage is a comedian-turned-rapper from Louisiana who kind of stumbled across the concept of parodying one of Hip Hop’s rising stars when he dropped the line “Ain’t no 21, this 22 Savage” on a track and people liked it.
Since then, 22 has committed to the character — going so far as to release a music video for his track “Black Opps,” a song which leaned heavily on the lyrics and beat of 21 Savage’s original. He goes by @IAM22SAVAGE on Twitter, where he has picked up almost 75,000 followers.
22 Savage has repeatedly sent shots for the man who gave him his name (and others, allegedly), telling interviewers that he thinks he’s better than his better-known namesake.
Once 22 Savage set the ball rolling and earned himself a bit of a name, including interviews on VladTV, just by using the name 22 Savage, the phenomenon was destined to blow up even further: enter 23 Savage.
23 Savage was originally a YouTuber known as “The Diss Rapper” who made his name dissing topical things and people (Tyga and Donald Trump, for example) — pretty typical YouTuber behavior.
The Diss Rapper hopped on the Savage bandwagon but largely left 21 Savage out of it, instead taking aim at 22 Savage (and racking up almost 2 million views in the process).
One of the more impressive parodies of 21 Savage’s mumbly, not-always-rhyming style is 26 Savage, who dropped a 90-second tribute to noodles in the style of “Red Opps.” The title? “Noodle Opps.”
The parody was very well received, picking up 375,000 views in less than a month. The channel behind the video, Mixed Nation, is known for its parodies — and has also dropped videos as 21 Savage and 24 Savage.
28 & 29 Savage
We’re not sure about the average time it takes for a gimmick to jump the shark, but when the white 28 & 29 Savage dropped this freestyle diss complete with N-bombs, it’s fair to say that very few people were impressed. And it was uploaded on Christmas no less. Not the most festive move.
29 Savage #2
With all of the Savages coming out of the woodwork it’s only fair to expect that there’d be some overlap. This 29 Savage actually dropped a verse six days before the above 29 Savage — but it clocked in at just 27 seconds long.
If he’s going to compete with everybody else on #TeamSavage, he’ll need to step up his output.
30 Savage finally took the Savage clan out of its 20s and brought the mumble-rap style shared by his predecessors to a whole new level. 30 Savage also dispensed with the idea of actually having to rhyme at all. Still, it was a powerful warning shot to Savages 21 through 29.
There have been a lot of imitators but actor Lamorne Morris’ 33 Savage might be the most entertaining. With this professionally-executed video, 33 Savage actually parodies the gangsta elements of 21’s lyrics as well as the laid-back flow.
Dropping the main theme of most Savage freestyles (claiming to be better than the other rappers with Savage in their names), 33 Savage raps about “pulling my pants down all the way when I have to pee, this ain’t 21 bitch, this 33.”
“Young n*ggas be doing diss rap to each other im here to make dem quit rappin u know what im sayin” — that’s the mission statement of 100 Savage.
If his goal was to make all the others quit rapping, it hasn’t worked. Club Savage is only gathering members by the day.
It was only a matter of time.
Just this week, ABC Savage took it to a whole new dimension by proudly declaring “fuck all that number shit… if you got a number on your name you my enemy”
“A stand for Ass, B stand for Bitches, C stand for Cabbage.” And if you don’t know, now you know.
We can’t provide a detailed analysis of all the other Savage rappers that have come through since 21’s ascendancy, but here is a further selection of dudes trading off 21 Savage’s name.