ALBUM REVIEW: Migos close their trilogy with ‘Culture III’

Migos, Culture III

Culture III is a worthy final chapter to Migos‘ trilogy. The album, coming three years following the middle installment, shines in its robust production that’s sure to get crowds pumped in time for the next Coachella.

Culture III
Capitol, June 11

The album opens with “Avalanche,” sampling the Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” as Quavo, Offset and Takeoff sound off as they flex their wealth and success. While the trio’s fans may have no issue with this topic being brought up, the frequency of tracks where the artists brag about their wealth on the album may come across as tiresome for other listeners.

Such is the case with “Having Our Way,” which features Drake as the foursome raps about buying luxuries. Nonetheless, the album still offers plenty of variety and versatility in topics. “Straightenin” serves as a direct address to listeners, setting the record straight on why the album, which got pushed back a year by the pandemic, was delayed. “Type Shit” features a warbling organ melody that’s a treat to the ears. Cardi B (Offset’s wife) provides a killer guest verse.

“Malibu,” featuring Polo G, who’s got his own album out on the same day, opens with a healthy dose of brass. Polo and Migos rap about surviving life coming up from the streets. “Birthday” and “Modern Day” use ambient synth melodies perfect for the clubs. There’s a sort of ironic twist to “Vaccine,” which is very much a flex track that entices listeners to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to allow for the possibility of finally living the lavish lifestyles the trio often raps about.

“Picasso” examines the dynamic of going from trapping to selling art to make bank, and “What You See” is a tender examination of what each artist is looking for out of his relationships with his partner. “Antisocial” and “Light It Up” feature posthumous verses from Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke, respectively, with the former track examining drug use as a coping mechanism for trauma and mental illness, and the latter encompassing the superstar lifestyle.

The standout track on the album is easily “Time For Me,” on which the trio raps in great detail about each member’s firsthand experiences trapping back in Atlanta before a come-up as rap star. The muffled, ambient backing vocals set the tone for the overall melody as light synthetic snaps set the tempo. Culture III is everything Migos fans have come to love about the group, and it shows that the trio really put in the work to deliver on the expectations set out for them following their previous release. It begs the question: how will the trio follow up its landmark trilogy considering the lofty expectations set out before it.

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