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Will the real ‘Culture ll’ please stand up?

Matthew Steinberg, Features Editor

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Migos, the self-proclaimed creators of culture, released their third studio album, “Culture ll,” on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. As anticipated, the heavy beats were blanketed with lyrics that reference their fashion, bling and drug-and-sex filled lifestyle. Despite the consistency that has made the trio a favorite for many hip-hop fanatics, however, responses to the album have been mixed to say the least.

At an hour and 46 minutes, “Culture ll” is a song away from being twice as long as their last Grammy-nominated work, “Culture.” The beginning started off strong, with soon-to-be designated bangers like “Narco” and “Walk It Talk It.” These tracks successfully replicated the trio’s upbeat, modern and creative theme that keeps the clubs thriving.

Moving down from the popular Drake feature, excitement lingers with appearances from other high profile rap stars such as Gucci Mane in “CC” and 21 Savage in BBO “Bad Bitches Only,” Ty Dolla $ign, Travis Scott and Big Sean in “White Sand.” Infused in between are the well-known single “Stir Fry,” catchy “Too Much Jewelry” and elegant “Gang Gang.” So far, the music library has welcomed many new additions, and, at this point, gas is being wasted for the sole purpose of bumping with the crew.

And then “Crown the Kings” plays, and the vibe is not killed, however it begins to dissipate a bit. The track has an ok beat with some pretty lame lyrics and a subpar chorus. But every album has at least one whack song, right?

Unfortunately for Migos-lovers, about six songs, most that are found in the middle of the album, simply should not have even been included. After “Crown the Kings,” “Flooded,” “Beast,” “Open It Up” and “Movin Too Fast” do not reflect the talent of the group, and make the record crowded for no good reason. This happens at a crucial part of the lengthy album.

“There’s absolutely no reason to have so many songs that simply feel like throwaways,” said senior writer of “DJ Booth” Yoh.

Aside from the five “throwaways” in a row, weak content is sprinkled throughout the album, but it is only made apparent after listeners are burned out from listening to the first 13 songs.

Looking back, the intro “Here We Go” could have been stronger. “Supastar” was adequate, minus the chorus that puts the word “yeah” on repeat 10 times. “Emoji A Chain” did not offer any flavor to the album, and definitely is not being saved to the music library.

By the nineteenth song, “Work Hard,” eight of the pieces have no real value. Combined with two songs on the album that were previously released as singles, only nine songs  have been worth a bump session.

Thankfully, the album concludes on a rather substantial note. “Work Hard” has an impressive first verse from Quavo and a hard beat. “Notice Me” may not have very melodic lyrics, but the appealing music and chorus by Post Malone make for a download-worthy song. “Too Playa” is on its own level, offering a unique sax-infused rhythm produced by Quavo himself blended with nice verses and a 2 Chainz feature.

CUT! That’s a wrap folks. “Made Men” and “Top Down On Da NAWF” are sounding more like they belong in the middle, graveyard section of the album. “Culture National Anthem – Outro” is a decent sound, but takes the repetitive chorus theme found in “Supastar” to an even lower level.

By the end of the album, there are a total of 13 save-worthy songs. But, remember, two of these are singles released in 2017. Therefore, audiences have received 11 new songs from “Culture ll.”

Now, I am not trying to make any assumptions here, however I believe the majority of albums contain about ten to 15 songs. That is just a guess! Following that hypothesis, why would Migos crowd its highly-anticipated project with sub-par tunes?

After their success on “Culture” and Quavo’s alter ego, Huncho, took off in 2017, the group is at the top of the rap-game. My presumption is that because they are hot right now, they wanted to flood the market with content to remain on their throne.

On the other hand, if I am making another guess, “Culture ll” will backfire on them. The work has quality content that is polluted with unnecessary additions that will overall affect the success of the entire record in terms of sales and award potential.

Despite an outlook that leans a bit negative, the quality content on this drawn-out album should not be ignored. I have created a playlist titled “Real Culture ll” that contains the listen-worthy tracks. Happy bumping!

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Will the real ‘Culture ll’ please stand up?