For the past three years, Migos have held a monopoly over the trap genre, bringing it to the bright lights of the Billboard Top 100 and being influential figures in the passing of the torch of popularity from Rock to Hip-hop. The rise of each Quavo, Takeoff and Offset is partly due to the musical revolution happening out in Atlanta, pushing them to the forefront of the culture and helping them to establish themselves as individuals as well as hip hops very own, mainstream pop-trap version of Blink 182. Released under the Quality Control label, this is Quavo’s debut solo album and is following 2017’s Huncho Jack (with Travis Scott) and this years, Culture II. It’s clear however, that their iconic style that everyone and their auntie are copying, is getting tired.
This album from the get go has a similar vibe to the collaborative Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, with ethereal, haunting wind instruments peppered through the trap intensive, adlib jungle that is Quavo Huncho. Despite having excellent producer credits in Murda Beatz, Kid Cudi, French Montana, Travis Scott, Wheezy and even Pharrell, the only decent beats on this album for me were the Travis produced Rerun, Biggest Alley Oop and Champagne Rose. Purely because they were the few songs I could skip a minute into and actually tell what song it was, the others being almost identical in terms of structure and flow.
Drake bosses his feature, as does 21 Savage and even Cardi B, even if it was for a short while. But why, oh my god why, did Quavo think it would be a good idea to defrost Madonna, wheel her into a booth and then get her to rap on Champagne Rose. I understand what Madonna means to some people (some very questionable people) but her solo verse doesn’t fit right on the track. It’s so bad that it makes me question Quavo’s decision making process and sanity. Lil Baby continues his fine form with a strong performance on Lose It, while co-Migos, Offset and Takeoff do their best to outrap Huncho on his own album.
While his ability to freestyle hot garbage off the cuff is admirable, it’s not enough anymore. I’m craving something, anything in terms of substance and that’s not what I’m getting. This project is cold and emotionless, which is a huge disappointment, as all it takes to make a good Quavo/Migos song is a catchy hook, blistering 808’s and some kind of exotic sample (think Narcos, Designer Drugs, Stir Fry)- yet somehow this album only has a few decent bangers. It feels like he is trying to get the whole Migos package across by his lonesome, but instead of it sounding coherent it sounds more like his attempt at copying other rappers styles, rather than actually making something original. If Quavo is opting to focus on the vibe and feel of a album rather than lyricism or production then he didn’t even do a good job of that
Quavo is attempting to fill the self made void left by Takeoff and Offset by trying to be a more complete rapper, but lyrically he simply isn’t diverse enough to carry a whole song by himself- on most songs it feels like it could have done with one less verse. However, this is part and parcel of being in an industry dominated by streams. Culture II for example had 24 songs, debuted at No 1. and tied with THE BEATLES for most simultaneous Hot 100 entries with 14. Drake is probably the original master of the flex though with Views (20 songs) and Scorpion (25 songs respectively). We live in a world where artists are throwing garbage at a wall and hoping it sticks. Nowadays we have to ask, are artists consciously making a complete, coherent album, or a bunch of singles and fillers that are gonna get streams? I think Quavo unfortunately is falling into the latter. 4/10