Highlights: Migos, ‘Culture’


★★★½

Migos, Culture © 300 EntertainmentMigos do a sound job of sharing their ‘Culture’ with the world. ‘Culture’ is chocked full of hard-hitting, rhythmically-driven bangers.    

Migos have elevated their profile tremendously.  Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff have experienced a huge year in 2017, thanks to breakout success with no. 1 hit single, Bad and Boujee.”  Beyond the hot banger, Migos show they have more tricks up their sleeves on their highly anticipated album, Culture. Culture isn’t the second coming – depends on who you ask, of course – but there’s plenty to like about the album.

“T-Shirt”

T-Shirtfeatures slick production work, embracing the southern hip-hop sound that is naturally drenched swag. The production is malicious sounding, featuring a hard-hitting beat.  Essentially, the M.O. is a tough-minded, gives no flips, sound. Notably, Takeoff raps the first verse, approaching it in a broken, staccato style of rap. Ultimately, it’s a solid banger without being the second coming.

“Call Casting”

Call Castingresides “in the same boat” as “T-Shirt.” It features an electrifying beat and tasty production work.  Takeoff tears it up on the hook:

“Up early in the morning trapping / You can get ‘em how you asking / How many chickens? You can get ‘em whichever way / N*gga, trap turned Zaxby’s / I beat the pot with passion / a hundred acres on the mansion / I dab in the latest fashion / B*tches need to call casting.”

After Takeoff exhibits the ultimate flex-fest on the first verse, Quavo and Offset get their opportunities.  For Quavo, he delivers a stinger as he spits, “I f*cked the game, Karma Sutra.” As for Offset, he isn’t devoid of lyrical daggers either: “I chop the brick with the axe / the cookie smellin’ like a casket…” While both “T-Shirt” and “Call Casting” are enjoyable if overconfident, “T-Shirt” gets the edge.

“Bad and Boujee”

“T-Shirt” and “Call Casting” bang, but “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, qualifies as a sensational banger.  “Bad and Boujee” doesn’t convey a deep message nor is that a requirement.  It is another product of the ever-formidable producer, Metro Boomin. The hook is where the “bread is buttered” for “Bad and Boujee:

“Raindrop, drop top / Smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox / Fuckin’ on your bitch she a thot, thot / Cookin’ up dope in the crockpot / We came from nothin’ to somethin’ n*gga / I don’t trust nobody grip the trigger / call up the gang, and they come and get you / Cry me a river, give you a tissue / my bitch is bad and boujee / My n*ggas is savage, ruthless / We got 30s and 100 rounds too…”

Beyond the hook, the delivery on the verses shine, with the exception of Lil Uzi Vert arguably.  Quavo owns the best line of the banger:

“Still be playin’ with pots and pans, call me Quavo Ratatouille / Run with that sack, call me Boobie…”

“What the Price”

What the Price opens with electric guitar, definitely a departure from previous singles. Quavo handles a monumental intro: “Tell me the price…No surprise.” Interestingly, he is drenched in autotune thoughout this song.  Takeoff delivers a meaningful first verse, spitting:

“Tell me what the preacher preach about / Tell me what the teacher teach about / I’ma go find me a better route / that bullshit and cap you can leave it out.”

Essentially, Takeoff touts street smarts as opposed to Biblical or book smarts. Offset follows up, featuring numerous lyrical gems, among the crème de la crème: “I done brought out a big bag today…” It isn’t transcendent, but given the trio’s affiliation with drugs and their culture, it fits.

“Deadz”

“Deadz,” featuring 2 Chainz, piques interest thanks to its robust, brassy intro. At the top, they assertively chant, “You n*ggas in trouble.” Takeoff arguably delivers the best flow, slaughtering the third verse:

“Hop out the bed and I’m countin’ them faces / I jump out the whip and them b*tches start faintin’ / No twenties or fifties, just Benjamin Franklins / Block on lock call me Kurt Angle.”

Final Thoughts 

All in all, Migos deliver a compelling effort with CultureCulture may be hailed by some as a masterpiece.  That thinking is a bit overhype – an exaggeration.  Nonetheless, this is a consistent album full of bangers drenched in the excess of drugs, money, and sex. While profundity isn’t the “calling card,” Culture offers its fair share of perks.

Gems: “T-Shirt,” “Call Casting,” “Bad and Boujee,” “What the Price” & “Deadz”

Migos • Culture • 300 Entertainment • Release: 1.27.17
Photo Credit: 300 Entertainment

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