Unc & Phew – “Only Built for Infinity Links” review

Unc & Phew are a trap duo from Atlanta, Georgia consisting of Quavo & Takeoff. Both of whom came up as 2/3 of the Migos with their cousin Offset & would see huge success during the early/mid 2010s, most notably when Y.R.N. (Young Rich N****s) & C U L T U R E both dropped. But as Offset prepares for a follow-up to the best Migos solo effort to date Father of 4 next month, the other 2 members have seen fit to form a duo of their own & put out a full-length debut.

“2 Infinity Links” opens up the album with a horn-laced trap beat from Buddah Bless describing the strongest links in the world bonded by blood whereas “Tony Starks” takes a more cavernous route thanks to Murda Beatz talking about putting holes in your chest kin to that of Iron Man. “Hotel Lobby” has a more twangier vibe to it dropping some braggadocio just before “Bars into Captions” samples “So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast welcoming y’all to the ATL.

Meanwhile on “See ‘Bout It”, we have Unc & Phew bragging about stealing hoes over a hyphy instrumental from DJ Mustard leading into YoungBoy Never Broke Again tagging along for the slick “To the Bone” describing how bad their bitches are. “Not Out” shoots for a cloudier sound provided by DJ Durel talking about popping out, but then Gunna & Young Thug both come into the picture for the acoustic/trap-laced “Chocolate” getting in their hustler bags.

“2.30” has a wavier sound to it even though the Percocet-heavy lyricism just doesn’t do it for me personally while “Look @ This” fuses trap with orchestral talking about all the shit they got. “Mixy” with Summer Walker is a moody little trap/R&B fusion with the trio of course tackling the themes of love while “Messy” talks about the main reason why not to let a bitch in their crib over a glitchy trap beat with Quavo apparently airing out Offset for fucking his ex Saweetie.

Continuing from there, “Nothing Changed” was clearly made for Huncho Jack down to the psychedelic instrumental even though I don’t mind the subject matter addressing that ain’t shit change but the ice while the mellow “Integration” brags about having white everything. “Big Stunna” is a fun little boastful trap banger as Birdman comes through with a decent verse while the song “Us vs. Them” with Gucci Mane finds the trio aggressively talking about how it’s them against the world. The penultimate track “Hell Yeah” shoots got a more stripped back aesthetic as Unc & Phew chase a bag together with “Tools” though is a shimmering finisher encouraging you to spread the cash.

For as much shit that C U L T U R E III got last summer, I still think it was a more enjoyable listen than C U L T U R E II & that it would’ve been more well received if you got rid of 4-5 cuts. As for Only Built for Infinity Links, it’s a solid debut from Unc & Phew. Both Quavo & Takeoff manage to take it back to the basics are some more interesting ideas with the production this time around. Here’s to Blame It on Set next month!

Score: 3.5/5

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Migos – “C U L T U R E III” review

The Migos are a trio from Atlanta, Georgia consisting of blood relatives Quavo, Offset & Takeoff. They’ve proved themselves as one of the biggest trap acts in recent memory ever since their 2013 smash hit “Versace” & this was exemplified with their 2017 sophomore album C U L T U R E, which is undoubtedly one of the best trap projects of the previous decade whether you like them or not. However, the sequel C U L T U R E II was a bloated rushjob & their solo debuts weren’t all that well received either other than Offset’s Father of 4. But after this 3 year gap, the Migos are reuniting to finish out the C U L T U R E trilogy.

“Avalanche” starts things out with DJ Durel & Quavo sampling “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations as the Migos look back on their early days but then there’s “Havin’ Our Way” with Drake, which has an symphonic instrumental from Kane Beatz as the quartet talk about getting theirs. The track “Straightenin’” has an eerie instrumental with the lyrics detailing how “you don’t get shit straight if you don’t straighten it” while the Murda Beatz-produced “Type Shit” with Cardi B is a vigorous anthem about how this song might make you feel.

Meanwhile on “Malibu”, we have Polo G accompanying the Migos on top of a synth-horn loop detailing their adventures in the titular California city & I almost wanna say that the beat OG Parker whips up for “Birthday” has a west coast trap feel to it, backing the trio calling out a bitch lying to them about it being her birthday. “Modern Day” is a mystical banger that tells listeners to put respect on the trio’s name whereas the victorious “Vaccine” details them making money during the pandemic.

Future tags along for the guitar-driven “Picasso” comparing themselves to the iconic painter of the same name leading up to them getting on some drug dealer shit for “Roadrunner”, in which the Zaytoven instrumental is tension-building as Hell. Following this, we have Danny Wolf taking the Migos into acoustic territory on the sensual “What You See”, but then “Jane” details the titular character working it for a Birkin bag with stellar Latin trap production from both Tay Keith & Carnage.

I thought the late Juice WRLD’s hook on the cavernous “Antisocial” is perfect given the lyrical concept of the track while “Why Not” finds the trio talking about getting money for fuck’s sake & the beat kinda has that cloud rap quality to it. The instrumental on “Mahomes” is incredibly dramatic as the Migos express their gratitude while OZ works in some synths & keys for them to “Handle My Business”.

The song “Time for Me” is an atmospheric cut about their bando days while the penultimate track “Light It Up” with the late Pop Smoke feels like a leftover from Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon given that it’s in Pop’s signature drill sound down to 808 Melo’s production. To finish it off, “Need It” with YoungBoy Never Broke Again touches down on self-defense & the way Buddah Bless absolutely killed it flipping “Get In My Car” by 50 Cent.

Although I had my doubts going into this album, I’ll argue that it’s what C U L T U R E II should’ve been because the Migos are back in full form on here. It’s only a half hour shorter than their last album was, you can tell the thing actually feels complete rather than spending 15 minutes to make each song & a good portion of them were fun to listen to.

Score: 3.5/5

Quavo – “QUAVO HUNCHO” review

Quavo is a 27 year old rapper, singer, songwriter & producer from Atlanta, Georgia who rose to prominence in 2013 as 1/3 of the Migos with his nephew Takeoff & his cousin Offset. He also formed the duo Huncho Jack in late 2016 with one of the most creative minds in hip hop today: Travis Scott, dropping their debut album Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho at the very end of last year. He then got back with Takeoff & Offset at the beginning of THIS year to drop the Migos’ 3rd full length album C U L T U R E II, which is easily one of the most disappointing hip hop albums of 2018. However, they aren’t stopping there as Quavo is now the very 1st member of the trio to put out a full-length solo effort.

The album kicks off triumphantly with “BIGGEST ALLEY OOP”, where Quavo talks about his place in hip hop over a 30 Roc instrumental with a chilling flute & some female background vocals. The next track “PASS OUT” with 21 Savage sees the 2 getting boastful over a druggy instrumental, but the post-chorus where Quavo repeats his “skrr” ad-lib constantly is very tedious. The song “HUNCHO DREAMS” is a pretty solid response to “Barbie Dreams” off of Nicki Minaj’s latest album Queen backed with an atmospheric Murda Beatz instrumental while the track “FLIP THE SWITCH” with Drake sees the 2 talking about a bad bitch over a vibrant trap beat from Wheezy. The song “GIVE IT TO ‘EM” gets cold blooded over an eerie piano lead while the track “SHINE” is a club anthem with a spacey Tay Keith instrumental.

The song “WORKIN’ ME” talks about his relationship with his girlfriend Saweetie over an airy instrumental from Murda Beatz while the track “HOW ‘BOUT THAT?” talks about how the Migos are running the trap scene over a nondescript instrumental. The song “CHAMPAGNE ROSÉ” with Cardi B is an alcohol anthem over a relaxing woodwind instrumental from Murda Beatz & the Madonna hook was a nice surprise as well. The track “KEEP THAT SHIT” with Takeoff is about how they’re rich & your broke over a murky Dun Deal instrumental while the song “FUCK 12” with Offset disses corrupt cops over a gloomy instrumental.

The track “LOSE IT” with Lil Baby is a mediocre tune about how hot this woman is & the song “RERUN” is an obvious & unfortunately structureless Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho leftover with a beautifully spacious WondaGurl instrumental. The track “GO ALL THE WAY” is very repetitive lyrically,but the electronic instrumental that Pharrell brings to the table kinda reminds me of some of the better cuts that he & his Neptunes cohort Chad Hugo produced together on Common’s Universal Mind Control a decade prior. The song “LAMB TALK” is of course Quavo bragging about his lifestyle over an airy beat while the track “BIG BRO” is a more mature cut as he talks about taking this person under his wing over a cloudy beat. However, that one line at the very beginning about Lil Peep was in horribly bad taste. The song “SWING” is an awkward attempt at going dancehall while the penultimate track “BUBBLE GUM” talks about how this chick has it over a generic instrumental. The album ends with “LOST”, where Quavo & KiD CuDi talk about rising above over a settle beat.

I’ve been waiting on a Quavo solo album & overall, it’s pretty solid. There are a small handful of boring & run of the mill joints but outside of that, the production is more consistent than C U L T U R E II‘s & Quavo himself sounds a lot more focused than he did on that album with his charisma shining brighter even on his own.

Score: 3.5/5

Migos – “C U L T U R E II” review

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Just the day before the 1 year anniversary of their sophomore album C U L T U R E, Atlanta trap trio Migos is celebrating by putting out the long-awaited sequel album to their last one. The album starts off pretty well with “Higher We Go”, which sees the trio talking about their staying power over a wavy trap beat from Metro Boomin’. The next song The next song “Supastars” talks about their lives now over a futuristic trap beat from Honorable C.N.O.T.E. & while the track “Narcos” does reflect on their drug dealing days, the production is so mediocre. The song “B.B.O. (Bad Bitches Only)” pretty much speaks for itself & the jazzy horns on here were a pretty nice touch.

The track “Auto Pilot (Huncho on the Beat)” brags about the lavish life over a video gamey trap beat from the trio’s standout member Quavo & while the song “Walk It Talk It” with Drake sends a message to all of their haters, the hook is super lazy. The track “Emoji a Chain” talks about being all decked out over a decent Metro Boomin’ beat & while the song “CC” with Gucci Mane is a futuristic sex tune, it deadass sounds like an unreleased Travi$ Scott song down to Quavo’s auto-tuned delivery. The song “Stir Fry” touch down on about their success over an infectious funk/trap fused instrumental from Pharrell & despite “Too Much Jewelry” having a nice verse from Takeoff & the Zaytoven production is pretty atmospheric, it’s not structured all that well. We should’ve gotten verses from Offset & Quavo right after because when Takeoff’s sole verse ends, we’re then lead into the hook alongside a robotic bridge from Quavo that’s hilariously bad & then a short interlude before going back to the hook to end the track.

The song “Gang Gang” is an ode to themselves with a settle trap beat from Murda Beatz while the track “White Sand” with Big Sean & Ty$ talks about the celebrity life over a mediocre video gamey beat from Wheezy. The song “Crown the Kings” talks about how they’re living the dream, but the only distinct characteristics about the instrumental is the faint “ Get Up, Stand Up” sample that’s buried in the mix along with piano that comes in around the second half. The track “Flooded” sounds like a murkier, better structured version of “Too Much Jewelry” & the song “Beast” is pretty much a better version of “CC”.

The Cardo produced “Open It Up” is a sinister-sounding banger about their drug dealing past & despite “Motor Sport” being a pretty decent tune to cruise around to from all 3 members’ flows to the laidback beat from Murda Beatz & Cubeatz, the guest verses from Cardi B & Nicki Minaj ruin it for me. The track “Movin’ Too Fast” talks about their drug dealing lives over a gloomy Quavo instrumental isn’t too bad & the song “Work Hard” talks about their work ethics over a moody beat.

The track “Notice Me” talks about their new lives yet again over a laidback beat & the song “Too Playa” with 2 Chainz is a boastful look into the celebrity lifestyle over a somewhat jazzy trap beat. The song “Made Men” talks about their success over a mellow instrumental & the penultimate track “Top Down on da NAWF” reflects on their younger days in Northside Atlanta over an atmospheric beat. The album then closes with “Culture National Anthem”, which surprisingly gets conscious over a piano-trap beat.

To be quite honest, I’m pretty disappointed in this. There are definitely highlights on here but the final product here is so bloated, that the album becomes an inconsistent listen from start to finish. It’s definitely more listenable than the new Chris Brown album Heartbreak on a Full Moon or even the Control the Streets compilation that Quality Control Music (to which Migos are signed to) dropped last month but if they kept 12 tracks for the album & saved the other 12 in the vault, then I’d enjoy it a lot more than what we really got

Score: 2/5

Huncho Jack – “Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho” review

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Huncho Jack is a duo consisting of Migos’ standout member Quavo & the KiD CuDi of trap music, Travi$ Scott. Both members have shown quite a bit of chemistry with songs like “Oh My Dis Side”, “pick up the phone” & “Portland”. And alas, here we are with their full-length debut.

The album starts off with “Modern Slavery”, where they’re going back & forth about the lavish life & the Otis Redding sample is surprising yet cool. The next track “Black & Chinese” talks about their favorite types of women over an abrasive Southside beat & the track “Eye 2 Eye” gets with Takeoff gets celebratory over a druggy instrumental from Murda Beatz. The song “Motorcycle Patches” talks about acid & while it would turn me off, it is fun. The track “Huncho Jack” is a prime example of their chemistry over this semi-spacey beat while the song “Saint” flaunts about their success & the bass on here is explosive!

The track “Go” talks about the life of a hustler & the flute sample on here is killer! The song “Dubai Shit” talks about partying in Dubai (obviously) over a druggy beat & I love how Offset is incorporated as he goes back & forth with Quavo during the final verse. The track “St. Laurent Mask” gets into them as dealers & I absolutely love the keys on here. The song “Moon Rock” is an ode to the titular strain of weed & the beat from Vinylz is sinister, yet bass heavy. The track “How U Feel” talks about getting fucked up on lean & the sample on here is absolutely beautiful. The penultimate track “Where U From?” vents about living life in the fast lane & it fantastically samples my favorite Mac DeMarco song: “Chamber of Reflection”. Then album then closes with “Best Man”, where they both get appreciative of their success over another spacey beat.

Personally, this was WELL worth the wait. The production slaps & the chemistry between Quavo & Travi$ is stronger than before

Score: 3.5/5

Migos – “C U L T U R E” review


Just the day after denying the rumors of singing to Kanye West’s GOOD Music, Atlantan trap trio Migos ending the first month of 2017 by delivering their sophomore full-length album. The title track kicks the album off & the spacey instrumental from 808 Mafia members Tre Pounds & DY is really great, but the DJ Khaled intro makes it feel like an outdated leftover from his latest album Major 🔑. The next song “T-Shirt” is a charismatic braggadocious tune with a menacing instrumental Nard & B and the Quavo hook on here is just INFECTIOUS! The track “Call Casting” talks about cocaine over a bass-heavy piano beat & as for the next song “Bad & Boujee”, it’s not hard to see why this is their biggest hit yet. Sure Lil Uzi Vert fills in for Takeoff, but it’s a really fun track in every aspect from the energetic deliveries to Metro Boomin’s production. The track “Get Right Witcha” talks about how the trio has been too busy working & not only is it catchy, but I also really love the flute that Murda Beatz incorporates into his thunderous production. The song “Slippery” with talks about the lavish life over some wailing synths with some heavy bass & the Gucci Mane verse on here couldn’t have been any more perfect. The track “Big on Big” is a reflection of Migos’ overall success within the past few years & the orchestral string sections that Zaytoven incorporates into the instrumental are just gorgeous. The song “What’s the Price?” has some piano chords in the background that sound like it was buried in the mix & honestly, I think Takeoff’s verse about finding a better route & not being heard out was really sincere. The track “Brown Paper Bag” talks about flexing albeit boringly & the Zaytoven instrumental sounding like it was originally made for Gucci. The song “Deadz” talks about counting money & despite the 2 Chainz feature being short but sweet, the Cardo production sounds like pure evil. The track “All Ass” is a fun tune for the ladies, but [Offset]’s line about a stripper “looking like a Kardashian” did make me cringe a bit. The song “[Kelly Price]” with [Travi$ Scott] is pretty much about them partying with a significant other & the instrumental has a super eerie atmosphere to it. The closer “Out the Way” was such a disappointing finish to the album, as it’s pretty much an “All Ass 2”. I’ve never been a fan of Migos, but I’m not gonna lie when I say this was alright. There are definitely some lackluster moments, but sounds more well produced & they come off a lot less obnoxious & more energetic than usual. Especially Quavo, whom I personally find to be the most animated & charismatic member of the trio. If you weren’t big on these guys & you wanna give them another shot, then give this a listen because it might be their most well groomed effort yet

Score: 3/5