Summer’s here again and so are Migos. After a year and some of being stuck inside, Migos dropped Culture III just in time for your local promoter to text you about the next “Bad & Boujee” theme party. If you’re looking for wholesome content, look elsewhere because your favourite toxic trio is back and want all the smoke.
From the jump, Migos addressed one of my biggest issues with Culture II: album length. Twenty-four, yes, 24 tracks is just way too much Migos for me, especially in comparison to their 13-track debut. Culture III is still 19 tracks long (which is still too much Migos) but it feels a lot less diluted than the last one, trust. To me, it’s a much better foot forward.
If the album length wasn’t enough improvement, how about that intro? “Avalanche” might be one of my favourite Migos songs ever. This is one of the best “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” sample flips I’ve heard in recent memory. It was a warm reminder of exactly how talented these three can be when they all come together. On their own they’re talented but nothing compares to results you get when a good team comes together. This is one of those Migos records that people will remember when their career is all said and done (just remember who told you when it happens).
These guys put together the soundtrack to what might be a very memorable summer. Big guests features from the likes of Drake, Pop Smoke and many others give you enough varying voices to constantly keep your attention. Plus, with records like “Malibu” and “Birthday” we get treated to everything that makes Migos fun to listen to: records for the party and records for the strip club.
Each member continued to find ways to shine through and seemed to approach the album with a chip on their shoulder. Quavo sounded like he had a message to deliver to all of us on this thing. The message was that not only can he put clever verses together, but that he’ll likely go down as one of the best hook writers in rap.
Offset was back to showing out like he was on Without Warning. I’m not sure if it was due to the familiarity of working with the other Migos members again or the fact that his wife (Cardi B) went off* on her verse but Offset was rapping like there was elevated pressure on him, and he rose to the occasion. His bag talk* was all over this album.
Takeoff man, once again this guy proved that he is regularly overlooked and is arguably the most versatile of the group. He might not be the member you look at for a specific hook or a crazy verse but when the time comes, he does both and it shines throughout the album.
If I’m keepin’ it a band* though, my only criticism ties back to the issue they addressed (but not fully) from Culture II: album length. I don’t really think this is a hot take but I have a strong distaste for the idea of making lengthy albums that are good for streaming but might compromise how much people might enjoy the actual album. Speaking for myself, I don’t want a 20-song album from anybody. People’s attention spans are pretty slim in this era and honestly, things eventually sound regurgitated by the end of a long album. If they had shortened this thing to even 16 tracks and left some of these tracks for a deluxe (or something like that), I’d probably rate* this album slightly more but Culture III is still a bit too long for me.
Album length aside though, what I can’t deny is that this latest Migos project reminded me that they changed the game. Culture III might not impact hip-hop in the same way that their debut did, but it is still like the appropriate follow up to an album that revolutionized trap music. There is a sound and energy that only these three bring to records and if we’re being real, we’ve been waiting a little bit to get this feeling from their music again. You thought that after Culture II, and the solo projects and the compilation albums that Migos had fallen off…but “don’t nothin get straightenin but straightenin”.
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Went off – to have a good verse (in this context)
Keepin’ it a band – to be honest or truthful
Rate – to respect or appreciate something
Bag talk – to talk about making or getting money