Culture is a word that is thrown around more often than a Cleveland Browns interception-bound pass. What exactly is culture?
Culture is what you wear, “Versace, Versace / Medusa head on me like I’m ‘Luminati”.
Culture is how you live, “I’m a get that bag nigga, ain’t no doubt about it (yup)
I’m a feed my family nigga, ain’t no way around it (family)”.
Culture is what sets you and yours apart from the rest. We as a species are fascinated by culture because it’s an exercise in discovering something we don’t yet know.
For Migos, the Atlanta trap-rap trio- comprised of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff- C U L T U R E is their defining statement to the world what it is that makes them essential.
Through years of triumph as well as setbacks, Migos has truly encapsulated a sound and style so captivating and original that it perks up ears anywhere when heard. They have some of the most interesting music in hip hop.
On their latest album C U L T U R E, Migos find themselves experiencing the greatest peaks of their career so far, and they absolutely swung for the proverbial fences. On this project, Migos retain their absolutely unique style of filling a song with so much sound, so many anecdotes and lyrics that stick in the brain like cacti spines.
At any given time, words and phrases are rapped by one member of the crew, and another stealthily slides an accentuation that makes the bar unlike the one before it. They can make a sound- like Woo! or the sound of a Motorola chirp, or the sound of incredible amounts of money. How they do that is beyond me and far beyond my capabilities.
It’s hard to sound cooler than these guys, especially at this rate their ascending at. Quickly becoming rap’s biggest group, and having a chart-topping hit with “Bad and Boujee”, Migos are on top of the game right now. Not only are they producing some of the hottest tracks, they attract the hottest beatmakers, like Metro Boomin and Southside.
Even though there are usually two or three Migos rapping on each track, the features on this album still hold significant weight. No, they don’t get Kanye or Drake or even Future, because instead they get artists that would really gel with their styles. Guys like Travis Scott, whose atmospheric yet colossally hard-hitting sound layers with Migos incredibly successfully on “Kelly Price”.
Fellow Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane, who is on his own victory lap right now since reappearing from a three-year stint in prison, drops some fiery bars on the smooth and lowkey track “Slippery”. Migos also offer up some of those superb annecdotes on this track including”drip” “splash” and “Skrr Skrrrrr”. The impact of these words don’t translate to print, you just have to listen for yourself.
What really blew me away with this album was how strong it starts. First of all, DJ Khaled is the first sound you hear, and he is shouting at us “fuckboys” who don’t accept the Migos. From there, a bracing and hard-hitting beat comes in and Migos absolute slay these verses. They feed off eachother so extremely well, trading verses like an accounting firm secret Santa.
From there, you get pummeled with HITS. The loopy and hypnotizing “T-Shirt” grooves in and the album is officially in the zone. (Side note: the music video to “T-Shirt” is easily the best of the year so far… I know we’re only a month in. Whatever)
From there, you get hit with one of the most fire tracks on this thing, “Call Casting.” There is something instrumentally cool about this song. It’s the organ, it’s the delicate keys twinkling in the background. Each Migos member slays their verse. It’s honestly difficult to pick a favorite on this track.
Now, you’re like out of breath by the time THE hit, “Bad and Boujee (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)” comes on. What is there to say about this song except that it is a star-maker for these guys, all of them. Migos sound the most accessible they ever have. As opposed to hits they’ve had in the past, like “Versace” and “Hannah Montana,” this song doesn’t sound like a kind of a joke. This song sounds like they’re serious. You can hear it in the way Offset says “my niggas is savage / ruthless.”
“Bad and Boujee” is a perfect storm of an ascending rap group and the greatest producer in the game, Metro Boomin. His beat is what makes this entire song possible, including that impossibly catchy chorus. Those pianos in the chorus set against the darkened synths and those crackling snares with bumping bass kicks makes for a sure-fire club BANGER.
Migos don’t belong in the underground anymore. They are certified stars and it’s deserving. Nobody else can sound like these guys. When they are headlining smaller festivals and going on a world-wide sold out tour with Lil Uzi or Gucci, don’t say I didn’t say it here first. Besides, it’s always important to have some Migos in your life.