That’s what the flashy, all-in-the-family Atlanta rap trio Migos called their second proper album, released in January. A bold title, partly because at one time a more fitting name for a new Migos album would have been Counterculture.
Migos are among the leading purveyors of trap rap, and there’s an ever-present criminological element in their music that would seem to deter them from the level of commercial success they’ve experienced in recent months, most notably with the No. 1 single “Bad and Boujee.” Only so many people can relate to or understand the details of their drug-dealing subject matter, after all. The fact that they’ve achieved ubiquity -- from the success of “Bad and Boujee” to Donald Glover’s Golden Globes shout-out to their surprise appearances at Coachella this past weekend -- seems unlikely. But it all makes them that much more interesting, and by extension, their show last night at Myth was one of the most anticipated to roll through the Twin Cities so far this year.
There’s some truth to the idea that “Bad and Boujee,” like the rest of Culture, represents a resurgence for Migos, a bounce-back after the modest success of their debut, 2015’s Yung Rich Nation, which failed to produce even one Hot 100 hit. But the notion that they ever “fell off” following the breakthrough success of their 2013 Y.R.N.mixtape (the one with “Versace,” “Hannah Montana,” and “Bando”) is bullshit, and their live show proved that. In the past five years, Migos have racked up so many chart-certified and internet-level hits that even if you’ve been following them closely, you might have forgotten to expect them to play a beloved single from two or three years ago like “Handsome and Wealthy.”
As for material from Culture, “Bad and Boujee” inevitably had the crowd relishing everything from the endlessly memed opening line (“Raindrop, drop top…”) to Offset’s verse-opening “Woo!”s. The Myth crowd, though, was almost equally thrilled to hear “T-Shirt,” a darker, more menacing single that more properly encapsulates their ATL street-rap origins.
A kinetic unit, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff proved themselves underrated live MCs. It’s easy to have low expectations for the performing abilities of rappers like Migos due to their youthfulness and fast rise to fame. All too often, such rappers (and especially, for some reason, such rappers from Atlanta) show up to venues at the last minute and deliver a lackluster performance, putting in the minimal amount of work to justify the tens of thousands of dollars they’re paid per show.
Fortunately, Migos are better than that, feeding off each other’s energy and an innate chemistry that may be due to the fact that they’re all blood relatives. (Fun fact: Quavo is technically Takeoff’s uncle.) Each MC has a distinct persona and skill set, and when they give each other space to rap their individual verses, they’re a well-rounded rap group in enough traditional ways that they transcend any pigeonholing they’ve encountered as 2010s trap rappers.
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