ALBUM REVIEW: 'Culture' by Migos
    • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2017

    • Posted by: Matt Guyotte

    RATING 3.5/5

    Migos don't write any lyrics. And while one way to look at that is that they're not putting any work into their music, that's hardly the case for them. It's all about the music. They're so in-tune to making their flows sound natural, and always complimenting the quality beat that they're rapping over, that it just seems so intuitive for them. And even if there are no real deep or insightful lines to be found here, lines like "White boys in the game / Call 'em Andy Milonakis," and "Still be playin' with pots and pans, call me Quavo Ratatouille" are ridiculous. In a great way.

    They're also always ad-libbing. It's fun. Hearing them yell "Mama!" in "T-Shirt" or saying "skrt skrt" for no reason other than to add energy to a song never fails to put a smile on listeners' faces. It also helps to add power to whoever happens to be currently rapping, by taking important words from their verse and putting it to the forefront. For the most part, it works; but there are times when it can become a little much. Migos obviously aren't trying to take themselves too seriously, but when you have songs like "What the Price" and "Out Yo Way," which are trying to be something like ballads; having fun machine-gun ad-libs doesn't help them.

    Neither do the guests, unfortunately. They want to rep the "Culture" by bringing on all these guests, but the album would've definitely benefited from just omitting them entirely. Lil Uzi Vert's verse on "Bad and Boujee" totally breaks the eerie flow that Migos already created, and it's just embarrassing to listen to, saying "switching my hoes like my flows" as an excuse for not having a flow to begin with. 2 Chainz's verse in "Deadz" just comes off like him trying to sound like a Jay-Z that's not in sync with the beat. Gucci Mane was actually alright. DJ Khaled only served as meme fodder by shouting "another one" and saying his name loudly. And "culture coming soon"? It's the first track on your album.

    Despite whatever may be going on with the lyrics and Migos though, the strength of the production stays consistently strong, and pushes Culture forward. "T-Shirt" is a grimy, bass-laden banger; "Call-Casting" has a stylish stuttering piano and flute-synth combo; Bad and Boujee's beat is legendary at this point; and "What's the Price" easily has the most dreamy production, with its tastefully distorted guitar over floating piano notes. And of course all these songs have the typical sprinkler hi-hat and punchy kick drum trap rhythms, but because of the quality of this production, it never feels like a detriment.

    There's a reason why so many people in the Trap community, upcoming and established, are copying the Migos' style. At the end of the day, the chemistry that they have with each other, their flows, humor, and their stylish production are dope. Really no other way to put it.

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