The three amigos are back with fancier cars, bigger chains and an abundance of cocaine on Culture II.
With the group solidifying their name in the rap scene and popularizing trap music—a hip-hop subgenre that utilizes a heavy base and staccato rhythm—the Migos have become bigger than Oprah on their world-renowned album Culture II.
The Grammy-nominated trio’s bombastic third full-length includes a profusion of R&B, hip-hop and old-school trap funk that blends perfectly at times, but can also fall flat and seem like a rushed job of shuffled beats.
The high point of the album is when the pantheon-trio resourcefully sample smooth soul and jazz-infused horn sections that add a layer of flamboyancy to the beats.
Quavo, Offset and Takeoff channel their inner-Kenny G with the exceptional use of a tenor-range saxophone on “Too Playa”, and uplift listeners with resilient trumpets on the Kanye West-produced “BBO (Bad Bitches Only)”, molding their signature trap flow with a more classical range of 80s’ style instruments.
Each member of the group has charismatically fine-tuned their own personal sound on the follow up to 2017’s Culture. Handling most of the choruses on the album, Quavo takes advantage of his charm and confidence through simplistic auto-tuned hooks on the drug-infused “Narcos” and “CC”. The oldest member of the group, Offset, uses lyrical flashes of brilliance to his poetic advantage and a dense use of ad-libs on songs like “Crown the King”. But it is Takeoff, the youngest member of the trio, who covertly utilizes a more menacing, euphoric and rhythmic style that shows off his dexterity on songs such as “Walk It Talk It,” “Stir Fry” and “Gang Gang”.
Offset and Quavo-centric tracks like “Flooded” and “Beast” are subpar, only because they are too formulaic in their repetition and oversaturated use of auto-tuned choruses. The duo fall flat against Takeoff, who’s glorifying use of empty space on trap harmonies makes the 23 year-old the running back of the entire album.
With a total of 24 songs and a movie-length 105-minute run time, Culture II includes high energy tempos, a laundry list of illustrious guest appearances and pretentious lyricism that exemplifies the group’s excessive display of jewellery, colourful designer clothes and heartfelt affection for cocaine.
No one can accuse the triad of being penny pinchers on the LP: with guest appearances by Drake, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane, amongst others and a monumental production team consisting of Zaytoven, DJ Durel, Murda Beatz and Pharrell there is something for everyone on this album.
Wall-to-wall with fancy diamonds, expensive watches, designer clothing brands, overpriced cars, and an assortment of drugs, songs like “Superstars” and “White Sand” find the Migos doing what they do best: rapping about their fame and fortune.
The funk-centric “Motorsport” is one of the singles that visually encapsulates this love for materialism, as the peculiar but dreamy track manufactures bombastic lyricism and a synth-heavy rhythmic style that creates a dark and ominous atmosphere reminiscent of a younger Migos. In a massive show of girl power, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B also make a intoxicating appearance on the track, showing versatile and dominant lyricism that adds a perfect dimension of femininity to the kindle and bouncy beat.
Even though the album might be oversaturated with too many songs, this would not be the first time Migos have chosen quantity over quality. The 2014 mixtape Rich Ni**a Timeline is an 18-track stand alone, but just like Culture II, it is filled with a mix of hits that have stood the test of time and subpar tracks that even the Atlanta trio have forgotten about.
Currently climbing to the top of the Billboard 200 charts, Culture II will provide the steady income that will allow the Migos to go on basking in their affluent lifestyles.
Even though the three amigos had originally became famous for the lyricism surrounding their poverty-ridden, violent street life, they have risen to stardom as the most eminent and prosperous group in the music industry.