Metro Boomin at the Giza Pyramids: From Missouri to the Middle East, Redefining the Narrative of Rap

Metro Boomin stands poised in quiet confidence, silhouetted against the backdrop of the Great Pyramids of Giza. With an aura of timeless grandeur, the three pyramids echo the iconic rhythm of his “Young Metro 3x” producer tag. Framed meticulously by his photographer, Gunner Stahl, the moment is frozen in time, capturing not just an artist, but a convergence of history, culture and creativity. As the desert sun bathes the scene in a golden light, Metro Boomin’s presence among the pyramids becomes more than a photograph – it’s a testament to the enduring legacy of artistry and innovation.


In this juxtaposition of ancient wonder and contemporary music, Metro’s presence before the pyramids speaks volumes. It demonstrates hip-hop’s enduring influence and its ability to transcend time and space, from Missouri to the Middle East. Metro Boomin’s April 30 concert at the Kundalini Grand Pyramids venue sold out in record time, whereby Live Nation, the organizer, announced a second night in his routing through the Middle East (including a show in Abu Dhabi’s BRED Festival). The majority of the audience knew the words to at least one if not several of his songs and collaborations played during his nearly two-hour set, suggesting that Metro Boomin’s music has found a home in hearts of youth culture worldwide.

Per Billboard Explains, Metro Boomin’s Billboard Hot 100 breakthrough as a producer came with Future’s “Honest,” which hit No. 55 in 2013. Over the next three years, he produced 23 more Hot 100 hits. He earned his first No. 1 on the Hot 100 for his work on Migos and Lil Uzi Vert’s collab “Bad and Boujee,” which topped the chart for three weeks in 2017. The episode explains that Metro boasts a remarkable tally of 16 top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including noteworthy productions like The Weeknd’s “Heartless” in 2019 and his collaborative effort with Future and Kendrick Lamar, “Like That,” which clinched the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 for three weeks this year.

His collaborations with prominent rap artists on groundbreaking albums have been stellar, with seven top 10 entries on the Billboard 200. According to Billboard Explains, notable highlights include Double or Nothing with Big Sean, which peaked at No. 6 in 2017, Savage Mode II, which ascended to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2020, and his solo project Heroes and Villains, which claimed the top spot on the Billboard 200 in 2022, maintaining a record-breaking 18-week reign atop the Top Rap Albums chart. So far in 2024, Metro’s collaborative album with Future, We Don’t Trust You, and the follow up album, We Still Don’t Trust You, both debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200.

Despite the accolades, Metro maintains a subtle balance of confidence and humility, driven by what feels like a clear sense of purpose in how he approaches making music and chart-topping hits. Throughout his two shows at the Kundalini Grand Pyramids venue, Metro praises his audience and carries with him a sense of wonderment at performing against the backdrop of some of the oldest structures in the world. “I’ve always wanted to see this [the pyramids] with my own eyes, but I could never even fathom doing a show and performing in front of something as crazy and legendary and history as this,” says Metro. “I’m grateful for everyone, for the whole country.”

Metro displays this love in his Cairo shows, wrapping himself in an Egyptian flag as the epic intro of “Superhero (Heroes & Villains)” with Future and Chris Brown plays out in one of his closing tracks in the set. He seems completely unfazed that he is performing solo. He emcees his set, engaging frequently with the audience while delivering a mixtape of his massive body of work, masterfully scripted together in a way that tells a story of what it means for a kid from St. Louis, Miss., to end up making music that captivates the entire world.

When asked about his first hip-hop memory, and what song or album compelled him to pursue the genre artistically and professionally, Metro points back to the year 2000, with the release of Nelly’s Country Grammar. Still in kindergarten at the time, there was no going back for Metro, and with the support of his mother, Leslie Joanne Wayne, he went on to become the most sought-after hip-hop producer of his generation, and a catalyst for reviving the genre’s placement on the Billboard charts.

As reported by Billboard, with We Still Don’t Trust You arriving atop the Billboard 200 only three weeks after We Don’t Trust You debuted at No. 1, that marks the shortest gap between new No. 1s by an artist since Future replaced himself at No. 1 in 2017 in successive weeks with his self-titled album (March 11, 2017, chart) and HNDRXX (March 18, 2017), both of which debuted at No. 1.

According to Metro Boomin, this success came as a result of what he calls “really caring,” coupled with the urgent need to continue competing with oneself, in order to do better than whatever he did last. But there was a deeper force at play beyond just his individual work ethic, which propelled his consecutive albums with Future to unprecedented heights.

In June 2023, Billboard reported that “rap had yet to produce a Billboard 200-topping album or Billboard Hot 100-topping single” that year, while industry executives grew concerned over the genre’s growth and potential stagnation. So for Metro, things got personal.

“I really took it personally, in the past couple years, seeing different outlets and people sh-tting on hip-hop, saying ‘hip-hop is dying, hip-hop is this, it’s been this long since there was a hip hop No 1…’ says Metro Boomin. “Just trying to spin that whole hip-hop is dying narrative, at the same time trying to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop. I felt they were trying to wash our genre and culture away, I’m still in the game, and I take it personal. Those kind of things disturbed me, at the same time, it was the kind of fuel I needed.”

Reflecting on his roots and the impact of his work on hip-hop, Metro’s passion for the genre is radiant. This undeniable drive propels him to continuously elevate his presence on the Billboard charts and within the genre at large. With each chart-topping hit and sold-out show, Metro Boomin not only cements his own legacy but also pays homage to hip-hop while ensuring its continued relevance for generations to come. Because for Metro, hip-hop is not dead, it’s very much alive and thriving.

Metro Boomin for Billboard Arabia
Metro Boomin for Billboard Arabia
Metro Boomin for Billboard Arabia
Metro Boomin for Billboard Arabia
Metro Boomin for Billboard Arabia
Metro Boomin for Billboard Arabia

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