Migos – Culture II Album Review
Last year, Migos broke out and became household names after their highly successful album, Culture. This year, the group comprised of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff tried to replicate their success on Culture II. While the 24-track album has its bright spots, it is overpopulated with filler tracks and lacks the energy of its predecessor.
Culture II runs approximately an hour and 45 minutes and almost every minute of it is predictable. Migos’ famous triplet-flow and repetitive choruses oversaturate the project and, combined with their shallow lyrical content, create one of mainstream hip hop’s most stale projects in recent memory. The 24-track project contains too many filler tracks where the group seems like they are sleepwalking on several songs. Not only does it seem they gave half effort on the album, a song like “Open It Up” is almost a replica of last year’s “Deadz.” The group filled this project with lackadaisical performances and it takes away from some of the good songs on the project.
The high points on this album save it from being a total flop. If the album was cut in half, it would have the potential to dominate the charts like Culture did. “Stir Fry,” the second single released from Culture II, will help push the album on the charts. The Pharrell produced track stands out on the album as the tempo of the song shows the potential Migos has as hitmakers. On “Stir Fry,” Migos sounds like they are having fun. Quavo raps, “Dance with my dogs in the night time,” and makes this song the most fun on the project. “Walk It Talk It” contains a catchy hook and Migos flaunting their ability to actually live the lavish life they talk about in their music. The song also features Drake, which will probably make this song the biggest track on the album that wasn’t released prior to the album.
Quavo, who is credited as an executive producer on the project, is listed 10 times as a producer on the project and showcases his ear for sounds that will capture the listeners’ attention, as evident on “Narcos” and “Auto Pilot (Huncho on the Beat).” The latter also includes one of the more fun choruses on the project as Quavo raps, “Stiff arm, Heisman, singing birds islets/ I didn't graduate but I know chemistry and science.” This song brings an energy that a lot of the songs on Culture II lack. On “Narcos,” Migos has fun drawing references to the Pablo Escobar inspired Netflix series of the same title. Offset raps, “Trapping like a narco/Got dope like Pablo/cutthroat like Pablo.” On songs like this, Migos is at their best when the listener can feel their energy, but unfortunately, these occurrences aren’t frequent enough over the course of the project.
Migos enlisted Pharrell, Kanye West, Metro Boomin, Mike Dean and more to assist in the production of this project, but even these great producers can’t save the project from itself. Because the project is so long, the listener is lulled to sleep by how repetitive the album sounds. A lot of the appeal for Migos is their loose approach to songwriting, but when that style is stretched out over this many songs, it exposes the limitations of just freestyling over good production. If the Migos wants to continue making 20+ track projects, the group will have to diversify their lyrical content.
If Migos’ goal is to take the easiest path to platinum status due to RIAA streaming rules, they will accomplish it at the cost of quality. How long can this model sustain itself? Eventually, fans aren’t going to want to listen to almost two hours worth of music just to hear a handful of good songs. Culture II will be carried by the hits on the project and will be commercially successful, but if Migos wants to continue to be the biggest rap group on the planet, they are going to need a new strategy.
Jerome Taylor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.