Offset, Quavo, Takeoff and their ‘cultural’ revolution

Tobias Christoffersen, Contributing Writer

     Twenty-four tracks scattered across one hour and forty-five minutes. What at first glimpse seems like a lonesome, fatiguing walk through the musical desert turns out be a thrilling, electrifying journey. High tempo, melodic sounds and experimental flows. Flashy, boisterous and energetic personalities. The three uncrowned kings from Atlanta are on the search for their royal crowns and complete hip-hop hegemony.

     The popular and influential hip-hop group Migos, consisting of Quavo, Takeoff and Offset – all from Atlanta – do not disappoint with their third studio album, “Culture II.”

    “Culture II” is a manifestation of how the new sound of hip-hop has evolved into a genre that is here to stay. Hip-hop is no longer a genre with one definition attached to it. In the 1990’s, for instance, lyrical content was in the driver’s seat. Nowadays, hip-hop is more about enthusiastic expression, catchy melodies and repetitive phrases. Migos is the biggest pioneer in this particular field.

     One week after the release of “Culture II,” the reception of the album was highly appreciated from a commercial point of view. In United States, the album went straight to the top after only one week on air, debuting at number one on the Billboard Top 200 list with 225 million audio streams in America during the first week alone.

     The numbers speak for themselves. Many have been taking a sip of Migos and their music; good wine needs no bush. As a side note, their prior album, “Culture,” managed to climb the mountain of reception as well, also debuting at number one after one week. Success seems like an understatement for Migos.

      Why is the album so enjoyable, then? First, the twenty-four tracks are not only filled with appearances from the Migos group alone. Many prominent artists are a part of the long hip-hop trip. 21 Savage, Drake, Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Post Malone and 2 Chainz all make appearances.

      This list of features is longer than the waiting line for a Migos concert, but since the album is so long, this goes hand-in-hand and becomes a vital part of the experience. Hearing the lyrical rhymes from Big Sean, the catchy auto-tuned voice from Travis Scott, and the ice-cold attitudes from Gucci Mane and Drake that never disappoints is important for the satisfaction of the listeners’ ears.

     What I also find amusing is the fact that Migos has not changed their musical style. They do try out new sounds in the instrumentals, and they experiment with their flow, but a fan of the group will not find himself in a state of disappointment. You know what you get, and that is trap music with auto-tune, their recognizable triplet-flow, and explicit lyrics concerning money, clothes, women, and a lifestyle few can identify themselves with. “Swang doors now, f**k on hoes now/Tats and golds, rock the shows/Big bankrolls,” says Quavo on the second track “Supastars,” which summarizes their life after becoming perhaps the most popular hip-hop group in recent times.

     Is there anything negative to say about the album? The duration will naturally become an impediment for those who would love to give the new sound of hip-hop a chance. However, I think the duration is a strength, because each listener can then choose which tracks they prefer the most. “Culture II” is basically an exquisite gourmet-buffet, and one can choose whatever they enjoy. I encourage everyone to take a bite.

     Time has passed since the long-anticipated release of “Culture II,” but the soundwaves from the masterpiece are still floating around in the radio, the night life of the youth and in the headphones of Bloomsburg students.