Having been a fan of the hugely popular Atlanta hip-hop group Migos since the days of Hannah Montana and Fight Night, it felt only right to write my first article on Quavo’s new album QUAVO HUNCHO. Taking a step away from fellow members Offset and Takeoff, Quavo is the first to drop a solo project (the others rumoured to follow). The Migos rose to fame in 2013 when Drake jumped on their breakthrough track, Versace, and they have since gone on to collab with an array of rap’s greatest artists. Quavo’s album is not dissimilar in doing this as it is heavily featured with the likes of 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Cardi B and even Madonna. Whilst this would suggest an original and exciting album, it lacks the energy of Offset and Takeoff and drawing on unrelated artists like Madonna (CHAMPAGNE ROSÉ) for a feature seems like a forced attempt at being unique. In contrast to Migos’ second US number 1 album Culture II, which was released earlier this year, QUAVO HUNCHO feels incomplete. The majority of the songs sound like regular Migos tracks without Takeoff and Offset and with more substandard beats, thus it is quite ambitious of Quavo to try and hold down 66 minutes of song on his own.
Quavo may have the most distinct voice from the Migos, which is enhanced by his knowledge of auto-tune technology, but it is when their skills come together that they complement each other and, in turn, make a better tune. That said, he is undeniably talented and for this reason is sought after to appear on many chart-topping tracks (Congratulations, Pick Up the Phone and I’m the One to name just a few) so it is rather disappointing considering the volume of features that this could not save his own album. If anything, it has become a curse as most of the features outshine his own rapping. In fact, many of Quavo’s singles, like BIG BRO, are not even needed on the album. Meanwhile, the better tracks GIVE IT TO EM, WORKIN ME and LAMB TALK, are average at best. With an excessive amount of 19 songs, Quavo leaves it to Drake (FLIP THE SWITCH) and Savage (PASS OUT) to give the album some saving grace. Furthermore, the repetitive nature of this album would suggest that Quavo is unable to leave his comfort zone, relying heavily on reused ad libs and an all too predictable flow.
Nonetheless, much like on featured songs, Quavo excels in singing in auto-tune which is currently very popular in hip-hop. His noticeable staccato flow can be seen in LOST with Kid Cudi (possibly one of the coldest songs on QUAVO HUNCHO) and he has the ability to produce some elements in songs that his contemporaries on their solo albums cannot. KEEP THAT S**T with Takeoff is also an excellent example of his ability and goes to show that he’s most in his element when with his crew. Quavo’s previously failed album with Travis Scott, HUNCHO JACK, JACK HUNCHO, should’ve been a warning sign not to follow the path of a solo career. Pitchfork magazine slated this collab, ‘Quavo features work best when the surrounding cast and production mirror his natural effervescence,’ supporting the notion that he needs his two ‘amigos’. Hence, a solo career may have worked for Beyoncé but it seems that Quavo should stick firmly to his Destiny’s Child, something he acknowledges himself: “I never really did see myself as a stand-alone. We never really saw ourselves having solo careers. We came in as a group,” and, arguably, they should go out as one.