Review Summary: It’s a 2 and a half hour Migos album in 2018, you do the math; the numbers are all this album is produced for, yet none of this record manages to add up.
Migos have been probably one of, if not, the most interesting and polarizing collective to have come out of the Atlanta rap scene in the past 1-4 years. Long gone are the cold and calculated YRN or No Label II days where the trio all were relatively keeping it as real as they could without sacrificing their rawness and brutal energy, while also still keeping the fun intact. Though things began to change for the Migos as we know come late 2016 and early 2017, with Migos moving from becoming the most prominent rap group out of Atlanta to arguably the one of the most prominent groups of artists in music at this time. It’s hard to predict from their faulty pasts whether Culture II
and its blatant lack of inspiration will have an effect on the group’s status as a cultural phenomenon of their time or whether it’ll just slip under the carpet and they’ll fix it later by other means. I mean with all the hit singles like “Motorsport”, “T-Shirt”, “Stir Fry”, and of course “Bad and Boujee (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)” which have all made their splashes in modern music, they definitely have the concept of a “hit” in their crosshairs at the least. Coupled with Offset’s engagement to Cardi B, who is also arguably the biggest female hip hop icon of the past few years, and Quavo dropping popular verses on what feels like every other song on the Hot 100, it’s not hard to see that they’ve still got their momentum under control, but even with their rising superstardom, that doesn’t stop Culture II
from easily being the group’s most useless and repetitive piece in their discography thus far.
But as you should probably know at this point, Migos aren’t necessarily the sharpest or most innovative collective in modern music either. Like after listening to Culture II in full twice I had come to the conclusion that between just Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff (who I’m pretty sure they just killed off and replaced with a mannequin look-alike at this point), that they probably don’t even know enough words to successfully make a 2 hour/24 track album. Of course there are some absolutely perfect bangers and amazing party songs ridden throughout the thing like the aforementioned “MotorSport” or even “BBO (Bad Bitches Only)” which probably contains one of 21 Savage’s best guest verses this year already. But what really does bog down the potential for fun that [i]Culture II] has is that the entire second half of this fucking album is 45 minutes of literal recycled bullshit condensed into sonic form
. The production is as repetitive and monotonous as ever, and sounds like they grabbed a bunch of undergrad music production students, played a Metro Boomin’ throwaway beat, and made 24 of the kids try to recreate it from their head. Migos themselves are also not doing their share to create an interesting enough project to justify its prominence or its runtime and it’s almost like they know it. Sure Quavo has a couple good hooks here and there, and Offset makes sure to drop just unadulterated heat (when he’s not spitting idiotic bars about being a neanderthalic homophobe of course) on his verses in the singles, but with Takeoff acting more nonexistent than usual and both Quavo and Offset seeming to take a backseat with their abilities, there’s not even enough character between the three of them to warrant even a 40 minute album let alone a 114 minute one. Seriously, besides the Post Malone and Gucci Mane features, the group present nothing at all new that wasn’t already presented (and equally just as boring I might add) on Culture I
just last year.
With all of these inconsistencies beginning to weigh down on the listener as the minutes begin to snowball, the filler really does not help contribute to how boring this album already is at its core either. Like no one
is going to actually
remember “Gang Gang” or “Work Hard” by the end of the year unironically. They’re just that forgettable; and they had to know they were just doing it for the cash or some of these tracks probably wouldn’t have even landed here. The album is just so bloated and infatuated with itself that it really makes it hard for any substance or personality on Culture II
to really get that far off the ground, and when it does it crashes virtually with whatever the next song on the track listing is. Each member has their individual peaks and lows, but they’re genuinely better off as individuals on other projects like Offset’s No Warning
or even Quavo and Travis Scott’s Huncho Jack, Huncho Jack
made for of an at least more creative take on the drugged up Atlanta-based trap that they’ve decided to pigeonhole themselves into. With as polarizing as the group has been in today’s music culture, ironically yet unsurprisingly enough, Culture II
fails to even get off the ground before it collapses as a mediocre rehash and recapture attempt of what they did better last year on Culture I