By Joseph Hernandez, E23 Reporter

Following the success of 2017’s “Culture,” hip-hop supergroup Migos released the sequel aptly titled “Culture II” January 26, 2018. The release of “Culture” last year started a chain of quality album releases and the group, comprised of Quavo, Takeoff and Offset, aim to start a similar chain with their latest project.

The 24-song effort from the group has their most songs to date, surpassing their 2013 release, “No Label II,” which contained 20 songs. In addition to “Culture II” having the most songs, it is also their longest release, clocking in at one hour and 45 minutes.

Both the number of songs and the album’s length are nearly doubled from “Culture,” which had 13 songs and was 58 minutes long. On the surface, “Culture II” seems to abandon everything that made their 2017 effort one of the best albums of the year. Their “short and sweet” style, involving quick verses from each of the members, on everything they appeared on last year is arguably what made them the MVPs of 2017. Their departure from that style is an early issue for “Culture II.”

At one point in their careers, people weren’t able to tell the group’s voices apart and thought the Migos were only one person. One of the positives of “Culture II” is each member does a great job of differentiating themselves even more from one another. People now can point out Quavo by his frequent use of autotune, Takeoff by his deep voice and Offset by his rapid-fire style of rapping.

Another positive from this album are the features. The likes of 21 Savage, Drake, Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Post Malone and 2 Chainz all appear and deliver in their own, unique way. Yes, even Post Malone is capable of producing something tolerable that isn’t called “White Iverson.”

The first four songs of the album are about as perfect as one can get as far as starting off an album. The “Higher We Go” intro, “Supastars,” “Narcos” and “BBO” are classic Migos, covering everything from infectious beats, catchy hooks and questionable lyric selection. But by the fifth song, the group seems to have put things on autopilot. Coincidentally, the fifth song is titled “Auto Pilot.”

The length of the album is the biggest issue. Half of the songs are forgettable and could’ve been removed and released as singles at a later date.

The decision to include 24 songs had to be done in an effort to boost their album sales. Since the Recording Industry Association of America began to count streaming from music services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, the more songs an album has, the more likely it will be certified gold, platinum, multi-platinum or diamond. Unfortunately for the fans, it means they have to listen to a good amount of filler music amongst the good songs.

The variety of topics and sounds is another issue “Culture II” faces. Most of the songs that don’t have a feature blend in with each other. People that aren’t familiar with their style might think this is just one long song playing for nearly two hours. Having too many songs that are built around the same topics can be a problem for a group looking to truly establish themselves as legitimate superstars in the music industry.

“Culture II” didn’t live up to the hype, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. The Migos gave their fans quality songs such as “Walk It Talk It” and “Made Men” that will be played throughout the year. Even the bad songs have beats that make them enjoyable.

If there’s one takeaway from this album, it’s that maybe one day the album’s final song, “Culture National Anthem,” will be the future national anthem for our country.

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