Quavo’s debut solo album  uncovers Quavo’s flaws as a solo artist as he proves to lack the depth or versatility to carry  a full length album by himself.

Let’s get this right out of the way: The Migos need each other.

As artists, Migos complement each other while camouflaging their individual flaws while enhancing one another’s strengths. Quavo delivers hood melodies that make the sternest hip-hop enthusiast nod their head in spite, Takeoff provides solid and consistent verses with his “dont-give-a-f***” attitude and Offset provides the intensity and unique raps that helps create the aesthetic that is Migos.

But something seems almost all to obvious when listening to Quavo Huncho. Nothing pops. The album lacks the pop and vibrancy that Culture provided  and to a lesser extent what the Travis Scott X Quavo Huncho Jack  provided earlier in the year. It feels almost too obvious but it’s Quavo’s Migos counterparts. Earlier this year, the group showed that even the life-long friends with top tier chemist can barely maintain a bloated track list from the rap superstars. So if that’s the case, how do you expect the one who depends on his comrades the most to carry an inexplicably long solo album. Quavo’s use of features throughout the album are necessary and help support his lack of lyrical diversity.  To help with the lengthy track list of the album,Quavo inserts features throughout the album to support his lack of lyrical diversity.

What results from the 66 minute debut album results into a lackluster project that will ultimately be overlooked and bured in the sea of generic trap albums that have been released over the past 3 years.

To be fair, the album does have a few positive elements that salvage what seems to be a misstep in the calculated career of the leader of Migos.  The album is filled with gorgeous and infectious instrumentals and Quavo does deliver when producing infectious and catchy hooks.When Quavo is given a strong creative foil to play off of , the song usually delivers. Littering the album with 21 Savage, Cardi B, Drake, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, Saweetie, and his Migos teammates Takeoff and Offset (on separate tracks) — Quavo is more than capable to provide songs that will be on repeat at clubs. “F**k 12” is a catchy, anti-police brutality anthem you can’t help but sing along to (even though it has a horribly misplaced Malcolm X sample. “Pass Out” features a standout 21 Savage verse that reminds us he’s still one of ATL’s standout stars paired with another catchy hook from Quavo himself, and “Rerun” has been one of the most anticipated song’s since its viral snippet, which is ultimately carried by one of the hottest rappers of 2018 Travis Scott.

But that’s where the positive ends.

Constantly throughout my many times of listening to Quavo Huncho, I found myself incredibly bored and in all honesty questioning if I should even make a review for this album since I saw (via the cruel world of Hip Hop social media, that this album was getting trashed). But me being the enthusiast that I am, I decided to give Quavo Huncho a shot since I was in the minority and thought Huncho Jack was a solid collab album. Quavo, against all odds finds himself coincidentally making the sound him and his counterparts created sound extremely dated. The album just comes off as flat and two-dimensional.

Littering the album with 19 songs seemed to be a mistake from the jump, but as I familiarize myself with this album it becomes clearer by the second it was a business decision. There is no artistic value behind Quavo putting 19 songs on an album because in all honesty he refuses to extend his artistic capabilities beyond the aesthetic which is his rockstar life. The whole album revolves around money, women and drugs, and while that is okay, it’s something Quavo has done being apart of a group.

Much like other pop stars (see: Drake) when Quavo’s sales numbers become public knowledge it will undoubtedly be skewed as his streams will add up to an unrealistic amount of sales. With Quavo’ s repetitive sound his debut album should have no more than 10 songs, headlined by “HUNCHO DREAMS”.

In his reply to Nicki Minaj’s “Barbie Dreams” on “HUNCHO DREAMS”, Quavo comes the closest to actually divuldging information and content rather than his usual formula. While this song was meticulously constructed to help garner more attention as mentioning a megastar like Nicki will undoubtedly do, seeing Quavo’s personality shine through his mysterious aura is a nice change of pace.

The biggest flaw of Quavo becoming a solo act is that nothing changed. From the albeit great production, the instrumentals, features and sound, it all sounds so similar to previous Migos albums but without the other two members. Rather than exploring different sounds, Quavo is far too comfortable being melodic and easy to listen to instead of taking an opportunity to explore his sound. It’s as if Quavo doesn’t understand that Takeoff and Offset won’t be on stage beside him for the first time in his career and that he has to carry their sound with him. For the first time ever we could’ve seen a more R&B sound from Quavo or more singing cuts from him but we ultimately get 19 songs of Quavo being Quavo.

What Quavo Huncho proved is there is simply no need for Quavo solo material, especially when it’s in the same essence as all of his previous albums. After listening to the album multiple times, for the life of me I couldn’t tell you the difference between Solo Quavo and Migos Quavo. Theres not a doubt in my mind that Quavo and Q.C will step back and learn from there mistakes and ensure that Takeoff and Offset’s solo projects will recieve better public reception. But until then, we can all hope and wait for the early 2019 release of Culture III, that will give us a more balanced version of the Migos’ tried-and-true formula, finding the perfect balance between all three.

Grade: 3/10

Best Tracks: Rerun, F*** 12.

Ananth Para
paramana@mcmaster.ca

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