Atlanta rap group Migos are back with their fourth studio album Culture III. After taking over the rap game in 2017 with the series’ initial installment, members Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff have been on a downwards spiral with projects like the oversaturated Culture II and their trifecta of lackluster solo albums which followed. Since then, their critical praise hasn’t been the only thing thats declined, as their popularity levels have decreased marginally as well. With their reputation at an all-time low, will Migos be able to recapture the magic they once possessed on this career-defining record?
While the record is shorter than Culture II’s overbearing length of 24 tracks, Culture III’s 19 songs still feels way too long. To no one’s surprise, there’s a lot of filler material here, and even the best moments feel fairly average. The chemistry between members has undoubtedly reached an all-time low, and everything from their sound and to lyrical content is so redundant, its actually can be challenging to stay awake for the entire hour and 15 minutes this project runs for. I understand it’s been three years since Migos’ last album, but over an hour of the running time is insane and a length, the trio is incapable of putting anything worth tuning in for the entire time together.
One of the main factors that made bangers like “Kelly Price” and “Stir Fry” become some of their respective years’ biggest anthems came from their intuitive and memorable instrumental patterns. Creative samples, intoxicating aroma, and well mixed vocals became Migos’ golden formula, and while despite their performances being slightly off, the main detriment to song after song is their lack of instrumental excitement. Whether it’s the intro of “Avalanche” or the pulsing “Birthday,” the soundscape within each track feels so generic and unadventurous it ultimately ends up being the deciding factor on if a track will be an absolute snoozefest. The most exciting beats came from the soothing woodwinds and synth-based melody line on “Vaccine” and the charismatic horns on “Jane”. Overall, even these beats fail to match the excitement that any of the high-end tracks on either previous installments had, and the sonic walls have only further caved in.
Through its flaws, there are some fun bangers and enjoyable moments worth noting. Fortunately, most of the cuts that featured other artists were very solid or rejuvenating, at least. From the group’s team up with Juice WRLD on the smooth and settled down “Antisocial” to the hyperactive boast anthem with Cardi B in “Type Shit,” these guests add excitement with their lively vocals and shining presence. “Malibu” with Polo G and “Picasso” with Future only further uphold this principle. A definite standout was “Light It Up,” as teaming up with the late Pop Smoke, Takeoff, Quavo, and Offset tap into their hardest element for a drill anthem that feels like it could have made the cut for any of Pop’s Meet The Woo projects. Out of all these star-studded features, the ultimate highlight was “Having Our Way,” which is started off with a lengthy and amusing monologue from Drake. Going in as hard as Drizzy did, didn’t only bring out the best in Migos but elevated the anticipation for his upcoming album Certified Lover Boy to an all-time high. Aside from these tracks, the hard-hitting “Handle My Business,” and serenading “Time For Me” do their best at reimagining what made the Atlanta trio so beloved in the first place.
Walking away from Culture III and I think it’s safe to say that the Migos are never going to return to form. In every possible way, this project is so dull, and there’s little to nothing going for it to make it thrilling or exciting. At this point, I’ve lost all faith in Migos and don’t think they will ever turn it around from here.
- Fun collaborations
- Solid bangers here and there
- Bloated tracklist
- Chemistry between Migos at an all-time low
- Lack of creativity and artistic growth
Written By: Mr. Fantastic