The first solo project to be released by a member of Atlanta’s all-conquering Migos has finally arrived. To the surprise of just about nobody, the landmark was reached by the group’s figurehead and closest thing to breakout star: Quavo.
Unaided by Offset and Takeoff, Quavo Huncho, the rapper’s first solo project had long been rumoured. So long in fact that the timing may well be misplaced. Quavo broke out as the mainstream’s choice from the Migos, the chorus guy, the feature guy, his autotune modulations and distinct intonations (generally quite high-pitched) were highly coveted by fellow rappers and popstars alike.
Rather than capitalise on the demand for his voice with a solo release, Quavo worked with artists like Charlie Puth, assaulting the charts and dominating the airwaves. He also had a notorious reputation for featuring on almost every release in the rap scene, one that almost became a joke, considering the relative inactivity of Offset and Takeoff.
To his credit, Quavo has always maintained the group’s prosperity, clearly evidenced by the near-scientific dividing of verses and choruses over the course of the two Culture albums of Migos. It is this harmonic distribution of responsibility, combined with Quavo’s ubiquity as a feature, that has seen the anticipation of his solo release mutate from fervent to sceptical.
By the time of Culture’s release Quavo had established himself as the group’s star, a title he can still lay claim to, although the Culture album’s have significantly increased the other members’ reps, while somewhat unfairly diminishing his own.
Freed from a stint in prison, Culture belonged to Offset, the rapper exuding the braggadocio and versatility Atlanta is renowned for, whilst also proving himself pretty handy on a chorus. Since then he has dropped a joint tape with Metro Boomin and 21 Savage, ascending the steps to the very top of the rap chain. In terms of star power, he is possibly on equal footing to Quavo. Culture II, meanwhile, saw Takeoff steal the limelight, prompting Gucci Mane to call him his favourite rapper.
One of the more unjust legacies of these two albums, partly due to the subsequent rise of Offset and Takeoff’s popularity, has been a tendency to disregard Quavo, to question his talents and to exaggerate his weaknesses. This widespread attitude may explain the time of the release, although from a commercial perspective – and anybody familiar with Migos lyrics will know this is what really matters – it seems odd.
Nonetheless, Quavo Huncho is a timely reminder to those naysayers that its author is not be underestimated. Pointing to his popularity and pull amongst rappers, Quavo has enlisted the help of the biggest names out there over this 19-track debut. Drake, Travis Scott, Cardi B, 21 Savage and Kid Cudi all make guest features. That last one may have been the biggest surprise, as he hums his way on to the album’s closing track, but the big reveal when Quavo released the tracklist was that Madonna would be featuring on a track with Cardi B and himself.
Although many would accuse tracks on the record fof suffering from trite similarities to others, there is also ample ingenuity and a smattering of songs which should become hits over the coming months. ‘Workin Me’ is being streamed at a feverish rate, whilst ‘Pass Out’ and ‘Flip The Switch’ (featuring 21 Savage and Drake respectively) have all the elements necessary to become club anthems.
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