Metro Boomin’s song catalog is quite vast at this point in his career. The producer has put out various collaborative efforts, solo projects, and more. His most recent output is the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse. Like his other projects, this focuses on diversity, not only from him but from the artist he works with too. Like any producer, he has his go-to artists like 21 Savage, Future, and Travis Scott. However, he has worked with multiple artists and has crafted a soundscape that fits each of them well. He has collaborated with artists outside this group, such as Big Sean and NAV. Being able to veer from your signature sound as a producer is a testament to your talent. We’ve gathered five examples of Metro doing this in this list.
“Only You” – (feat. WizKid, Offset, and J Balvin) (2018)
This is a Metro Boomin song that caught many listeners off guard. Coming from his acclaimed album Heroes and Villains, this one undoubtedly stands out. Offset already had a collab project with Metro, and this song doesn’t sound like anything on that. WizKid hails from the Afrobeats world and J Balvin comes from the Latin music world. By joining forces with two of the most prominent figures in the rap world today, they all had something new to bring to their listeners. Metro worked with notable producer Allen Ritter on this one. The two of them used a Hispanic guitar melody that gets complimented by a trumpet as the song progresses. The danceable drums still leave room for the artists’ melodic delivery. J Balvin’s verse is entirely in Spanish and he trades the hook with WizKid. Metro showed his range of influences in this one.
“Steppin On N*ggas” – (With 21 Savage) (2020)
This Metro Boomin song stands out for several reasons. It sounds completely different from the eerie, haunting melodies of most of the other songs on the album it comes from, Savage Mode II. 21’s range as an artist has expanded in its own way as his career has progressed, and so has Metro’s. This song showcases this for both of them.
While 21 is from Atlanta, Metro crafts a significantly West Coast-inspired beat for him here. In fact, it’s a very ’80s-esque West Coast production. Metro trades his signature trap drums for some old-school boom-bap-like ones. There’s a synthesizer present, but this time, he opts for a glitzy melody, not a scary one. 21 adapts to it with a bouncy old-school flow that still packs his cutthroat punchlines and humor. Listeners likened this one to Eazy-E’s classic “Boyz-n-the-Hood” and this is an accurate comparison.
“Stay Flo” – Solange (2019)
Metro Boomin’s production credits can appear on songs in unexpected places. Metro has worked with people who are not rappers before, but Solange’s music is its own lane, even in the Neo-Soul/R&B world. This is a song that many listeners were surprised he was involved in because it sounds very different from his previous work. The pace of the song is unique as Solange sings on it at some moments but semi-raps on it at times, too.
Metro teamed up with her and John Carroll Kirby to craft a relaxing song that still had a danceable feel. The keys on it are sparse as they sonically float across the track. A second melody comes in that pairs with layered vocals from Solange. Metro’s contributions here are practically unrecognizable.
“Link Up” – (feat. Don Toliver, WizKid, BEAM, Toain) (2023)
This is one of the most recent Metro Boomin songs from this list. It comes from Metro’s latest project, the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack. Metro recruits one of his frequent collaborators on this one, Don Toliver. Like his previous song with WizKid, Metro uses dancehall elements on this track. However, this time around, he does it in a much more straightforward style. There are not many influences from other genres here. However, he does have several collaborators on it: BEAM, Al Cres, and Peter Lee Johnson. This one is more low-key in terms of tone but still has enough groove to it for dancing. Metro excelled at this style the first time he tried it, so it’s only fitting he did it again.
“Faith” – The Weeknd (2020)
This Metro Boomin song is one of the most layered ones on this list. The song is nearly five minutes long and has a cinematic outro that continues the album’s concept. Metro collaborated with Illangelo and The Weeknd himself for this one. The song lines up with the ’80s synth-wave-inspired sound that covers the rest of the album. However, this one is much more atmospheric than some other songs on the project.
The synthesizer is the most prominent instrument in the song. We’ve heard Metro use one multiple times, but it didn’t sound anything like this. This song also combines modern trap-equse drums and ’80s gated reverb drums. This gives the song a vintage feeling with a present-day sound. Metro and his collaborators were going for something new here, and it worked.
What are some of your favorite Metro Boomin tracks where he did something different? Let us know in the comments section.