Review Summary: Do it for the culture.Culture
could easily have been a vacuous title for just another Migos album, and "Bad & Boujee" could have easily been its nondescript lead-off single. On initial inspection, neither are particularly impressive, and gleaning why they are so successful would produce little in the way of a prescriptive method. Truthfully, "Bad & Boujee" isn't
especially remarkable: a run-of-the-mill Offset hook and verse, an above-the-fray Quavo verse, and a bad Lil Uzi Vert feature. And if you listen to it only once, it's the sort of song that will slip right out of your ears and into the dustbin marked 'trap leftovers' (see: Yung Rich Nation
, anything emphasizing the presence of Offset.) But, true to Childish Gambino's formulated controversy of comparing Migos to The Beatles, "Bad & Boujee" lives and dies by its simplicity. In all, it isn't much more than a trap song. But as one listen balloons into four, what was once just a Offset hook becomes a wholly memorable meme; another Quavo verse becomes another great Quavo verse; shi
tty Lil Uzi lines become ecstatic yips and yahs. As a lead-off to Culture
, "Bad & Boujee" represents the source material well: Migos' uncompromisingly basic approach to songwriting becomes their greatest strength.
Of course, part of The Beatles comparison comes from the dynamic between the members and how they play off of each other: just as important is the way in which Quavo's triplet flow bounces of off Offset's cool and collected intimations and Takeoff's mumbled missives. So it's no surprise that "Kelly Price," where Travi$ Scott doesn't really lend any assist, and "Slippery," where Gucci Mane recedes into his by-numbers prison days, are the album's definitive lows. Part of the ongoing issue with retail rap records in the modern era is the overabundance of features compounded by the tryingly boring barrage of stock trap beats. Migos, who consolidate around three members with some dynamic, buck the trend. As a fully-fledged album, Culture
succeeds when it's just the three core Migos hyping off of each other's lines, as in slow-burning "What The Price" or obvious hit-in-the-making "Brown Paper Bag." Obviously, more than anything, this is a trap album, and its just as susceptible to failings as any other album of its kind. Culture
however is likely the closest the genre has come to consolidating a standout, for-sale, not-a-mixtape album.