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Migos - Culture II (Album Review)

Friday, 02 February 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

On Migos’ 2017 album 'Culture', the trio delivered a mean, lean study in trap, with massive hits that announced the Atlanta trio as hip hop’s next big thing.

For that album’s sequel, ‘Culture II’, quantity has triumphed over quality in a bloated data dump of overlong rhymes, hastily assembled backing tracks, and occasional - yet somehow ubiquitous - misogyny. It’s a piece of shit that might need flushing twice.

Its headline tracks include MotorSport, which features Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. This song - like most collected here - is about a minute and a half too long and is organised around slurred, autotuned sleaze peppered with luxury product placement.

The beat is passable but could really provide the basis for any number of trap artists: Young Thug, Rae Sremmurd or Gucci Mane etc.

The only originality on this album is found in the zeal with which its tracks outstay their welcome. To make a really bad album requires a toxic mix of cynicism, self involvement and squandered talent, and this ticks all the boxes.

Migos are undoubtedly fine wordsmiths and Stir Fry demonstrates an innate ability to mix up rhythm and tone with guile. We have the signature hook from Quavo -  which likens cooking up crack to preparing a stir fry - while the song’s verses are delivered with something resembling a complex anapestic tetrameter: “I get money, tunnel vision through my third eye / In that skillet, watch me flip it like it's Five Guys.” This level of interplay, at least, is noteworthy.

But the majority of 'Culture 2' is so jaded and hateful. Listening to BBO (Bad Bitches Only), it appears the #MeToo movement has completely passed Migos by: “Hit her for a minute then I passed her to the homie (go) / I don't wanna see you when I wake up in the mornin’.”

While the desperate viciousness of ‘Culture 2’  might appear fun in a club, it actually represents an inability to address the deep societal problems that drive poverty and moral drift in places like Atlanta. At 24 tracks, you'd expect more involved analysis from Migos. But you don't get any, just brand name-drops that are clearly designed to secure free gear. It's pathetic.

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