Migos’ “Culture” surpasses all expectations

Migos%27+%22Culture%22+surpasses+all+expectations

Adrian Broaddus, Web Editor

At the start of the 2010s, three east Atlanta rappers who make up Migos waved their way up the ranks of the underground trap scene. They broke through stardom with their hit single “Versace” in 2013 and maneuvered through the hip-hop scene with their unique swagger. Since their start in 2009, Migos has released 13 full-length projects. All bodies of work aside, Migos’ sophomore studio album “Culture” completely stands atop the group’s discography.

After winning the Golden Globe award for the “Best Actor in a TV Show” for his show “Atlanta,” Donald Glover talked about Migos in his speech and compared them to the Beatles. Yes, Glover said the lean-sipping, drug-flaunting, braggadocios trio are the second coming of music’s arguably best group. If the comparison between Migos and the Beatles is made, “Culture” is the Abbey Road of the east Atlanta rap group.

“Culture” is unapologetically boisterous and a symbol of growth in many ways. On the album, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff let go of their past reliance on unorganized tracks and stop depending on rhythmic hooks.

The record kicks off with a forgettable DJ Khaled introduction on “Culture,” which did not do justice to kick off the album, but foreshadowed the album’s contents of money, girls, and hate for police… the usual Migos verses. The album could have done without the record-titled track to start off, but “Culture” picks up with three back-to-back-to-back singles that follow. Using a start-and-stop style on “T-Shirt,” Migos delivers a true hip-hop banger, and is followed by “Call Casting,” another single leading up to the project which uses smooth piano sounds and features three strong verses.

Leading the album’s chart appearance is “Bad and Boujee,” which can very well be the trap anthem of 2017. It’s Migos’ first time no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and also their highest chart topper in their music career. The song is an instant banger. It brings the head-bobbing beats from Metro Boomin, a catchy hook, and the only thing wrong is Lil Uzi Vert’s unprecedented verse.

The trio’s effortless swagger shines on “Get Right Witcha,” “Slippery” and “All Ass,” all three are a smidge away from being radio hits. The only problem is radio could never get away with putting a radio hit with the ad-lib of a “skrrt, skrrt,” as heard in “Slippery.” It’s precisely what makes Migos so special. The band does not have to depend on tracks that they hope will catch heat and be chart toppers. Migos allows the charts to come to them.

Contrary their previous albums and mixtapes, where most of the lyrics speak of drugs, clothes and money, on “Culture,” the group divulges themselves into societal topics. At first listen, “What the Price” sounds like any other Migos song about their cash flow, however, the lyrics prove otherwise. Takeoff raps, “Tell me what the preacher preach about/Tell me what the teacher teach about/I’ma go find me a better route,” which rejects the preconceived notion that school and religion are the only successful routes to a better life. He raps about bypassing the marginalization society has set for humans and how he will choose his own path.

From a trap-heavy song on “Brown Paper Bag,” to a preview of Quavo and Travis Scott’s upcoming collaborative mixtape on “Kelly Price,” the album is fantastic as a whole but the singles stand alone just as well. Then the album closes with possibly the most mature track Migos has released to date, “Out Yo Way.” Rather than continuing their trend on coming off as disrespecting women, “Out Yo Way” pays homage to all the women who have helped each of the members succeed. The track also adds a suave use of auto-tune to Quavo’s voice in the second part of his verse, which is uniquely noteworthy.
The album’s title, “Culture,” is perfect for the record because it’s an added excuse for Quavo, Offset and Takeoff to be who they are, even if it comes across as cocky. On “Culture” the group truly talked-the-talk and exceeded expectations.

Below are some noteworthy lyrics of the album from Quavo (Q), Takeoff (T) and Offset (O):

T on “Culture”: “Fucked a bitch and hit the lot/Nigga fumblin’ with the pot/I broke my wrist in the pot/Hit the block, brought back a knot/JJ Watt is on the block.”

T on “T-Shirt”: “Wrist on hockey, wrist on rocky/ Lotta niggas copy, name someone can stop me (no one)”

Q on “Call Casting”: “Niggas tried to send a thot/That’s the only way to plot/Klay Thomp’, corner shot (brrr)/Eight-ball, corner pocket (ayy)”

O on “Bad and Boujee”: “So my money makin’ my back ache/You niggas got a low acc rate (acc)/We from the Nawf, yeah, dat way (nawf).”

O on “Get Right Witcha”: “Make a milli, then I make it twice (M’s)/Bought that Wraith and had the ceilin’ light (Wraith).”

Q on “Slippery”: “Tater tot, fuck niggas on my radar watch (watchin’)/Crocodile hunter, turn ’em to some gator shots.”
T on “Big on Big” (possibly a diss to 21 Savage for claiming he’s an independent artist): “Nigga lyin’ ’bout a quarter mill/He ain’t touch it or know how it feel/Nigga talkin’ ’bout they independent/Turned around and 360 the deal.”

Q on “What the Price”: “Came from dimes, no cosigns/You can read between the lines/Like a pro skater, did my own grinds.”

Q on “Brown Paper Bag”: “You saying your wrist is rocky, well I got some boulders (Rocky Balboa)/Ice on my neck, cold shoulder (ice)/You talkin’ ’bout modern day rap, but don’t know the CULTURE.”

T on “Deadz”: “I keep the banger, my brother, my partner/Don’t fuck with no strangers, they tryna get famous/I put the hood on my back.”

Q on “Kelly Price” (which, by far, is the best verse on the album): “Take me back to the old days/Take me back to my old ways/Lifestyle, yeah, the gang way/Way before they called me Sensei/Get robbed in the driveway/Bad bitches, they was not here/You were prolly watching Garfield (hey)/Tunnel vision and nothin’ else/Kick door, that’s on our face (door)/I done walk in the hallway/Basketball then gunplay (prrr)/Young niggas didn’t graduate/You probably think I couldn’t make it (I made it)/It’s all good God saved me (God)/Now I’m doin’ what I wanna/Bentley truck bent the corner.”

Q on “Out Yo Way”: “Mama told me stay strong, grandma told me stay on/Now she looking down, throwin’ blessings.”

Follow Adrian Broaddus on Twitter @adrian_broaddus