Migos Successfully Impart ‘Culture’ Upon Listeners
Migos do a sound job of sharing their ‘Culture’ with the world. ‘Culture’ is chocked full of hard-hitting, rhythmically-driven bangers.
Migos have elevated their profile tremendously. Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff have experienced a huge year in 2017, thanks to breakout success with no. 1 hit single, “Bad and Boujee.” Beyond the hot banger, Migos show they have more tricks up their sleeves on their highly anticipated album, Culture. Culture isn’t the second coming – depends on who you ask, of course – but there’s plenty to like about the album.
Title track “Culture” sets the tone for Culture. Call “Culture” a hype track. DJ Khaled provides shout outs, amplifying the star power of Migos. After a signature Khaled intro, Takeoff takes off on the hook:
“Spin off in the coupe, typhoon / I act an ass, baboon / Wrappin’ that dope, cocoon / Young rich n*gga in the room…”
The culture of which Migos speak isn’t the epitome of profundity, but embodies hip-hop culture, particularly in the south. Also for good measure, the first of many references to a thot is made (it’s a key memorable lyric in “Bad and Boujee” of course).
“T-Shirt” features slick production work, embracing the southern hip-hop sound that is naturally drenched swag. The production is malicious sounding, featuring a hard-hitting beat. Essentially, the M.O. is a tough-minded, gives no flips, sound. Notably, Takeoff raps the first verse, approaching it in a broken, staccato style of rap. Ultimately, it’s a solid banger without being the second coming.
“Call Casting” resides “in the same boat” as “T-Shirt.” It features an electrifying beat and tasty production work. Takeoff tears it up on the hook:
“Up early in the morning trapping / You can get ‘em how you asking / How many chickens? You can get ‘em whichever way / N*gga, trap turned Zaxby’s / I beat the pot with passion / a hundred acres on the mansion / I dab in the latest fashion / B*tches need to call casting.”
After Takeoff exhibits the ultimate flex-fest on the first verse, Quavo and Offset get their opportunities. For Quavo, he delivers a stinger as he spits, “I f*cked the game, Karma Sutra.” As for Offset, he isn’t devoid of lyrical daggers either: “I chop the brick with the axe / the cookie smellin’ like a casket…” While both “T-Shirt” and “Call Casting” are enjoyable if overconfident, “T-Shirt” gets the edge.
“Bad and Boujee”
“T-Shirt” and “Call Casting” bang, but “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, qualifies as a sensational banger. “Bad and Boujee” doesn’t convey a deep message nor is that a requirement. It is another product of the ever-formidable producer, Metro Boomin. The hook is where the “bread is buttered” for “Bad and Boujee:
“Raindrop, drop top / Smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox / F*ckin’ on your b*tch she a thot, thot / Cookin’ up dope in the crockpot / We came from nothin’ to somethin’ n*gga / I don’t trust nobody grip the trigger / call up the gang, and they come and get you / Cry me a river, give you a tissue / my b*tch is bad and boujee / My n*ggas is savage, ruthless / We got 30s and 100 rounds too…”
Beyond the hook, the delivery on the verses shine, with the exception of Lil Uzi Vert arguably. Quavo owns the best line of the banger:
“Still be playin’ with pots and pans, call me Quavo Ratatouille / Run with that sack, call me Boobie…”
The modus operandi is simple on “Get Right Witcha.” Three things serve as motivation for Migos: sex, drugs, and money. Shallowness pervades, with no inkling of redemption. Quavo references a Vietnamese plug, while Offset enjoys “a b*tch with some cellulite.” As for Takeoff, he wants to “whip up the white, Wendy.”
“Slippery” brings on East Atlanta Santa, Gucci Mane. Drugs – lots of drugs – dominate the record. Quavo kicks things off referencing Percocet (“Pop a perky just to start up) and lean (“pop two cups of purple just to warm up”). Offset adds foreigns and sex to the mix (“I pull up Diablo, I pull up with models…/ I’m all in her ovaries…”). As for Gucci, he flexes on foreigns as well, while Takeoff drops numerous drugs (“Perkys, mollies, xannies, rocks / OxyContin”).
According to Quavo on “Big on Big,” “We the biggest shit poppin’ / Wrist water no faucet.” He is right about the elevated profile of the trio. The production gifts of Zaytoven shine here, providing a beautiful backdrop for Migos to rap over. That backdrop includes lush piano and strings. While the radiance of the production doesn’t increase lyrical depth, the record is enjoyable without question.
“What the Price”
“What the Price” opens with electric guitar, definitely a departure from previous singles. Quavo handles a monumental intro: “Tell me the price…No surprise.” Interestingly, he is drenched in autotune throughout this song. Takeoff delivers a meaningful first verse, spitting:
“Tell me what the preacher preach about / Tell me what the teacher teach about / I’ma go find me a better route / that bullshit and cap you can leave it out.”
Essentially, Takeoff touts street smarts as opposed to Biblical or book smarts. Offset follows up, featuring numerous lyrical gems, among the crème de la crème: “I done brought out a big bag today…” It isn’t transcendent, but given the trio’s affiliation with drugs and their culture, it fits.
Zaytoven blesses Culture once more with his production work on the smooth “Brown Paper Bag.” Unsurprisingly, Migos rap about sex and money. Follow-up “Deadz,” featuring 2 Chainz, piques interest thanks to its robust, brassy intro. At the top, they assertively chant, “You n*ggas in trouble.” Takeoff arguably delivers the best flow, slaughtering the third verse:
“Hop out the bed and I’m countin’ them faces / I jump out the whip and them b*tches start faintin’ / No twenties or fifties, just Benjamin Franklins / Block on lock call me Kurt Angle.”
“All Ass” benefits from a catchy, if crude hook. A stripper joint, “All Ass” also get in nods to drugs: “She f*ck with the bricks, she with the shit.” “Kelly Price” ultimately has nothing to do with R&B and gospel singer, save for a reference. Essentially, Migos plan to “make her sing like Kelly Price.” In other words, the loving is so electrifying she’s going to… Travis Scott appears on the second verse (“She gon’ suck me dry until we land…”). Closer “Out Yo Way” contrasts “All Ass” and “Kelly Price,” as the trio pays ode to women. Don’t call it chivalrous – Takeoff still gets a sexual reference – but it could be worse.
All in all, Migos deliver a compelling effort with Culture. Culture may be hailed by some as a masterpiece. That thinking is a bit overhype – an exaggeration. Nonetheless, this is a consistent album full of bangers drenched in the excess of drugs, money, and sex. While profundity isn’t the “calling card,” Culture offers its fair share of perks.
Gems: “T-Shirt,” “Call Casting,” “Bad and Boujee,” “What the Price” & “Deadz”