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”. Whether it be on social media, at live sporting events, or even in political appearances, the 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 finely polished, woozy production. Each member finishes the next’s sentences in such a pristine fashion that one might think The Migos were 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 attempting to drop something more experimental.
All in all, the abundance of club bangers and moody Auto-tune ballads on this album is some of 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, his fellow featured artists do well enough to maintain the pace of their respective songs. Migos have learned to cut the fat in terms of similar-sounding tracks, which was one of my main gripes with many of their previous releases. Still, the 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.