In the wake of QUAVO HUNCHO’s release last month, Takeoff has become the second Migos member to follow in quick succession and release a more succinct debut solo album. If Quavo had not already let the team down, Takeoff follows in suit with his largely disinteresting 12 tracks filled with repetitive rhymes. The album is named The Last Rocket with the implied promise of exciting and ‘out of this world’ material but the reality could not be further from this, possibly even a failed mission. Highsnobiety suggests that ‘Quavo has the auto-tune, Offset has the slightly tongue-in-cheek bars, Takeoff has neither’. Whilst this is a harsh criticism of his undeniably skilful ability to rap, it is true that there is something lacking. Takeoff has long been referred to as the least fame hungry of the trio and has stayed out of the public eye the most. This may have been confused for mystery but it seems that their youngest member really just has nothing interesting to say. Take, for instance, the Migos’ latest radio interview with The Breakfast Club where Takeoff is so vacant, makes minimal contributions and relies solely on his band members to carry him through. Lyrically, The Last Rocket is hence rather revealing of his complete indifference and attitude that ‘[he’d] still rather be rich than be famous’ (None To Me). Having said that, Takeoff (24) is young and has the luxury of time to mature and develop his musical talent.
The Last Rocket is difficult to engage with as the lead’s rhymes are too simple to stand alone on an album. There are considerably less features than on Quavo’s album which reaffirms the notion that Takeoff isn’t as well connected in the industry. The first 9 songs fail to capture any attention as there is nothing innovative about them besides a few bravely incongruous beats. To give an idea of this unoriginality, I Remember is almost humorously poor and you need not look further than the chorus to envisage a total lack of imagination: ‘I remember, I remember, I remember (I) (x2) / I can’t forget, I can’t forget, I can’t forget it (I can’t forget), / I remember, I remember, I remember (Remember that) (x3)’. Ironically, it seems that Takeoff has forgotten the significance of meaningful lyrics. The lead single, Last Memory, equally nosedives with a monotonous flow. Nonetheless, persistence apparently pays off in the form of a rather surprising 10th track, Infatuation. This is arguably the best on the album, complete with 70s style disco riffs and an endearing storyline about young love. Immediately, we are drawn in by the unfamiliar vocals of Dayytona Fox softly whispering sweet nothings and it only gets better when Takeoff comes in; his rap is gripping and so the song stays true to its title. As far as synth-pop goes, this is a very satisfactory tune but not enough to save the album as a whole.
It is fortunate that this album is not named The First Rocket as demand for a second one appears somewhat limited. It has been expressed that ‘The Last Rocket makes a scary case for there actually not being that much depth to Migos altogether’ (Highsnobiety). Whilst the bar has not been set high, added pressure has now been placed on Offset to deliver in his upcoming album and thus defend the Migos’ position in hip-hop. Their appeal as a three is still evident in James Corden’s recent Carpool Karaoke and so the route of a solo career is perhaps one to be avoided.