“Raindrop. Drop top.”
With those opening lyrics to their now No. 1 single off of their sophomore album “Culture,” “Bad and Boujee,” helped Atlanta rap trio Migos showcases their penchant for catchy hooks over trap beats.
“Bad and Boujee” is the group’s biggest hit to date, and it shows a steady evolution of their sound and style from early hits like “Versace” and “Fight Night.”
However, its Billboard No. 1 status tells two stories: one, the evolution of a dynamic and innovative rap group; and two, how the internet likes to turn good songs into memes, which in turn makes those songs hits.
Just look at Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” which was unseated from its No. 1 spot by “Bad and Boujee” after climbing the charts thanks to the “Mannequin Challenge.”
Both of these songs do a good job of solidifying the insurgent trap genre as a mainstay in the rap and music community.
Pitchfork recently ran an article describing the Migos’ struggle to get a spot performing on any late-night TV shows before Donald Glover shouted them out during his Golden Globe acceptance speech.
He also called them “the Beatles of this generation,” a hotly debated comparison online.
By the next week, their single was number one and they performed it on Jimmy Kimmel.
Migos is doing a lot to legitimize trap to a wary public, but as hip hop’s inevitable takeover of the airwaves continues, their music is pushing for more unconventional black voices to be heard.
Trap artists like Migos, Future, Gucci Mane and Young Thug have yet to receive any recognition at the Grammys, but if their popularity continues to grow (all four have many number one albums), their recognition is to come.
The trio continues their trap crusade on their excellent new album, “Culture.”
The lead-up to the album saw the release of several singles, including the previously mentioned “Bad and Boujee” as well as the equally catchy “Call Casting” and “T-Shirt,” all of which have phenomenally excessive music videos.
In the past, Migos, consisting of members Quavo, Takeoff and Offset, has suffered from one-sidedness in their performances and songs that sound too similar.
Quavo, the undeniable center of the group, has received more widespread recognition than the other two, but “Culture” steps around that.
It is undeniably consistent from all three.
“Bad and Boujee” has its longest verse and hook done by Offset, the least visible member of the Migos thanks to his prior jail sentence.
Similarly, Takeoff takes the reins on “Call Casting.”
Previously, Quavo did the most singing as well, but this duty is also equally shared.
The Migos’ strength is in their tripled-up flow, which they are largely credited for creating and popularizing.
On “Culture,” the three get their due for just how influential they have been, spawning copycats and changing the sounds of incumbent trap stars as well.
The album has a consistent sound throughout, despite the variety of beat styles they have managed to fit into this thirteen-track project.
They have a couple of Zaytoven-assisted gospel organs and bluesy keys, some minimalist Metro Boomin trap drums, and a variety of others.
The features here are also consistent and strongly represent the state of trap music.
Atlanta OGs 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane perform strongly on their respective verses, and newer stars like Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert shine on their more experimental showings.
Even DJ Khaled’s little shoutout at the beginning reinforces the power of the Migos.
That man can sell anything.
“Culture” has a consistent sound throughout without getting old or repetitive.
In fact, some of the best songs, like “Get Right Witcha” and “Slippery” are deeper album cuts that could have served as singles on their own.
The songs sway between contemplative and braggadocios, and clever one-liners and ad-libs abound.
The Migos has somehow crafted songs that are slow yet intense, catchy and perfectly appropriate for getting fired up.
“Culture” was the moment to prove their potential as artists, not just the stars of a particular subgenre.
And they absolutely delivered.
The proof is in the sales: as of this writing, the album is number one on Apple Music and its songs occupy the top 11 spots on the streaming chart.
The iTunes front page is shaped every week by new releases, and “Culture” wasn’t even given a spot (Thanks a lot, Brantley Gilbert, whoever you are).
But the people have spoken with their wallets and ears and hopefully next time they drop an album – which will likely be soon given their work ethic – they are given their fair share of the spotlight on the larger music scene.
Maybe they will prove to be better than the Beatles in the long run. The young group is only getting started, and all we have to do is follow them, in their words, “Dat Way.”