MIGOS – CULTURE III REVIEW

Over the last several years, Migos have taken over the Hip Hop industry and helped make it the world’s most popular music genre. Through their success with Trap music, they have taken the world by storm, as they have become one of the biggest musical artists in the world. Migos, which is made up of family members Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset, have almost made themselves synonymous with the idea of Trap music; when most non-Hip Hop fans think of the subgenre of Trap, they think of either Migos, Future, or Young Thug. The name of their album series, Culture, is honestly perfectly named; almost no one has had a bigger effect on the cultures surrounding music and fashion as Migos has had over the last 8 years. Migos burst onto the scene several years ago with a series of beloved mixtapes. Their album Culture, which came out in 2017, was a universal success, debuting at the top of the charts and earning them a Grammy nomination. It was this album that changed the sound of Hip Hop; after Culture came out, every Hip Hop artist in the world tried to incorporate Migos’ sound into their own because it was so popular. They immediately followed this record up with Culture II, which also debuted at the top of the charts. This album included a little more of a Pop music sound to it, endearing Migos to an even bigger audience but also receiving a little disdain from fans of the traditional Trap music they came up making. After this, the group went on a bit of a hiatus, with all three members pursuing solo projects and leaving fans wondering when they would hear another album from the trio. Fortunately, that hiatus is now over, with the trio having come back with the highly anticipated Culture III. At this point, it may be difficult for Migos to live up the lofty expectations people have for them now, but if anyone can top those high expectations, it is Migos. With that being said, here is my review of the new Migos album Culture III. Please let me know in the comments below if you agree with my opinion on this album, and also let me know in the comments what your favorite songs are from Culture III.

Culture III gets started with ‘Avalanche,’ the was the second single released in anticipation of the album. ‘Avalanche’ has been celebrated since it came out, with listeners praising its eclectic sound and the performance of each rapper. The instrumental for this track has an extremely funky Jazz Trap feeling to it. I could imagine hearing artists like Anderson.Paak or Guapdad 3000 on this kind of production, and possibly even 6lack or JID. However, I never would have expected to hear Migos on an instrumental like this. With that being said, Migos kills it on this track. The grand and groovy production makes each member’s punchy vocals and killer flows hit hard. Offset especially kills it on this track, as his flow and voice in particular truly stand out on this beat. Following this, we get ‘Having Our Way’ featuring Drake, which I’m sure is quickly becoming a fan favorite because of this guest appearance. Interestingly Drake starts this track and kind of dominates the song in general. It kind of feels like a Drake song more than a Migos song. ‘Having Our Way’ has the kind of bright and triumphant instrumental one would expect to hear on a Drake Trap banger. All three members of Migos do perform well on this song, but for the most part, Drake does dominate this track. If you are a fan of the kind of audacious trap bangers Drake has excelled at making the last couple of years, ‘Having Our Way’ is a song for you. The next song, ‘Straightenin,’ was the first single released from Culture III. This song also received high praise when it was released. ‘Straightenin’ has an instrumental and overall sound that is very reminiscent of Migos’ early work. Quavo’s rapping particularly stands out on this track; instead of going with the melodic sound he has become known for in recent years, he attacks this instrumental with the kind of vicious rap flow he has not used much in the last several years. In fact, Offset and Takeoff also have stand-out verses on this track. ‘Straightenin’ has an early to mid-2010s Trap sound to it that fans of Migos’ initial hit tracks love. ‘Straighenin’ is a song which shows that even though Migos has developed and evolved greatly over time, they can still go back to their roots and excel. After this, we get the song ‘Type Shit,’ which features Cardi B. This is another song that is already starting to become a hit. Regardless of what happens during the course of her rocky relationship with Offset, Cardi seems to shine when performing with either one or all of the Migos. This song has a Pop-Trap instrumental that has the feeling of a typical club banger, and the energy of every rapper on this song matches the energy of the instrumental very well. ‘Type Shit’ is not the most sophisticated song lyrically or sonically, but it has all of the qualities a Trap banger made for the club should have. ‘Malibu, which features Polo G, is a song that I could imagine becoming a sleeper hit a little later in the summer if it does not immediately pop off. This track has island-influenced instrumental that makes me want to sip a frozen drink on a beach somewhere. It just has such a fun and tropical feeling to it that will brighten anyone’s mood when they hear it. Interestingly, Migos picked Polo G for this kind of collaboration(I would think of artists like Lil Yachty, Kyle, Travis Scott, or even Young Thug being on this kind of song before Polo G), he kills it and proves he be a viable asset on this kind of music. ‘Malibu’ is one of the least fierce and assertive songs on this record, but it is also one of the most fun.

‘Birthday’ is another song that I feel will end up being a hit sometime in the near future. I could see this song becoming a single and getting a music video later this summer. The overall sound of this song has a club and party music feel to it. The instrumental reminds me of mid 2010s party Trap records by artists like Drake and DJ Luke Nasty. This track has a fast-paced beat and melody that just makes you want to dance. Quavo and Takeoff stand out on this track. Quavo delivers a catchy chorus that will get stuck in anyone’s head, and Takeoff demonstrates why he is a king of rap flows with the smoothest verse on the record. ‘Modern Day’ is a song that fans of Migos’ old music love. This track just feels like it came out in the early 2010s. The instrumental had a dark and underground feeling to it that is so reminiscent of the kind of Trap music that Migos initially blew up on. All three artists on this song have performances that remind me of the hunger and tenacity they rapped with in the early 2010s too. This track is a favorite of mine because it makes me think about why I started loving Migos so much back in the day, to begin with. The next song, which is called ‘Vaccine,’ does not stand out like most of the other tracks on this record do in my opinion. It has a pretty typical present-day Trap music sound to it, and there is not a lot about this song that makes it super memorable. Don’t get me wrong, all of the rap performances are good and the chorus is pretty catchy, but it just does not hit like most of the other tracks on this record. There are a few more traditional and basic sounding Trap songs on this record, but most of those have features that at least make them a little different. To me, ‘Vaccine’ kind of feels like a filler song, and filler songs are not necessary when your album in 19 tracks. Following ‘Vaccine’ we get ‘Picasso,’ which features Future. This track is one of those that has a feature that shakes things up but still feels like filler. The instrumental for ‘Picasso’ has a light and dreamy Cloud Trap sound to it; this instrumental sounds very much like something Future would rap on for one of his albums. Besides Future’s performance, nothing sticks out for me much about this song. It honestly just feels like another one stuffed in there to make the streaming experience longer, and overall does not need to be included. ‘Roadrunner’ is another track that has a feeling to it that reminds me of the music Migos made when they were coming up. This track is produced by Zaytoven, and I swear I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a beat he saved from the early 2010s and he pulled it from the vault for this occasion. Once again, all three members of Migos go off on this track, all providing verses with the kind of vigor that they had back when they were still underground. This is another song I enjoy a lot because it makes me think of why I started listening to Migos, to begin with.

The feeling of the record changes up in a big way for one song when ‘What You See’ featuring Justin Bieber comes on. For the most part, this record has consisted of Trap bangers perfect for parties and clubs, but this song has more of a laid-back and calm feeling to it. The instrumental has a bit of an R&B flavor, and the tone of this track is very sentimental. ‘What You See’ is a sweet love song. Honestly, even though it isn’t bad, this one doesn’t fit in much. I don’t understand the placement of ‘What You See’ in this record like nothing else of the album has a similar feel or sound. ‘Jane’ is another song that I could see becoming a sleeper hit later this year. I could also see this one being released as a single later in the year and receiving a music video. ‘Jane’ is the kind of modern Trap song that has such a club banger sound to it. The instrumental goes so hard and is so fun, and each performance from the three Migos matches the energy of the song. ‘Jane’ is just a song that brings the energy up and makes the listener feel good and want to party. The next song, ‘AntiSocial’ featuring Juice Wrld, is one that breaks up the main style and sound of the album once again. This track has a melodic and melancholy Emo-Trap feeling to it that is so similar to a lot of Juice’s biggest songs. All three of the Migos perform very well on this song and proved they can adapt to this sound. With that being said, this track just feels so out of place compared to the rest of the album. I do not mind the instrumental at all, but it does not fit in well with the rest of the music on this record. The next song, ‘Why Not, ‘unfortunately is another track that feels like filler. This is a Trap song with a dark and modern beat that I could see most modern Trap rappers spitting on. There is nothing special or defining about this instrumental. None of the performances on this track stand out in my opinion either. ‘Why Not’ is a decent Trap song, but nothing stands out about it. It is just something thrown on here to get it to 19 songs, and I don’t feel like it adds anything to the album as a whole. Following this, we get the song ‘Mahomes,’ which has one of the more interesting sounds out of everything on this record. The instrumental is very trippy and psychedelic compared to what’s on the rest of the record; this is almost like the Migos version of a Cloud Trap song. I love Quavo’s performance on this one. His singing ability stands out on ‘Mahomes,’ and he demonstrates a variety of great flows. ‘Mahomes’ may not be my favorite song from this record, but it is definitely one of the most interesting and it completely stands out.

‘Handle My Business’ is another song with an instrumental and overall sound that stands out among the rest of this album. It has a Cloud Trap sound somewhat similar to the one on ‘Mahomes,’ with this one being even more atmospheric and weird. It reminds me a lot of the kind of instrumentals one would expect from Lil Uzi Vert or Travis Scott. It sort of feels like ‘Handle My Business’ is Migos trying to prove they can Excel at the kind of Trap the artists who were inspired by them have now developed into making. ‘Handle My Business’ is a very good song, even if it doesn’t feel like a Migos song. Speaking of instrumentals that stand out and different from the rest of the record, ‘Time For Me’ is unlike anything else on Culture III. This song has an R&b Trap sound to it that reminds me a lot of artists like Pnb Rock. DJ Luke Nasty, and Drake. I definitely would not expect to hear Migos on an instrumental like this. Despite this, ‘Time For Me’ is a very good song. I knew Quavo could make this kind of music, but ‘Time For Me’ showcases talents that Takeoff and Offset usually do not demonstrate. Even though this track is not even close to something one would expect from Migos, all three members of the group prove they can excel and melodic R&B Trap just as well as the kind of Trap one would expect from them. The next song, which is called ‘Light It Up’ and features Pop Smoke, has quickly become one of the biggest fan favorites from this record. One this track, Migos embraces the sound that Pop Smoke made popular, with the instrumental for this track having an off-kilter NY Drill sound to it. The intensity of the bass(and the beat in general) brings out this gruff and mean quality from the Migos that has sometimes felt like gets lost in some of their more Pop-influenced music. ‘Light It Up’ is a gruff and in your face song that brings out the best in Migos. On this track, Pop Smoke brings the heat as always, and all three members of Migos match his energy in the best way. ‘Light It Up’ is every bit as good as a collab from Migos and Pop Smoke should be. The album closes out with the song ‘Need It,’ which features Youngboy Never Broke Again(also known as NBA Youngboy). This track was released in 2020 way before a new album by Migos was ever announced or even rumored. Unsurprisingly, this track was universally loved when it came out. It is a Pop-Trap banger that perfectly fits in with what is popular in Trap music right now. This song is not the most innovative or game-changing when it comes to the instrumental or the flows, but that is okay because it is just an objectively good Trap song. ‘Need It’ is a great way to end this record as it reintroduces the listener to a chart-topping song from last year and is another one that proves how great Migos is as a collective.

It is crazy to think that because of how fast culture develops nowadays and because things go out of style so quickly, Migos almost feel like an “old school” Trap artist. Even though they only came onto the scene 10 years ago, a whole generation of Trap artists have drawn influence from and expanded on the sound they made popular. On Culture III, Migos toes the line between embracing the modern Trap sound and staying true to what they came up doing. This album proves that Migos can still excel at what they became known for and that they can also still adapt well to what is trending. Culture III is not the best project Migos has ever dropped(although it is very good, don’t get me wrong), but it proves that they are still at the top of their game and that they are still as relevant and important within Trap music as ever.

FAVORITE TRACKS: ‘Avalanche,’ ‘Straightenin,’ ‘Malibu’ feat. Polo G, ‘Birthday,’ ‘Modern Day,’ ‘Roadrunner,’ ‘Jane,‘Handle My Business,’ ‘Time For Me’, ‘Light It Up’ feat. Pop Smoke

7.85/10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s