Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review #1: Migos "Culture"


Ay wassup bitches? Rap music sucks in 2017 (no DJ Shadow), but it's still better than most things. At the risk of becoming a bitter, hatin' ass manbaby, I'ma try to appreciate life as a wonderful rose that grew from the concrete. So bear with me while I review Culture in the style of FrankieThaLuckyDog, the 21st century Matty C with the street dialect of Bonz Malone. CHUUUUCH!

© 2017 CD Review (Review #1) reviewed on 4.5.2017 by SEThaFortunateHound.

Link To CD: Spotify it or some shit, it's literally everywhere

01. "Culture" feat. DJ Khaled
DY & Tre Pound on tha beat >>> DJ Khaled on the intro. Meme Gods in full alignment. He rants about the fuckboys who don't think Migos represent "the culture." I assumed culture referred to culture at large, i.e. Migos put elements of pop culture in a blender and juice the bitch, but now I'm thinkin it also refers to traditional hip-hop culture. Some Twitter contrarian argued that Yung Rich Nation was the most hip-hop album of 2015 cause they was trading verses back and forth and shit like that. I never heard the whole thing, but it's a dab of ranch for thought...My Rating: 3.0

02. "T-Shirt"
Nard & B + XL handlin tha beat duties >>> What more can be said about it? A great single, mad outlaw country vibes - basically "Mama Tried" without the hillbilly. Even tho they indulge in all that Givenchy & Versace fetishizing, Migos take it back to the utilitarian fashion of the original trapwave and honor the iconic white-T. I shed a tear 'cause a decade-and-a-half later, ya boy still rock the white-T at least 2-3 times a week. Thank you, DFB. Thank you, Jeezy.

Quick thoughts on the video: I guess it's supposed to be a takeoff on The Revenant? Never seen it, I only fux wit highbrow and lowbrow. No middlebrow half-steppin' 4 a brother like me. The ironic art-school video is increasingly de rigeur in contemporary internet-based rap culture, and yeah it's entertaining, but the old man inside me (PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE I'M NOT GAY) misses the wide-eyed sincerity of Hype Williams' maximalist fantasies...My Rating: 4.8

03. "Call Casting"
Buddah Bless on da beat >>> Man, I thought this was a Zaytoven beat for sure. My guy done more for the organ than anyone this side of Charlemagne Palestine. Takeoff keeps it regional with Zaxby's and Shane's Rib Shack references. I hope he ain't tryna get on Munchies, 'cause them boys are snitches...My Rating: 4.1

04. "Bad and Boujee" feat. Lil Uzi Vert
Metro Boomin & G Koop beat >>> I liked this song, then I got sick of it, then I liked it again, and now I'm sick again. At this point it's a "Macarena" that appeals to Marxists. Docking a decimal for Lil Uzi Vert...My Rating: 4.9

05. "Get Right Witcha"
Murda Beatz beat >>> OK song. High point is when Quavo says "chinks"...My Rating: 3.3

06. "Slippery" feat. Gucci Mane
Deko & OG Parker beat here >>> Migos and the Beatles were linked by meme, but they're actually more like a xan'd out Beach Boys, using their voices as another instrument in the mix. Meanwhile, Gucci Mane continues entering the nostalgia phase of his career. Sad but inevitable. Catch tha kid literally turning into Guccirace any day now...My Rating: 4.0

½time: Currently a 4.0 rated CD. I was prepared to shit on this, but now I'm thinkin the Migos are very important cultural critics and Dadaist bricoleurs. This is around the time Frankie takes a shit, so I think I'll do that while I prepare my Adbusters submission.

07. "Big On Big"
Zaytoven beat, finally >>> Anthemic I guess, but I ain't feelin it like I should...My Rating: 3.4

08. "What The Price"
Beat by Ricky Ricks, Keanu Beats, 808Godz >>> Like '80s hair-metal bands with power ballads, Migos have a real sentimental streak. This shit is turgid...My Rating: 2.7

09. "Brown Paper Bag"
Zaytoven again >>> We've heard it a million times. Like the Ramones, they hit upon a sound of pure bonehead brilliance and proceeded to do it again and again, refining the sound without really pushing it forward. Consider Culture their Rocket To Russia. But can you blame a group for not progressing when they came out sounding like nothing else? My Rating: 3.1

10. "Deadz" feat. 2Chainz
Cardo on da beat >>> One constant crescendo with Cardo doin some John Carpenter noodling in the background. My Rating: 3.7

11. "All Ass"
Purps beat >>> Migos doin vaporwave or whatever the kids call it. I fux w/ the dystopian Miami Vice steelo. My Rating: 4.3

12. "Kelly Price" feat. Travi$ Scott
Cash Clay Beats & Deraj Global >>> It's a self-indulgent mess but I kinda like it. Seedy noir type shit. I could see this shit bein on the Lost Highway soundtrack instead of whatever Trent Reznor industrial schlock they used.

The arbitrary reference to Kelly Price encapsulates what makes the Migos annoying and great. They pander to millennials with in-jokes and allusions. We fuckin love that shit 'cause it makes us feel smart and like we belong to something. It's a sad narcissistic effect of bein connected to the internet since we was kids and growing up navigating its contradictory dichotomies: infinite/infinitesimal + atomized/all-encompassing. So we hear the Kelly Price reference and think "Oh, I remember her, she was that fat singing lady," but it's all cheap cause nothing ever actually goes away anymore and nostalgia is artificially accelerated; moreover, I didn't even really remember who Kelly Price is cause I confused her with Deborah Cox...My Rating: 3.7

13. "Out Yo Way"
Purps & Cassius Jay on da beat >>> The one area where Migos definitely improved is the Sad Migos songs where Quavo croons like a drunk doing karaoke at last call. Comedown music...My Rating: 4.1

Overall: Usually I think Migos are like Motörhead if they ran out of speed by the end of the record, but they've gotten better at writing slow songs. That's bottom line with this album - the rapping is the same, the songwriting has improved. Everyone on they nuts cause they got two hot singles and Culture is a brilliant title and the cover art is on some ersatz blaxploitation collagist shit, like a mash-up of the late-period Beastie Boys aesthetic and the cover for Deceit, but whatever, it's a good enough record.

Rankings:
13. "What The Price" 2.7
12. "Culture" 3.0
11. "Brown Paper Bag" 3.1
10. "Get Right Witcha" 3.3
09. "Big On Big" 3.4
08. "Deadz" 3.7
07. "Kelly Price" 3.7
06. "Slippery" 4.0
05. "Out Yo Way" 4.1
04. "Call Casting" 4.1
03. "All Ass" 4.3
02. "T-Shirt" 4.8
01. "Bad And Boujee" 4.9

Average CD Rating Review:
Total Score:                      49.1

Total Songs:                      / 13
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Average CD Rating: 3.8 (I think. This math shit is a real bitch, don't know how Frankie had the patience to do it for 1700 reviews)

4 comments:

  1. Need the accompanying video of you reviewing it in your bedroom for maximum Frankie points.

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    Replies
    1. I can bite his reviewing technique, but I could never replicate the unusual charisma that makes Frankie a national treasure.

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