Although its 24-song track list is intimidating, Migos’ latest album, “Culture II,” allows ample opportunity for the rap trio Migos to shine.
Released exactly one year before “Culture II,” the group’s second album, “Culture,” propelled the rap group into superstardom with hits like “Bad and Boujee,” “Slippery” and “T-Shirt,” as the 2017 project debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The album proved the trio to be sustainable global superstars rather than just three talented rappers.
“Culture II” in many ways mirrors characteristics of the original “Culture.” Changing little stylistically, the rap trio’s fidelity to its Atlanta trap roots is demonstrated by Migos’ focus on melody and catchy lines instead of revolutionary or revealing lyrics.
Migos’ music is clearly created for the party scene and will appeal to both pop and hip-hop fans, destining the sequel album for similar success on the charts.
The album opens intensely with a strong six-song stretch from “Higher We Go (Intro)” to the high energy “Walk It Talk It” featuring Drake.
“Narcos,” the project’s third track, finds the group in peak form with clever lines, precise delivery and a sample from the Netflix show “Narcos.” The fourth track, “BBO,” shines lyrically with lines like “Straight out the jungle / This real rap no mumble / My skin black like mamba,” while the production from producers Buddah Bless, Quavo, DJ Durel and Kanye West adds punch.
Though the project starts off strong, its extensive length makes listening to “Culture II” feel like a marathon. Many of the songs employ similar arrangements, even though the album has a wide variety of producers. While several tracks have major hit potential, the sheer length of the project makes it a chore from song twelve onward.
Nevertheless, the length of the album succeeds in giving all members of the trio their moment in the spotlight. Notably, Migos member Takeoff was not present on the group’s certified 4x platinum single, “Bad and Boujee,” and has generally been relegated to short verses scattered throughout past projects, rarely taking a prominent role. But on “Culture II,” Takeoff is given a more significant part and particularly shines in “Narcos,” which highlights his distinct sound.
The length also allows for numerous high-profile features, like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj whose verses on “MotorSport” leave the listener craving more. When Cardi boldly exclaims “Let me wrap my weave up/ I’m the trap Selena / Dame mas gasolina!” the listener has to believe her.
On the other hand, Post Malone’s feature on “Notice Me” falls flat. Alhough he is charged with delivering the chorus, his slow tempo and clear lack of passion in delivery results in a boring track.
Ultimately, “Culture II” could have benefitted from a pared-down track list to avoid fatiguing listeners who attempt to listen to the entire album in a single sitting. After the resounding success of “Culture,” fans worried the subsequent album would not live up to expectations. While “Culture II” is not better than its predecessor, it is a sufficient follow-up.