photo cred: genius.com
Atlanta‘s had one hell of a run this decade hasn’t it?
If you have ears, and listen to anything other than recordings of your own tears of your social life being washed away – you’re most likely aware that trap musik – the sound once sectioned off to the abandoned houses of North and East Atlanta, providing a soundtrack to the danger, grit, anxiety, and angst of the city’s grimiest of drug dealers and criminals – has now grown into a global phenomenon – whose influence could easily stretch across the planet quite a few hundred times over (4hunnid, perhaps?).
Between TI, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, Future, and our Lord and Savior: Daniel Son, the Necklace Don (you should know good and god-damn well who I’m talking about) as well as many, many others, Atlanta’s Trap Musik scene has been directly or inadvertently for more number ones than….probably The fucking Beatles.
Okay, probably not. But that’s some ol’ bullshit I’ll go into a rant about on a slower newsday than today. The ’60s being some BS aside, Atlanta has in the past few months given us: an incredible tv show of its namesake through the impeccably talented Donald (Young Lando in the Flesh) Glover, a redemption story of gangster set on changing his ways through multiple albums by Gucci Mane, and a certified #1 song by Atlanta’s own Black Beatles…
The real ones, guys. And speaking of the 3 Musketeers leading the charge into 2017 – Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset have just recently came out with what could possibly be their most focused, boisterous, and somehow, their most Atlanta project yet. Not many other Atlanta groups (or Southern, or anyone, for that matter) could put together so much of what makes the city as unique and as captivating as it has proven itself to be in the past decade in one place. Not only are Gucci and 2Chainz given the space for great features in their own rite – the masterminds who painted a soundscape that has rapt the world over – the almighty Zaytoven, Southside, Metro Boomin, as well as those newer to the space such as Buddha Bless (you’ll recognize him from Big Amount’s Caribbean chords, Asia-inspired key samples, and two-step shuffle-like pacing), the Migos have managed to scramble together so much the city has to offer.
Each Migo (I cheated off the half-Spanish girl next to me in high school, people) brings an interesting and distinctive personality to the table, and generally balance out posse cuts of the three of them with songs that feature each ones talents. From Offset’s immediacy and tenacity, (the howls and barks of a top dog in “Get Right Witcha” and of course, “Bad and Boujee” prove it best) to Takeoff’s menacing technical proficiency and pounding ad-libs (best shown on standout “T-Shirt”) and Quavo’s songbird-dripped-in-lean delivery as well as surprisingly varied frame-of-reference (“white boy in the gang/call ‘im Andy Milonakis” or “still be playing with pots and pans/call me Quavo Ratatouille” easily come to mind), the team pulls so many punches that its audience doesn’t know where to look next. The idea of a young Quavo, running home from his dope selling corner early to make sure he doesn’t miss the latest episode of Andy Milonakis, is especially heartwarming.
At it’s best, Culture is a bold, carpal-tunnel inducing, speaker-abusing hypefest (no, editor, I didn’t forget who I write for), and at it’s worst, the album will still provide an energetic soundtrack to the otherwise unenthusing workday, the lowkey kickback the homies from college finally got together for, or just to inspire the Black Beatle in all of us.
SJ’s Rating: “YEAH YEAH YEAH” – Socrates