September 6, 2017

Migos - Culture (2017)

I didn't consider myself a Migos fan before hearing this album. I wasn't anti-Migos, but from the tracks I heard their flow was a little too static for my taste--I usually love the more colorful and ornamental styles sported by Young Thug, Uzi Vert, and Yachty. The trio has been around for years and I'm late to the wave like I always am with current music, so hearing Culture for the first time is quite the wake-up call. Migos specializes in flow precision and expert trade-offs instead of exaggerated adlibs and abstract deliveries. I don't know why people consider these guys mumble rap (a dumb label to begin with) since Migos probably has the clearest delivery of any mainstream rap act in their vein. Culture establishes what I consider the third wave of contemporary trap. The first is defined by Lex Luger hi-hat assaults and in-your-face flows, the second is defined by Metro Boomin's lush ambient backdrops and ornate vocal deliveries, and this third wave is defined by simple funky hi-hat/snare swings, bass jolts, and lean uzi-like verses. Of course these are my own loose categorizations, but I'm making the distinction to stress how tasteful Migos and their producers are in arranging practically minimal tracks in order to keep the album bumping for an hour. I had a feeling that Culture was bound to be good on some level, but I didn't expect this kind of consistency--especially when I take into account the fact that they're rocking 5 and 6 minute long tracks. The majority of albums in this style are pulled along by their singles, but this time around the singles sound even better in the album's context. Please listen to Culture if you're like me and live under a rock or you're just a hater; the essence of melody and funk is boiled down and all gimmicks are filtered away. A lean, mean trap machine that most dirty south old-heads unfairly throw out the window for some reason.