Review Summary: atlanta's finest go in
As far as Atlanta goes, it has become a sort of rap mecca in 2014. Artists like Future, Rich Homie Quan, and the indomitable Young Thug have been on the forefront of the genre, creating a whole new sound that's completely representative of their city, and uniquely their own. Even Outkast have reunited this year, proving the A-town's dominance is absolute. So from this standpoint, Migos' reign over 2013 with their previous mixtape Young Rich Niggas
was wholly warranted. With "Versace" being hopped on by Drake and "Hannah Montana" bumped at clubs nationwide, you couldn't escape the trio. But with No Label 2
, Migos have delivered another quality release without sacrificing their trademarks in the process. Some may say more of the same style represents a regression, but the strength of the songs on No Label 2
become evident with repeated listens.
This isn't to say Migos are an extensively varied rap group. They know what they're good at, and what they're good at, they're REALLY good at. This is to say: earworm hooks, ridiculous ad-libs, exaggerated delivery, and an ability to flow well over mammoth beats. And each member has a plethora of tracks that showcase their abilities to the fullest. Quavo's power to create a memorable hook on almost any song is incredible. His accent and enunciation on tracks like "Emmitt Smith" and "Built Like Me" can be described as nothing short of jovial, and aided by the talents of Zaytoven on those beats, Quavo sounds invincible. Conversely, Takeoff's role on this record is akin to Vinnie Jones in a Guy Ritchie movie. He brings some of hardest verses on the record on "Fight Night" where he shouts "If you know me know this ain't my feng shui / Certified everywhere, ain't gotta print my resume / Talking crazy, I pull up andele / R.I.P to Nate Dogg, I had to regulate" and on "First 48" he exclaims "Jumping these fences don't know where to go / If I get caught, I get down on my knees and repent / But what's a case if they ain't got no evidence." Offset, however, is the best technical rapper of the group, and even though it seems that he's pushed out of the spotlight most of the time, on No Label 2
, his highlights are displayed brightly. "Ounces" has him exploding off the gate with a line like "*** the rap game cause these rap niggas really ain't *** / I hop in the Audi, I hop in the Bentley / *** it I’m smashing that bitch", going on the complete offensive, and finishing his verse with an accurate depiction of his braggadocio by proclaiming "Sipping on Actavis, like it's my medicine / Throwing the bird with accuracy, all of you niggas is amateur / Pull up in Phantoms, but trap out of Challengers." It's clear that Migos would be a much inferior group with any of these men, and No Label 2
serves as the sweetest example of a thorough team effort.
To be frank, Migos' appeal is exactly evident to most veteran music listeners. Why would one WANT to listen to one phrase repeated over and over again? It isn't so simple as saying "They bang hard, 10/10", the key to understanding their allure is by judging from a different set of criteria than most music. Trap is unfairly judged a lot of time for being too repetitive and simplistic, but no one judges a band like Minor Threat the same way they'll judge Radiohead, right? Enjoying Migos isn't hard, and that speaks to the strength of their songwriting and rapping ability as well as how easily they can craft a hit. If No Label 2
doesn't make you feel some type of way towards Migos, you may just have no soul.