Review: ‘Quavo Huncho’

The Migos frontman’s debut album is offensively tedious, lacking any ounce of creative attempt.

In a matter of months, Migos advanced from bando boys to national superstars. Though even before their sudden ascension, the ‘Best Migo’ title found itself comfortably pinned on Quavo’s designer jacket. It is no surprise their success spawned endorsements for members to embark on solo careers, specifically Quavo, whose hookmaking talents prophesied the most feasible chance of pop success. After the lukewarm collaborative album Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho with Travis Scott, Quavo has the opportunity to reinvent and experiment; anything that’ll provide a breath of fresh air from the Migos’ exhausted formula.

From the 19-song tracklist, it is blatant what listeners are in store for. Quavo Huncho is a chore to digest, relying on a style that is far past its sell-by-date. It is an insult to consumers where its shortcomings are precisely from Quavo himself than the album’s producers or collaborators.

Simply put, Quavo is vocally robotic, void of any versatility, his bars enunciated in binary code. All across Quavo Huncho, flows, adlibs and bars are copy-pasted for nineteen songs straight. The staccato flows are squeezed dry on songs like “Pass Out”, “Lose It” and “Give It To Em” where even the predictable guest appearances are unable to salvage the sinking ship. It gives the confession of Migos spending no more than 20–45 minutes on a single song triple the credibility.

From start to finish, the monotony of Quavo’s vocals never disappears. His delivery is drained of human emotion, computerised to its full extent on the dreadful “Go All the Way” – a contender for worst song of the year. “Champagne Rosé” raises several eyebrows courtesy of Madonna’s ridiculous Auto-Tuned intonations, saved from a total sonic massacre by Cardi B’s unprocessed, buoyant verse.

Subtracting Quavo from the equation leaves production that deserved better application. The opener “Biggest Alley Oop” boasts luring vocal samples and a flute melody that returns on tracks like “Flip the Switch”, masking Quavo’s monotony for their mere durations. The best beat of Quavo Huncho comes courtesy of Buddah Bless for “Bubble Gum” that is criminally misused by Quavo, his grey vocals blocking the sunshine of the soulful production.

What can be salvaged from Quavo Huncho is the Takeoff collaboration “Keep That Shit”. Its ominous production is a warm reminder of fellow Migosman Offset’s Without Warning, naturally complimenting Quavo’s warbled hums and Takeoff’s guest verse who teaches Quavo a lesson on engaging flows.

On top of its lack of highlights, the hooks on Quavo Huncho are a head-scratcher to the point where one wonders who granted Quavo the hookmaker label in the first place. “Fuck 12” epitomises the calibre of hooks Quavo chefs, melody and creative delivery absent from the simple recipe. The sole memorable hook of Quavo Huncho comes courtesy of Travis Scott, who gracefully steals the spotlight by the second half of the song. Unlike a Travis Scott, Quavo does not utilise Auto-Tune strategically. Rather, an engineer hits a mere button to filter his bland raps as a compulsion, a trait clear on “Rerun”.

quavo-fk-12

The album’s closer, “Lost”, finally exercises the melodic side of Quavo, singing his verses before Kid Cudi soars through a short-lived guest appearance. Although an enjoyable closer, Cudi’s contributions should have extended to hook duty. This is yet another example of a song failing to reach perfection; a song that can be described as the centrepiece of Quavo’s debut project.

Quavo Huncho is a call for the Migos formula to reach mass extinction. Quavo sounds bored on his own album, lacking any incentive to push a boundary. Even his adlibs lack the enthusiasm they once held. Not a single song on Quavo Huncho can be described as the song that defined Quavo’s solo career, proving a solo career should have never been pursued in the first place.

Rating: 3 / 10

Favourite tracks: “Keep That Shit”, “Rerun”, “Flip the Switch”

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