Review written by Crystal W. (@trap_duchess).

Over the past two years, Migos has become a household name in any home that loves to party. Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset are the members, and none are over the age of 25. Their debut mixtape Yung Rich Ni***s came out in 2013, and since then, they’ve released a slew of mixtapes. On July 31st, the iconic trap trio dropped its debut album, Yung Rich Nation. From this album, we expect nothing less than a culmination of the best Migos material thus far.

“Memoirs” is one helluva opening track and probably my favorite song on the whole album. The hook is frantic, and Migos’ spitting is uncharacteristically poignant, and strangely, almost tender at some points.

Takeoff:

Remember the time, I did my first breaking in?
Me, myself & I ain’t had nobody wit me
Cause I ain’t want my uncles know I did it
Remember the time I got kicked out for havin’ gas stashed in my locker?
In the gym choppin’ it up wit my partners
Next thing you know got walked out by the coppers

However, it’s apparent from the hook on track two, “Dab Daddy,” that Migos hasn’t strayed too far from its roots:

Quavo:
I’m the dab daddy,
I’m the dab daddy,
I’m the dab daddy,
I’m the dab daddy,
Hoes calling me the dab daddy
Hoes calling me the dab daddy

The album’s first half boasts production less upbeat than we’re used to with Migos. A lot of the beats and verses are slightly more experimental and mostly hit or miss. As a long-time Migos listener, I really appreciate that they’re expanding on themes, but the openers probably will not catch the attention of new listeners as it should.

The second half picks up at around track eight. Standout cuts are “Playa Playa,” “Just For Tonight” with Chris Brown, and a collab with fellow Atlanta native, Young Thug on “Cocaina.” “Playa Playa” is classic Migos flow and drums. My favorite aspect of Migos is how skilled the group is at coming up with unique lyrics on the spot (they don’t write anything). Despite the fact that they’re pretty much only talking about money, drugs, and hoes, the group still comes with originality in its bars. Where other rappers with similar-sounding bangers, (e.g. French Montana, Chief Keef) are weak when it comes to complexity of their flow, Migos — especially Takeoff — is able to deliver complicated sounding verses with ease. Peep his verse from “Playa Playa:”

Takeoff:

I can take you places you ain’t never been
You ain’t never been on that island fucking with Gilligan
Lil mama foreign, she an immigrant
I can turn you to an American citizen
Courtside Staples watching Lakers
Big mansion, no neighbors
Bitch go back to watching basic cable
If she thinking she can play a player

“Cocaina” is my another favorite of mine off YRN, mostly because it bangs. However, it sounds a lot like any song off of No Label II or Rich Ni**a Timeline. I usually don’t ask for musical growth from Migos. In fact, whenever Migos releases new music, I expect it to sound the same as the group’s old stuff — but seeing as this is the debut album, I can’t help but want more.

None of the songs on Yung Rich Nation will have the same type of staying power as “Bricks,” “Hannah Montana,” or “Chinatown.” It’s not that they’re inherently worse songs, it’s just that they sound essentially the same as their other songs, but their old songs have a familiarity that makes me gravitate toward them. And I think this sentiment rings true for a lot of Migos fans.

Yung Rich Nation is nowhere near as good as YRN: Tha Mixtape. It doesn’t have the same goofiness that made me fall in love with them in the first place. Though I admit that’s a lot to ask. Having achieved their level of success, Quavo, Takeoff and Offset could never go back to being just three homies again. They waited a few too many mixtapes to release an album, and they have nowhere near the same momentum as they did in 2013 with “Versace,” or even last year with “Fight Night.” In the summer of 2015, they’re quickly being overtaken by new names like Fetty Wap and the Remy Boyz.

I just don’t think Migos timed the album out well enough, nor do I think the debut album is produced well enough. However, the hype wave is a hard one to ride, and a lot of hip-hop artists go through a similar slump after bursting onto the scene so quickly. Like Waka Flocka Flame after Flockaveli, it took him a while to develop a new sound that wouldn’t always be compared to his first album. Until Migos can find a way to switch it up, everything is going to be compared to YRN: The Mixtape. And Yung Rich Nation: The Album is an easy comparison: it’s definitely worse.

Hopefully, YRN is just a bookend for the first phase of Migos’ music. To be completely fair, it’s only been two years since the first mixtape put them on the map. I will still be listening with a keen ear to the ATL natives’ upcoming projects, because a group of young, talented artists like Migos is sure to have plenty of fresh ideas underway.

You can purchase Yung Rich Nation via iTunes for $9.99. Leave a comment to let us know what you think.