Mike A. Bryan, Staff Writer
Migos has risen to ridiculous levels of popularity in the past few years, defining the group and its members as one of the most important forces in the Atlanta trap/hip hop scene.
The three members, Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset, grew up together, are all related, and have been producing music together since 2009. They had their first number one hit, “Bad and Boujee,” in 2016, and have since produced numerous other hits, including collaborations with everyone from Drake to Katy Perry to Chris Brown.
Their most recent album, “Culture II,” just dropped at the end of January, starting out at number one on the Billboard charts, as did “Culture” when it was released in 2017. At a hefty 24 tracks, “Culture II” picks up where “Culture” left off, with production from Pharrell Williams, Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, Murda Beatz, and more.
Unfortunately, not much new ground is broken on the recent release, and the length makes it somewhat repetitive. Migos has found a formula that works, best exemplified by the production of Metro Boomin, and has indoctrinated all of us into their “culture” over the past few years. That culture has spread to other Atlanta artists like 21 Savage, Future, and Gucci Mane, with all of these artists producing music that has a similar vibe, in large part due to production by Metro Boomin.
While there is nothing wrong with trap music, it lends itself to repetition, instead of focusing on experimenting with new sounds or styles. “Culture II” is full of guests, including Drake, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla Sign, Big Sean, Gucci Mane, Post Malone, and 2 Chainz. One might think that with all of these collaborations, this album should be full of radio-friendly jams and club bangers; in reality, many of the songs sound very similar, and most of the guest spots are not overly-memorable.
The first single, “MotorSport,” featuring both Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, is catchy and will definitely be filling the radio airwaves for the next few months; the Cardi B verses are the most memorable on the track. The Drake collab “Walk It Talk It” is not to be missed, but mostly due to Drake, not Migos. Other than that, “Notice Me” with Post Malone is a standout, smartly merging the smooth flow of Post Malone with the trap stylings of Migos.
In terms of production, the Pharrell Williams produced “Stir Fry” is perhaps the most interesting track on the album, combining elements of trap with Pharrell’s signature upbeat style. There are 21 other tracks on the album, meaning that even if you don’t like any of these, there are probably others that you will enjoy, even though many of them sound very similar. Many critics think that the album is too long, retreading over already proven sounds, instead of breaking any new ground.
That being said, Migos has gone down in rap history for being the fifth group to have more than one number one album—”Culture” and “Culture II”—and for tying the Beatles in simultaneous number of Top 100 songs (14) with this newest album. These numbers do not lie, meaning that no matter how repetitive and boring these new tracks might be, they will still garner plenty of attention from radio and club DJs.
Migos might not have much to say, but they are not going anywhere. Their “culture” has taken over the Atlanta trap scene, and we can expect more albums and guest appearances from the rap triumvirate in the near future. Whether or not they can adapt their “culture” to stay relevant remains to be seen.