CULTURE 2, BY THE MIGOS: A SACRILEGIOUS SEQUEL???
With the release of Culture 3, I decided to look at its predecessors. The Migos set the bar high with Culture. This included production and features. The whole project was curated very well. While Culture was such a prominent project for 2017, will this project exceed its predecessor’s reputation? This is a review of Culture 2.
This project was released on January 26, 2018. Artist Stole “Moab” Stojmenov also did the artwork for this project. I really enjoyed his artwork on both of these, as they are very beautiful. I think they represent the trio as a whole. Prior to this review, I have heard a significant amount of this project, if not all of this project. It has been some time since I’ve listened to this project, so I would be going into this project with a new mindset. Some of my favorites include “BBO” and “Motorsport.”
WHAT I LISTEN FOR IN PROJECTS
When listening to music, I listen for the vibe, lyrics, and production of the song, and as a listener, I expect artists to get out of their comfort zones and experiment. I will be discussing lyrics, production, features, sales, and I will give this project a rating, but, as with all art reviews, my review of Culture 2 is based on personal opinion.
CULTURE 2 LYRICS
Before I begin, I believe this project is terrible. (Hold your horses! Don’t click away so soon! Hear me out.) This album feels like 50 to 60 percent filler. I have no idea why this album is so long. With 24 tracks, anyone would deem a solid amount of it as filler. I even looked into Anthony Fantano’s review of Culture 2 because I thought that I was being irrational. This project just didn’t meet my standards when looking in retrospect. It is very underwhelming knowing that there is also a solid amount of really good material on this project. The original Culture (which I previously reviewed) had very simplistic yet solid tracks. While this project continues the momentum in terms of simplicity, I feel this project could have been reduced to at least 12-15 tracks at the most. If I were to redo the tracklist, I would recreate it in this order:
- “Higher We Go”
- “Open It Up”
- “Stir Fry”
- “Walk It Talk It”
- “White Sand”
- “Notice Me”
- “Outro (Culture National Anthem)”
- “Made Men”
- “Too Playa”
This order would keep all of the features and throw away the filler. I think it would fit well with the vibe, and even so, I think I would have rated this an 8 or 9/10. This is equally as long and good as the original Culture. This would stop the album from dragging on for so long. Spotify states that this album is 1 hour and 45 minutes. I can assume that this would cut the album time and half while also continuing with the foundation of the original album. Unfortunately, for this album, this theory was not the case.
Other than that, this album discusses many topics that were mentioned within the first project. This includes topics about drugs, jewelry, clothing, etc. I do applaud the Migos for talking about topics that are different from the norm of women’s body parts, other drugs, etc. This doesn’t mean that they specifically only talk about these topics, but they open up their lyrics in a way that can expand their wordplay. Although I didn’t enjoy the song “Emoji a Chain,” this is a good example of their skills. Overall, the same topics that applied to the original Culture could be applied to this project. Some of my favorite lyrics include:
Leave that to the blocks (leave it)
Money to the stars (yoda)
Blessings came from God (woo)
Had to beat the odds (beat it)- Quavo on Open It Up
The coupe came imported (hey)
This season’s Off-white, come and snorted (white)
Green Lamborghini, a tortoise (Lambo)
No human being, I’m immortal (no)
Patek and A.P. full of water (Patek)
Hundred K, I spend on my señora (racks)
My pinky on margarine, butter (margarine)
And my ears got McDonald’s nuggets (ayy)- Offset on Motorsport
Hold out on that coffee
Smoke the Cookie, get the coughing
Drop dead fresh, I need a coffin
Balling, something we do often (ball)
Take the pot and I splash, no dolphin (splash)
I take the nine and go buy me a faucet (nine)- Takeoff on Walk It Talk It
MY FAVORITE TRACKS
- “White Sand”
- “Too Playa”
MY LEAST FAVORITE TRACKS
- “Emoji A Chain”
- Everything else that was left out from the 13 tracks mentioned above.
CULTURE 2 PRODUCTION
Some of the more significant producers that appeared on this project include Metro Boomin, Murda Beats, Cardo, Zaytoven, Wheezy, etc. This is basically the original production from the original Culture. The production was lackluster. I think it is reflective of the original Culture. They could have taken the song “Open It Up” away from the tracklist, as it sounds exactly like “Deadz.” That song, in particular, wasn’t a significant problem because I actually like both of them. I really like the production of songs like “White Sand” and “Too Playa.” When looking at Who Sampled, this project has a few samples from artists like The Festivals on BBO and The Mohawks on Stir Fry (etc.)
To summarize, I wish they had experimented more with the production. With the original Culture, they had a solid foundation. I think they could have just expanded upon their pros based on how their audience felt.
CULTURE 2 FEATURES
The features include Drake, 21 Savage, Post Malone, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Gucci Mane. I think the features were the real highlights of this album. They all did very well on their tracks. I like the flow that Drake did on “Walk It Talk It.” I think it was Billboard-worthy. 21 Savage definitely put down a good hook on “BBO.” With Malone’s dark, melodic sounds, I think he helped with the overall feel of “Notice Me.” Big Sean is definitely an artist that I could see collaborating with the likes of the Migos. I think their collaboration on “White Sand” worked very well, considering his lyrical ability. Ty Dolla Sign and Travis Scott also did the hook for that song. Everything on “White sand” synced together because of the features. With the song “Too Playa,” I think 2 Chainz kept the momentum going from his previous feature on “Deadz.” With unmatched flow and lyrical ability, he was the perfect addition to the track. The last couple of features are Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. At the time, it seemed like they were really in competition in terms of being the best women rapper of this era, but together, they really were beneficial to “Motorsport.” The only song I didn’t like was “CC,” featuring Gucci Mane. To conclude, the features were, again, one of the highlights of the album as a whole.
SALES, RATINGS AND OVERALL REVIEW
According to DJ Booth, this project debuted to number one on Billboard 200 and sold 131,000 units in the first week. XXL also states that towards the end of 2018, this album went double platinum. In retrospect, this is extremely surprising to me, but simultaneously, I know Culture 2 had many hits. I just wished there wasn’t so much filler. With a shorter tracklist, this album had the potential to do even better than its original projections and certifications.
Overall, I thought this project dragged on for too long. I think this project would have benefited from my lineup above. This project reminds me of a poor carbon copy of the original Culture. I think they could have done better on all aspects of this album, especially when they set the reputation so high with the first Culture. I felt disappointed because they had a very well-put foundation that they could have worked from, but most of this album felt like filler. On the bright side, I did think the features were some of the highlights of the album. I enjoyed all of the features, along with the production. I would have liked for the production would have expanded from their comfort zones. To be fair, the producers didn’t choose the instrumentals. It is possible that the Migos began this project immediately after the original, so that might have negatively affected the feel. Maybe this was the leftovers from tracks that didn’t make the cut from Culture. Regardless of speculation, this project was a flop for me.
Will the Migos redeem themselves in the recent release of Culture 3? Tune in to find out!!!
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