Review: “Culture II”

Staff writers Jack Plank and Walker Johnson share their opinions on the latest album from Migos.

February 9, 2018

Plank’s take

A second installment in Migos Culture, Culture II introduces many new styles and beats with a few strong features. My favorite songs on this album include “Walk It Talk It,” “Supastars,” “Emoji a Chain,” “Narcos” and “Notice Me.” Many features round out this strong album including Post Malone, Drake and 2Chainz. I really like this album and it continues to grow on me with a wide variety of song styles and different layered beats.

“Notice Me”: 9/10

Upon looking at the album as a whole, “Notice Me” stuck out as one of the songs I had to listen to first. Featuring Post Malone, it is a chill and relaxed song that is easy for someone to listen to in any type of mood. Talking about their stardom and riches, Migos and Post Malone collaborate to create a unique style of music that stands out compared to the majority of Culture II. Post Malone’s chorus in “Notice Me” is intertwined with different versus’s from Quavo, Offset and Takeoff, creating a dynamic change within the music for a great laid-back song to listen to.

“Walk It Talk It”: 8/10

Along with many features on this album such as Post Malone and 2Chainz, “Walk It Talk It” features Drake and has many catchy beats. The one negative I found about the song is the repetitiveness of it. The lyrics, “Walk it like I talk it” are found repeated throughout the entirety of the song which brings its solid beat and feature down in value, yet Drake’s verse solves the problem with his clever and catchy lyrics. The repetition of this song does not lose its value due to the great beat and the stellar feature.

“Emoji A Chain”: 8/10

As Culture II highlights many new styles of music and beats from Migos, “Emoji a Chain” brings out the original, common style of music we see in most of their past songs. Repetition and simplistic rhythms create a seemingly basic song, yet creates a good tune to memorize the words and listen to. Offset’s prominent role in the pre-chorus and chorus of this song creates a catchy beat and style that is very clever within the lyrics. Overall, this song is great for getting pumped, whether it be for a game or for a car ride with your friends.

“Supastars”: 8.5/10

The song “Supastars” is extremely catchy. As it was pre-released along with other songs like “Stir Fry” and “MotorSport.” this song brings me back to the old style of Migos. Adding a new style and beat throughout each song on Culture II makes the beat of this song easy to listen to. The intro to the song is layered with many differents beats and instruments with a piano and flute sound. The upbeat and quick tempo of this song gives you a good song to workout to or just enjoy with friends.

“Narcos”: 9/10

“Narcos” is not your typical Migos song. It’s South American vibe in reference to the Netflix show “Narcos” about Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel starts with a beat produced from a guitar strum. Not being one of Migos notorious repetitive and basic songs, the beat and lyrics are fun to listen to. Backed by Quavo and Offset’s split chorus, their lyrics and choice of transforming the beat in their own ways to create a different tune. Offset and Quavo both kill their parts and round out the new Migos twist as a whole.

Johnson’s take

Before I get pinned as the bad guy here, I’d just like to clarify that I don’t hate Migos. I just think they’re overhyped. While they’ve had their fair share of bangers and each rapper definitely has talent – some less than others *cough* Takeoff *cough* – I’ve never really been a fan of the majority of their music. It’s usually catchy, but extremely repetitive, with relatively unimaginative lyrics, and I always found myself getting bored by the end of the song. That being said, when Jack sent me his favorite tracks off Culture II, I was pleasantly surprised. Many of the songs don’t sound like the uninspired radio-trap music that dominated Culture I, and the whole album sounds a lot more diverse in general, in comparison to its predecessor, partially due to a wider array of both producers and features. With that being said, here’s what I thought about the tracks Jack suggested I listen to. 

Supastars: 6/10

While the overall feel of this song reminds me a lot of Culture I, I actually really liked the beat; it’s got tons of layers that fade in and out throughout the song and the anthemic synths that come in during the verse help to switch up the sound and anticlimactically build towards Quavo’s forgettable hook. The lyrics weren’t necessarily bad at any point throughout the song, but I definitely wouldn’t call them good either, and it seemed like they knew it too and tried to distract me with their excessive ad-libs, with Takeoff’s verse averaging more than one per bar.

Narcos: 8.5/10

Alright, so this one bumps. I’m a huge fan of the latin-style guitar intro that fades into the background behind the synth bass notes that Migos is known for, which creates a unique and fresh sound. I also really liked how Offset split the hook with Quavo and they each had totally different styles of approaching the beat. While Quavo and Takeoff’s verses weren’t necessarily anything special, I thought Offset killed his and definititley wish it was longer.

Emoji A Chain: 4.5/10

Ah, this is the Migos I know and don’t love. Offset’s flow at the start of the hook seems really weird to me and the rest of it is just boring and repetitive, almost like he didn’t know what to say, so he just kept saying what he thought was a good bar. On the other hand, I thought Quavo’s verse was the lone bright spot in what was otherwise a pretty weak song that is capped off with a random electric guitar outro.

Walk it Talk it: 7/10

The echoing bells in the background create a haunting atmosphere that the beat bounces over throughout the song, which was ultimately ruined by the monotonous hook. If Quavo would’ve spent as much time coming up with lyrics as he does repeating “Walk it like I talk it,” he easily could’ve thought of something to mix it up a bit. In saying that, he had a pretty solid verse, but was overshadowed by Drake’s short, but great feature. The song had a really clean feel and I think it would’ve been one of my favorites on the album if it weren’t for the boring hook.

Notice Me: 9/10

This is a Migos song? I really did not expect to hear something so vibey on one of their albums, but they definitely made it work. Post Malone was the perfect pick to feature alongside Quavo for the hook, and while Quavo’s lazy autotuned voice sometimes bothers me, this time it melodically floats over the beat. In fact, all three members of Migos showed up for this one, (yes, even Takeoff) each with flows very different from their typical style. This track was a breath of fresh air and my favorite on the album.

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