Few rap acts have more clones than Atlanta trap trio The Migos. Their specialty ad-libs and effortless tongue-twisting flows have carved a new age of hip-hop. Dating back to their 2013 gold-selling single “Versace,” Migos essentially invented modern trap. Whether it be on social media, at live sporting or political events, Migos’ steez has infiltrated the mainstream in nearly every aspect. Now-platinum hit “Bad & Boujee” is not only number-one in the U.S., it is a worldwide phenomenon (just ask Nigeria). Their stylish swag, irresistible hooks, and patented dance moves prove that The Migos are here for the long haul.
That is why naming this album CULTURE could not have been more appropriate. We are currently witnessing the artistic crescendo of a groundbreaking hip-hop group poised to top the charts for years to come. What some listeners may not fully understand about trap artists is that they have a very specific lane and must travel through it consistently to yield their music’s highest quality. You wouldn’t hire an accountant to fix your leaky pipes. Similarly, you shouldn’t expect trap artists to fix your broken heart — in any way, shape, or form. Lyrical depth is not The Migos’ forte nor should it be. There are, however, instances across CULTURE where this triad dabbles in reflective songwriting. Alas, those flashes are some of the least riveting tracks on this record.
When Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff are care-free, braggadocious, and lyrically assertive, CULTURE’s replay value skyrockets. Cuts like “Call Casting,” “Slippery,” and the album’s best overall track “Get Right Witcha” find Migos finessing atop woozy, finely polished production. Each member finishes the next’s sentences in such a pristine fashion one might think Migos are a multi-faceted solo artist. This project is especially pertinent to their discography considering where they are in their careers. As a sophomore release, CULTURE actively opposes the notion of a second-year slump. Migos needed an album like this to catapult them into the national spotlight rather than dropping something more experimental.
All in all, the abundance of club bangers and moody Auto-tune ballads on this album is the most front-to-back fun you will hear all year. Although Gucci Mane’s wavy guest bars were the only ones that truly impressed me, the other guests do well enough. They at least maintain the pace of their respective songs. Migos have learned to cut the fat. Having similar-sounding tracks was one of my main gripes with many of their previous releases. Still, this album could have began with a less obnoxious contribution than DJ Khaled’s “fuck boy” onslaught. Luckily, “T-Shirt” is so fire it finds a way to wash away that discomfort. CULTURE cements Migos as one of hip-hop’s mainstays. If you aren’t hip now, it might not be too late to hop on the bandwagon.