Prior to picking up this album I watched a video essay about the length of the record. At a trying hour and forty five minutes this follow up to their hit record Culture is a double album loaded with mediocrity. The essay theorized that artists may pursue longer play times in order to inflate stream numbers and increase record sales certifications. Its a reasonable theory that sighted Drake's More Life as a release which is actually labeled as a playlist as opposed to an album or record.
If the Migos where aiming at streaming culture and extended play sessions then they certainly achieved that. Culture II's production has a hypnotic, indulgent and easy vibe one can sink into as the lyrics and words pass you by. The length comes at a price, with exception to a less that a handful of tracks most these songs only hit a reasonable faction of excitement. There are very few gems in a lengthy lull that plays like background music, mood setting but hardly immediate. Even if condensed to a single album It would struggle to peak beyond setting the Migos tone.
The trio give an impression of being self indulged, "in the moment" and living in the moment. In other words, It doesn't feel like much of whats being said is thought through or even revised. Many of the hooks lack depth, wit, weight or anything other than feeling like they are vibeing with the music. On occasions it works but the lack of filter means a lot of repetition and a plethora of goofy, ridiculous lyrics, "pulling up like huggies" a line that makes me chuckle every time, of which there are many.
The Migos vocals and instrumentals have that middle line of trendy noises and vocal quirks like the "skrt skrt" that tie the two aspects together. In this instance they go overboard, to the point I was constantly laughing at the dorky vocal inflections and auto tune manipulations that again come in abundance with very little filter. I think I said it with the last record but a decade or two from now these are going to sound very dated. They are executed with style, image and swagger over artistic intent and articulated expression. It says very little other than "cool" and trendy.
Culture II is a slug of a record on the lyrical front. It has a handful of mediocre, uninspired features. Post Malone sounds under utilized but a surprise came in the way of Cardi B and Niki Minaj who brought two strong verses, vicious and full of attitude they dropped train of thought narratives that rise like a monolith with nothing similar else in sight. It lit up a track the Migos where mumbling their way through until the two of them gave it some substance. Its obvious the Migos are all about mood and tone which no one can do it like they do, unfortunately this record has very little beyond a saturated vibe.
Favorite Tracks: Stir Fry, Motorsport