Migos make their triumphant return to the music scene with “Culture III.”
LAND OF THE TOP 5s
HONORABLE MENTION. WORKING A FOOL
“Working A Fool” is off of the deluxe version of Culture III. The beat that powers “Working A Fool” is fascinating: There are moments in which it sounds sly, moments in which it sounds like something that you would hear on a Chance The Rapper album, and moments in which it sounds like some cold hard trap s**t. Over the beat, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff all bless us with rap deliveries that straddle the line between sly and boisterous and lyrics that straddle the line between trill and boasty. The reason I think this song is one of the best from the album is simply because it is so dynamic sonically.
5. WHAT YOU SEE
Holy s**t, I didn’t know that I needed a romantic Migos song like “What You See” in my life this bad!
There are so many songs that I could’ve put at five (“Need It,” “Vaccine,” “Malibu,” and “Antisocial” all come to my mind). The reason “What You See” made the cut is because it’s easily one of the most well-put-together/unique tracks on Culture III. It features a fantastic chorus by Justin Bieber, lyrics by every member in Migos that will resonate with regular-degular dudes that are in hot water with their chicks, and everything from dramatic melodies to Teflon hard rap flows. All in all, from a musical standpoint, I hear nothing wrong with “What You See.”
Migos and Future paint the perfect smooth trap banger with “Picasso.”
“Picasso” is powered by a flute-heavy beat, so you should’ve known that both Migos and Future would shine on the track. While the latter hits us with one of his sliest hooks in a while, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff each do great jobs of sounding like they are cruising at 85 miles per hour on the beat. As for lyrically, I love how each person talks about their unique come-ups, their hustling mentalities, their knack for spending tons of money, and their playboy ways.
Migos are undefeated when it comes to intros.
First and foremost, I have to say this: Only Migos can rap over a flipped version of The Temptations’ classic “Rolling Stone” beat (Not even Ron Browz can pull that s**t off). With that being said, Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset all absolutely shine in “Avalanche.” To be more specific, I love how Quavo starts the track off sounding like a Mississippi pimp that sells drugs and quarter waters to pay his rent; how Offset tries to bully the song’s smooth beat using tricky flows, and how he touts his gun as a bigger peacemaker than Mandela; and how Takeoff finishes the track off by demanding respect, and how he brags about his big purchases. At the end of the day, I enjoy how experimental and sly “Avalanche” is.
I don’t know who the hell “Jane” is, but this chick got Migos in their zone, bruh!
First and foremost, kudos must go to Carnage (He produced this song). The way he blended Latin jazz vibes with trap vibes is amazing (That f**king horn spoke directly to my soul). If you have any kudos left to give, give some to Takeoff for hitting us with one of the catchiest hooks known to man, give some to Offset for the stop and start flows he hits us with, and give some to Quavo for his business-like approach to gold-digging women. If you happen to have any kudos left to give, give yourself some for putting up with such heat.
1. HAVING OUR WAY
If you think about it, there is no major run by Migos without Drake. I also think that Migos helped reinvent Drake as a rapper (That’s how huge I think that “Versace” was). With that being said, you get classic verses by both acts in “Having Our Way.”
You get sly flows, boatloads of swag, tons of flexing, a beat that you can surf to, pats on backs, reminiscing, and more in “Having Our Way.” While Drake starts the track off with a dominant verse, each member of Migos sticks their chests out with tough-ass verses that are delivered so unbotheredly.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. AVALANCHE (5/5)
2. HAVING OUR WAY (5/5)
3. STRAIGHTENIN (4/5)
4. TYPE SHIT (4/5)
5. MALIBU (4/5)
6. BIRTHDAY (3/5)
7. MODERN DAY (4/5)
8. VACCINE (4/5)
9. PICASSO (4/5)
10. ROADRUNNER (4/5)
11. WHAT YOU SEE (4/5)
12. JANE (BIRKIN) (4/5)
13. ANTISOCIAL (4/5)
14. WHY NOT (3/5)
15. MAHOMES (3/5)
16. HANDLE MY BUSINESS (4/5)
17. TIME FOR ME (3/5)
18. LIGHT IT UP (4/5)
19. NEED IT (4/5)
20. HOW WE COMING (4/5)
21. HOW DID I (4/5)
22. NEW MONEY (3/5)
23. MENACE (4/5)
24. WORKING A FOOL (4/5)
I’m going to be completely honest with you, I missed the s**t out of Migos! (Random thought: Why is it black people always refer to Migos as ‘The Migos?’)
In Culture, I feel like Migos focused on club bangers and trap anthems. In Culture II, I feel like the group did tons of experimenting. In Culture III, I feel like you get a combination of Culture I and Culture II‘s elements (Mainly Culture I’s elements). For every “What you See,” there is a tough-ass banger like “Vaccine” right around the corner. For every “Avalanche,” there is a club banger like “Straightenin.” All in all, I feel like the group did a great job of stepping outside of the box, but at the same time, making sure that the box they stepped out of was rolling with them in the passenger side of their whip (Like a scrub).
If I were to pick which rapper shined the brightest on Culture III, I would say Quavo. I thought that he set the tone for several songs with either a catchy-ass hook or super sly lyrics (Is Quavo back, folks?). The second-best performance out of the three came from Takeoff. I feel like he raps with a major purpose on the album (AKA, he does a good job of proving his worth to the group on the album. I feel for Takeoff. It’s almost like he’s on a hot seat in each Migos album he’s on). While Offset is my favorite member of Migos, I thought he put in the last best performance on the album (Last best is another word for worse). As usual, his flows were majestic, but I just felt like he wasn’t as dynamic or hungry as everyone else. Nonetheless, I think each member did pretty solid on this album.
There are some impeccable guest features on Culture III. I can honestly say that every single person that was featured on this album went ham, cheese, lettuce, and whatever condiment you want to put in your heat sandwich. I give this album an A+ when it comes to guest features.
I’ve talked about Migos, I talked about guest features, but honestly, the best thing about Culture III is the beats. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, every single one of them features three of these four things: Smooth trap vibes, classic vibes, impeccable fluting, or dramatic feels. So many songs on this album are going to hit so hard in clubs because of the beats that power them.
Culture III is a lot of fun to listen to. It has solid raps, good beats, dynamic flows, and great guest features. I would say this third installment of the Culture series is a success!
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.