Metro Boomin has delivered the first look at his highly anticipated sophomore album “Heroes & Villains,” slated for release this upcoming Friday (Dec. 2), with a short film under the same name. Directed by Gibson Hazard, the action-packed seven-minute video stars Morgan Freeman, LaKeith Stanfield, Young Thug and Gunna, and also teases several of the new songs with 21 Savage, Future, Chris Brown and more.
“For years, Metro Boomin has protected the city from the unrelenting threat of evil,” Freeman says, narrating over comic book stills with the message of “Free YSL” emblazoned across cartoon flags. “With the light of the Boomanati headquarters, once a beacon of hope, has gone dark. In Metro’s absence, villains rise from the shadows.”
Suddenly, the film’s “new villain in town,” played by Stanfield, can be seen aboard a fire engine rushing through clouds of fire and debris while snippets of a song featuring 21 Savage play in the background. Gunna and Young Thug appear in suits as co-news anchors for “P News,” a play on Gunna’s 2022 “Pushin P” takeover. In reality, both rappers remain incarcerated on racketeering charges as part of an indictment against their YSL collective. Although the duo doesn’t return later in the film, their short cameos are a central focus and notable highlight of the action-packed plot.
Boomin then appears overlooking the destroyed city while Freeman approaches him from behind, and prompts: “Fuck… You’re going down there right?”
Freeman, acting as the guiding force for a lost and pensive Boomin, begins to advise the rapper about how a hero willingly sacrifices their needs for others.
“If you never put on a chain again, your place in history is already cemented. You built a legacy, something people clearly kill for — but you and I both know that there’s far more to being the hero than the glory that comes with it,” Freeman says. “Heroism isn’t about earning accolades or even defeating villains, it’s choosing to risk everything for the people, expecting nothing in return — we all know the city loves its legends, but tonight they need a hero. Which one do you want to be?”
Boomin then reaches for his pyramid-shaped diamond chain, a symbol of his role as a hero, while Future’s voice begins to echo over a thumping beat. Freeman adds: “You know what they say if Young Metro don’t trust you, motherfucker you better run.”
The video ends with a lengthy preview of a song that features a sample of Jay-Z’s verse from “So Appalled,” the seventh track off of Kanye West’s “My Dark Twisted Fantasy” — and Brown, whose voice closes the film.
“Heroes & Villains” is the beloved hip-hop producer’s second full-length solo studio effort, due to arrive four years after his 2018 debut “Not All Heroes Wear Capes.” That LP was stacked with a star-studded roster of rappers including Drake, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Gunna, 21 Savage, Gucci Mane and Kodak Black.
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