Culture II causes fans to “Stir Cry”


Nadya Awino

On January 26, Migos released Culture II, the much anticipated follow-up to Culture. NC students excitedly discussed the album at the lunch table, celebrating its highs and reeling over its lows. Senior Maya Hercey said, “I love ‘Narcos’ and ‘Notice Me,’ but most of the songs sound the same.”

Nadya Awino, Photo editor

Last year, the Atlanta rap group Migos dominated the charts with their second EP, Culture. Not only did it top the Billboard 200, the album also went platinum and snagged a Grammy nomination for best rap album. Now, after endless promotion and buzz, the trio delivered Culture II on January 26. The 24-song tracklist features stars such as Drake, Post Malone, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Big Sean, and Gucci Mane.

“This better be the best album of the year, I’m planning on listening to this all of spring break,” senior Triniti Gibbs said.

Gibbs, like other long-time Migos fans, anticipated excellence from Migos after Quavo posted a list of the production team on Instagram, consisting of Pharrell, Kanye West, Dj Durrel, Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, Ricky Racks, Buddah Blessed, and Quavo himself.

Unfortunately, Migos fell more than flat with Culture II; the group released what Pitchfork referred to as, “a long and formless grab bag.

The intro, “Higher We Go,” sets a dull tone that only grows throughout the entire piece. The group released what seems like scrap songs that never made it to Control the Streets Vol. 1 rather than the alleged “trap-transcending” album the group cultivated for a year. “Open It Up” shares striking similarities to “Deadz” from Culture, using the same flow and nearly the same beat. Songs like “Too Much Jewelry,” “Work Hard,” “Supastars,” and “Beast” deliver thoughtless, unshapely lyrics over rudimentary beats. No one expected Migos to do anything more than build off their past innovative successes, yet blatant laziness permeates each song. Fans listen to Migos’ music for the hard-hitting production, catchy rhyme schemes, and lively ad-libs that changed the culture.

“It’s not that I didn’t like it, but it was longer than Culture and it wasn’t better than Culture,” senior Diana Martinez said.

However, that does not mean the album completely flopped. In the song “Narcos,” the group showed their true talent with a touch of Latino influence on the beat, and “Made Men” drips with a confident flow and early 90s sound that keeps hope alive in the hearts of listeners. “Emoji a Chain” provides the perfect song to blast in the car, despite its disheartening title. “BBO,”  featuring 21 Savage, delivers a promising party song without pushing any boundaries.

Additionally, the singles played a part in upholding the album, as familiar hits like “Stir Fry” and “Motorsport” provided a much needed break from the repetitive throwaways.

“It seems like they’re just playing to what people want, but I like ’Stir Fry,’ and that Apple emoji commercial was fye,” senior Ayi Ajavon said.

“Walk It Like I Talk It,” another released single, features Drake and brings the heat; the simple yet compelling lyrics layered over the infectious beat meets preset expectations. Unfortunately, the other features did not. “CC” featuring Gucci Mane, “Notice Me” featuring Post Malone, and “White Sands” featuring Travis Scott, Ty Dolla Sign, and Big Sean all disappoint, as their verses bring nothing special to the table. Lackluster performances from Post Malone, Gucci, and Big Sean only add to the unimaginative sound of Culture II.

Overall, Migos needs to focus less on quantity, and more on quality. Although clearly not the worst of the worst, the high precedent set by Culture called for a well-developed, creative body of work rather than mediocrity.

“I wanted to like it, but I didn’t,” sophomore Andrew Dana said.


The Chant’s Grade: C-