Published Jul 29, 2015Since the Atlanta trio repopularized the use of triplets in rap music on their 2013 mixtape Young Rich N****s, it's been hard lately to find a rapper that hasn't tried their hand at emulating what has become colloquially known as "the Migos flow." But though the style has been imitated far too many times to count, no one has been able to successfully match the level of precision at which the Atlanta trio of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff execute it. Working through a few obstacles and delays this year, they look to maintain their status as kings of one of rap's most ubiquitous flows with Yung Rich Nation.
"You want the origin of the flow you better shut the fuck up," asserts Quavo on the hook of "Migos Origin," one of a few hip-hop history lessons the trio put together to recap their career path. It's a valid pushback to their imitators, as the use of their favourite delivery is still as tight as ever in telling tales of their journey from trap stars to rap stars. Their wit is equally sharp, as they spit references to getting their definition of "bando" recognized by Wikipedia, Gilligan's Island (a reference way beyond their years), and last year's bizarre "Migos > Beatles" meme.
As on last year's Rich N**** Timeline, here Migos look to move past the bludgeoning repetition of their viral hits in favour of experimentation and diversification in their writing. When working in their favour, it's effective: the trio channel both "99 Problems" and "Boyz-n-the-Hood" to create a Southern rap equivalent on "Highway 85." However, it's also apparent when it doesn't function as well, as evidenced by the clunky, incredibly brief "Gangsta Rap" and the R&B-flavoured "Just for Tonight," which features a blasé Chris Brown hook that slows the record's momentum. The closest Yung Rich Nation comes to revisiting Migos' rap game ascendancy is on "Pipe it Up," an entendre-laden turn-up cut that isn't far removed from the days of "Versace" and "Hannah Montana."
Production-wise, the record includes what are easily some of the least memorable instrumentals that the trio has ever worked with in comparison to their catalogue of freeleases, though the continued emphasis on minimalism gives the rhymes room to breathe. Migos' rhythmic accuracy still continues to amaze, and though their triplet-flowing throne isn't in danger of being overtaken, more consistency would undoubtedly benefit the expansion of their young rich nation. (Quality Control)