Within five years of his first output with Future, producer Metro Boomin amassed well over a dozen Top 20 R&B/hip-hop hits and a similar quantity of gold and platinum RIAA certifications. The St. Louis-raised, Atlanta-based rap artist did it with a street-oriented sound, jet-black and low-gloss, sufficiently reflected in his alias. Since his early half-decade roll of success working with the likes of Future, iLoveMakonnen, Drake, Migos, and Post Malone — with “Honest,” “Tuesday,” “Jumpman,” “Bad and Boujee,” and “Congratulations” among the biggest hits — Metro has remained a marquee name. He crowned the Billboard 200 with Not All Heroes Wear Capes (2018), his first solo album, and has made return trips to the top spot with Savage Mode II (a 2020 duo LP with 21 Savage) and Heroes & Villains (2022).
Metro Boomin got into production during his early teens and also rapped, though he eventually opted to devote all his energy to beatmaking. He connected with artists through social media, and prior to graduating high school, he’d logged thousands of miles on round trips to Atlanta, where he worked with the likes of OJ da Juiceman and eventually, Gucci Mane and Future. Metro fulfilled his mother’s dream with his acceptance to the conveniently located Morehouse College, but he dropped out and invested more in making music than in studying business management.
In 2013, Metro’s name was on Billboard charts for the first time as the producer of Future’s “Karate Chop” and “Honest.” Just after the latter single was officially released, he self-released 19 & Boomin. Once iLoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday,” another early triumph, hit the R&B/hip-hop Top Ten the following year, Metro was a constant presence near the top of that chart. Drake and Future’s “Jumpman” and Future’s “Low Life” were among the early 2016 hits, followed later in the year by “X” — taken from Savage Mode, his self-released EP made with 21 Savage — and Migos’ “Bad and Boujee,” which eventually topped the R&B/hip-hop and pop charts.
Among Metro Boomin’s subsequent hits throughout a notable 2017 were Big Sean’s “Bounce Back,” Post Malone’s “Congratulations,” Kodak Black’s “Tunnel Vision,” and Future’s “Mask Off.” The year remained a busy one, as Metro later released a trio of collaborative mixtapes: Perfect Timing (with NAV), Without Warning (with Offset and 21 Savage), and Double or Nothing (Big Sean). The following year brought even more success for Metro, not only for his input on notable albums by Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, but also for his own project, Not All Heroes Wear Capes. The album topped the Billboard 200 upon release in November 2018, and yielded a pair of platinum singles with “No Complaints,” featuring Offset and Drake, and “Space Cadet,” on which Metro was joined by Gunna.
In 2020, Metro Boomin resumed his partnership with 21 Savage and delivered another Billboard 200 topper, Savage Mode II. Four of its tracks, including “Glock in My Lap,” hit the Top 40. Metro scored a third Billboard 200 album in 2022 with Heroes & Villains. The set contained another quartet of Top 40 entries, most notably the number five hit “Creepin’,” a collaboration with the Weeknd and 21 Savage. ~ Andy Kellman