Review: Quavo – Quavo Huncho

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Despite a handful of good tracks, Quavo Huncho is a culmination of the rapper's generic sound of recent years which has mostly grown stale. For his sake and ours, someone tell Quavo to have a day off.

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Since really hitting the mainstream two years ago with their massive single ‘Bad and Boujee’, followed by their fantastic sophomore album Culture, the Migos have been a dominant force in hip-hop, yet Quavo – the group’s de facto leader – has proved the most ubiquitous of all. Throughout 2017/18 he’s been everywhere, appearing on huge hits like DJ Khaled‘s ‘I’m The One’, Post Malone‘s ‘Congratulations’ and Liam Payne‘s ‘Strip That Down’, to the point where an eventual solo album seemed inevitable. Quavo Huncho, then, has been a long time coming.

The fear going into this solo album, however, is that it would simply be an hour of the generic-sounding Quavo-style music that he’s saturated the charts with in the last year. And it is. If you loved Culture II and/or Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, you’ll probably like this – the hazy beats, the auto-tuned harmonizing, the ad-libs: they’re all there. The problem is that Quavo himself was pretty much the worst part of both of these projects, which makes 19 tracks of just him a real slog to get through. He’s certainly the least interesting rapper of the 3 Migos, and he really has nothing to say here at all, with barely any memorable lines in a whole hour of music. On top of this, Quavo seems to pretty much use one flow throughout the entire album, meaning half the tracks merge into a sludge of trap beats and auto-tune – it just sounds lazy, and is a far cry from the hunger he used to rap with in the days of Migos’ mixtapes.

The album is broken up by a host of features – Drake, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, etc – and it’s these tracks that are the most worth visiting, as most of the artists deliver and make things much more interesting. ‘Rerun’, with Travis Scott, is certainly the album’s highlight: an instantly catchy song that sounds like the best parts of their collab project, Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, from last year (and, to me, is reminiscent of Travis’ own ‘Stargazing’ – one of the best from Astroworld.) ‘Lost’, with Kid Cudi, is also a great closer, with a laid-back, futuristic sound and somewhat more reflective lyrics about the risk of getting lost within fame. On the flip side, Quavo has somehow made a song with Madonna and Cardi B (‘Champagne Rosé’) sound boring.

And then we have tracks like ‘F*** 12’ which, after opening with a sample from a Malcolm X speech (I was prepared for a song that touched on police brutality… in hindsight, I was naive), descends into bars like “Fabrics, fabrics/Expensive, linen” and a hook which just repeats “F*** 12” over and over (but not in the catchy, ‘Versace’ sense). It’s terrible, and Offset’s feature can’t save it – although “I got the bricks from Wakanda” is quite a good line. (I.e., his bricks of cocaine are packed so well they’re as hard as Vibranium, from Wakanda. Get it? I thought it was funny…)

Yet the fact remains that this is a Quavo solo album, and Quavo’s solo tracks are simply not all that interesting. Apart from opening track ‘Biggest Ally Oop’, featuring a great beat (flutes continue to be the most exciting instrument in hip-hop production) and some notable punchlines (“Thinkin’ ’bout wrapping a Benz yellow – Kill Bill”), the rest of the songs with him alone are mostly forgettable. Worst of all, despite usually being known as the go-to guy for a catchy hook, most of them on Quavo Huncho are just boring. It’s like he’s not even trying anymore.

Really, Quavo Huncho has arrived far too late; a year or two ago, there was lots of hype and speculation of a Quavo solo album, but, since then, he’s over-saturated the market with a sound that has quickly become stale. As a result, Quavo Huncho is one of the most unexciting high-profile trap albums released in a while. It isn’t straight-up ‘bad’ – there are a handful of songs I definitely enjoyed – but, with un-characteristically weak hooks and boring rapping, Quavo gives us over an hour of music with literally nothing we haven’t heard before. Find the tracks you vibe with, throw them into your playlist, and forget about this album.

Quavo Huncho is out now via Quality Control Music

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