The Georgian family-trio of trap rappers known as Migos (Quavo, Offset and Takeoff) came up quickly considering they’ve been active since around 2011. Propelled mainly by their radio friendly mixtape hits, Migos would inevitably get to this point, serving up an official studio debut with their staple styles, themes, flavors, you name it. Brought to you by the boys’ Quality Control Music under 300 Entertainment (which is chaired by lucrative execs Lyon Cohen, Kevin Liles and Todd Moscowitz), Yung Rich Nation (the title is a cute nod to their acclaimed 2013 Young Rich Niggas mixtape) will likely get off easy because of its milestone status, but despite some decent patches, the album panders to the hip hop music market’s lowest common denominator.
Sounding vaguely like a Gucci Mane recording with a due amount of bop and a few fun spots to head-bob to, YRN the album has little else besides typical Migos’ signatures. A first major, retail album is a sign of arrival so coincidentally, Migos celebrate that much in tracks like “Migos Origin” and “Spray The Champagne” though the intro “Memoirs” does reminisce about the past a good deal. This first section is really the only one worth noting since the youngsters do realize here that their success took some time, effort and work on their part. Likewise, “Street Nigga Sacrifice” tells of a journey from ‘the streets to the beats’, but this is where the philosophical depth shallows out.
The less than super creative “Highway 85” is a slowly told story of being caught up in the dangerous ghetto ways and neither condemns nor encourages the lifestyle but simply puts it out in front us. Other moments like “One Time,” “Pipe It Up” and “Playa Playa” are just obvious fillers, punctuated by some more important if very important party songs. Of minor note are “Gangsta Rap,” a nice little homage to the sub-genre and “Cocaina,” which features Young Thug and registers somewhere between a warning and a celebration of cocaine.
Yung Rich Nation has plenty of style and sound rapping but few intellectual smarts. Hardly shocking and completely expectable, it’s somewhat of a disappointment for a project whose major strength is its slim guest list (Chris Brown is the only other compliment to Young Thug in this capacity), but there was never any doubt Migos could singlehandedly sustain an entire LP. A few catchy beats and a whole lot of product line clones don’t do much for names like Zaytoven and the Honorable C.N.O.T.E., but at least they give them exposure. In “Trap Funk,” Takeoff ironically raps, “you niggas still bubblegum rapping ’cause you amateurs.” How are Migos not bubblegum rapping themselves in parts of Yung Rich Nation? YRN the album is the same old Migos. Be warned if you’re not still into them.