Dropped as a single on Oct. 28, “Bad and Boujee” gained immediate success, eventually climbing the charts to number one as listeners quoted its iconic opening line “Rain drop, drop top” and danced to its rhythmic beat and slick lyrics.
With the momentum from this trapthem pushing them into the spotlight, Migos released their second studio LP, Culture on Jan. 27, 2017. Culture combines Migos’ signature Southern rap sound with a higher production quality creating an album that sets the tone for the rap game in 2017.
Although it is only the second album under their current label, Migos has been prominent in the rap scene since the release of their first mixtape in 2012. Based in Atlanta, the rap trio consists of family members Offset, Quavo and Takeoff, whose voices come together to complement and build off each other. Even before the album’s release, the three rappers have helped to define and personify Atlanta rap, creating a style and rhythm that other acclaimed hip hop artists have borrowed and incorporated into their own songs.
The 2017 album consists of 13 tracks, all of which have the catchy lyrics and danceable backbeats characteristic of hit singles. However, Culture is much more than a conglomeration of trap hits. While still keeping the group’s signature staccato-style rapping, this album has a higher production quality and includes more features from mainstream artists, two elements that combine to turn the album into a quality piece of music, not an aggregation of songs depicting only the raw lyrical talent of the trio.
The features (which include DJ Khaled, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott and others) don’t overshadow the rapping ability of Migos, but instead add a notable legitimacy absent from their earlier works.
Although the songs are perfect to dance to, the lyrics transcend the trivial meaning of most rap songs. Instead, songs such as “Big on Big” address the past label troubles the group has run into, detailing their pertinent history. While handling tougher issues, the songs are sprinkled with hip slang phrases that give the music a youthful energy characteristic of newer rappers.
Another prominent element of Culture is the steady, percussive, rhythmic backbeat that can be heard throughout each song. Additionally, some of the songs, such as “Call Casting,” feature barely-noticeable piano riffs that add the right amount of hidden music notes to go beyond the usual tone of one-dimensional trap music.
Culture does an excellent job of blending Migos’ Atlanta-style rap with mainstream artists features. With this album, they are continuing to subtly influence other rappers’ style. The album keeps the nostalgia of older albums alive while still incorporating new elements, to make Culture a favorite for long-time listeners and first-day fans.