Album Review: What We Learned From Migos’ Culture

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Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff start 2017 on a hot streak with viral tracks and worldwide attention from the music industry and social media. That success kicked off when their single featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Bad and Boujee, went #1 in the country, being streamed on all types of platforms including Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music. As far as Culture goes, the Migos evidently did not disappoint fans. The project was a banger throughout and DJ Khaled’s feature in the intro got listeners even more eager for the rest.

file_000-1What I expected to sound more like a compilation of generic trap songs was the exact opposite. Pre-released track, “T-Shirt,” showed how exotic Takeoff’s flow is, which is something we don’t get a lot from trap artists these days and certainly not from him in a while.

He also went off in the last minute of “Get Right Witcha” with great quick-paced bars and clever lyricism. It’s noticeable that ever since “Rich Ni**a Timeline,” Migos have not been very lyrical. Their rhymes on this album were just “alright,” something very much expected from them. In terms of production, I have to say it was truly out of this world. Migos got some of the best producers in the current rap game like Metro Booming, Zaytoven and Murda Beatz to make beats for the album. This was an extremely smart move, even though I would have liked to see something from Ricky Racks.

Love song on Culture? Yes, the outro is a love song. Not something new coming from them though. Their previous projects all had verses about relationships and women as a whole. I’m not entirely sure about making it the song to cap off the highly anticipated album, but I can’t complain. It’s a nice track even though it sounded far too generic.

Features

Fortunately, they knew they could not get away with a lot of sales without solid features. Take a look at their other projects. It is evident they are not huge fans of having other rappers on their songs. This is understandable since each one of them only gets around one verse per track. On this album, however, getting Travis Scott, 2Chainz, and Gucci Mane to be on some of the songs was a brilliant strategy. Except for 2Chainz, all of them had decent verses which really fit the general vibe of the album.

Lyricism

Generic. Mostly every bar was about cash, women, and “trappin’ out the bando.” The delivery and flow is what made the songs actually sound good. But then again, they are meant to be party songs, so not much should be expected.

Disappointments

Seriously, where is “Dat Way”? The chorus was exhilarating, Takeoff’s verse was superb, and the beat was something I haven’t heard in a long time—it was excellent. The track by itself was better than a few from Culture. I honestly have no idea what they were thinking by taking it off (pun intended). Another disappointment was the lack of verses coming from Offset. His performance on the 3 Way EP was so good it’d only be right to think he would stay consistent into Culture.

Historical context

The three trap rappers from North Atlanta had just come off a huge run from “Bad and Boujee” going #1 in all streaming platforms. Everywhere you looked, there was a meme saying “Raindrops, Drop Tops.”whatsapp-image-2017-02-10-at-17-33-50  This was a streak coming off the “dab” trend in 2015, which was initially also supported by rapper Rich The Kid. People all over the world were dabbing and turning up to hits like “Pipe It Up” and “Look At My Dab.” However, their true success kicked off  when “Versace” and “Fight Night” dropped, which were party songs that DJs in every club were playing. Later on in the year, there was big talk coming from GOOD Music claiming that Kanye West had signed them. Migos later told a radio station they were actually not affiliated with the label. All this hype and anticipation was definitely deserved and earned. 

The top 20 Migos songs that will give you a taste of what their music is like if you’re not a fan yet

Here are some tracks I recommend:

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Similar to what Kanye did before the release of The Life of Pablo, Migos dropped this sneak peek track list on Twitter.
  1. China Town – Young Rich N*ggas
  2. Versace – Young Rich N*ggas
  3. Antidote – Young Rich N*ggas
  4. Kidding Me – No Label II
  5. Freak No More – No Label II
  6. Built Like Me – No Label II
  7. Handsome and Wealthy – No Label II
  8. Hit Em – Rich N*gga Timeline
  9. Move – Rich N*gga Timeline
  10. All Good – Rich Na Timeline
  11. Nawfside – Rich N*gga Timeline
  12. Memoirs – Yung Rich Nation
  13. Playa Playa – Yung Rich Nation
  14. One Time – Yung Rich Nation
  15. Commando – YRN 2
  16. MuhF ckn Tired – YRN 2
  17. Bars – YRN 2
  18. Datway (ft. Rich the Kid) – Single
  19. 3 Way (Intro) – 3 Way EP
  20. Can’t Go Out Sad – 3 Way EP

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