Nearly three years after their breakout single, “Bando” it seemed as if the Atlanta-born trio of Migos—(Quavo, Offset and Takeoff)—were going to remain in the back seat of the rap game for a while. While they supplied youth culture with many hits, some mixtapes fell flat and for a while their only hits were on features. With rumors of Quavo going solo, Offset not contributing enough and a repetitive flow, Migos set out to silence the critics.
After the release of the Offset-lead single, “Bad and Boujee”, Migos showed that they weren’t playing this time around. After the single went viral in the ensuing weeks, Migos was quickly back on everyone’s radar and earned themselves their first ever U.S. number one single, topping the Billboard Hot 100.
Upon releasing the Revenant-esque music video for their second single “T-Shirt”, fans were yet again excited to see what the Migos were cooking up. As they announced their upcoming album, Culture, to be released January 27, 2017, the Atlanta-born trio seemed unstoppable.
With an intro initiated by the alluring voice of DJ Khaled, Culture opens like a drag race, taking off at an alarming rate and smoothly finishing. Having both of their lead singles within the first five songs was a bold choice, but the album steady pushes along.
As we come to the Zaytoven-produced track, “Big on Big”, Takeoff stands in the spotlight and proves he can carry a track just as well as Quavo and Offset, a feat that needed to be accomplished at this stage of the album.
Nearing the end of the album, the instrumental choice slightly ups the ante. Quavo starts using more auto-tune, and in the end it’s nicely complemented with some admirably planted chords. Then comes the track “Kelly Price”. Quavo’s humbling melody winds everything down perfectly, only to once again be lifted by the gruff but engaging auto-tune of Travis Scott, who’s 2016 was nothing short of amazing. Finally comes “Out Yo Way”, and at first, Quavo starts to blanket the track, but passes the torch to Offset, who delivers a good verse while showing off his versatility in his flow.
If you’re hoping to get a message from this album, understand that there isn’t one. If you come for lyrics, understand that they aren’t the best. The only way to describe Culture is like a nice home-cooked meal from your mom. You don’t care what it is, all you know is that it will be good. Culture is the same way, being that Migos don’t deter from their normal lyrical content, but they show how much they’ve grown with the music.
A couple of years ago, you could hear a Migos track, and it would be lead by Quavo with Offset and Takeoff adding vocals wherever. Migos was like a team of skilled players without a good quarterback. Culture annuls this notion marvelously. Whether it’s the result of their signing to Kanye West’s, G.O.O.D. Music, their departure from 300 Ent., or their loyalty to QC, it’s obvious the trio have now created a winning recipe.
While the album had its ups, it also had its downs. Some tracks had too much free space, and some had too little. There were times when one was taking the load a bit too much, and most of the time it was Quavo. To combat the negatives though, there are some additional positives. The songs are better constructed than those of previous projects, Offset and Takeoff have their own spotlights, and the production seems more planned out. With this album coming so early in the year, I’m excited to see what else Hip Hop has in store for 2017.


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