Offset comfortably delivers the strongest solo Migos album, penetrating his psyche beyond the surface of typical trap content.
They often say to save the best till last. In the case of the Migos, Offset cruised past his partners-in-rhyme thanks to his solo performances as either a featured artist or co-lead. The inventive Without Warning collaborative album with 21 Savage and Metro Boomin was a glimpse of Offset as an engaging performer without the Migos, slotting perfectly into the nocturnal horror-movie concept. Meanwhile, Quavo’s debut album Quavo Huncho was deservedly forgotten and Takeoff’s The Last Rocket made no waves. From the reception of the albums and the delay in Offset’s, it became clear the Quality Control team were going back to the drawing board.
In November 2018, it was reported that Offset’s A&R instructed him to dial down the Patek parables for his debut album. And Offset obliged. Father of 4 is no mindless Migos album, but a commendable attempt to uncover Offset as a father, a husband and a man, though not explored in totality.
Through the imperfections, Father of 4 partially succeeds in its moments of reflection. Offset drops the flashy tripes for tracks such as “Father of 4”, “How Did I Get Here”, “Don’t Lose Me” and “North Star”. Such songs are lyrically refreshing, and the key for a majority of Father of 4 avoiding the boring copy-and-paste structure of trap albums. The opening track is superior to Quavo and Takeoff’s albums put together, dedicating an apologetic verse to each of his four children for his shortcomings as a father. “North Star” expands on the honesty, reaching its peak in the second half through Cee-Lo Green’s standout performance.
Once Offset gets these tracks off the menu, he is back to the trap to mixed results. “Lick” and “Made Men” earn satisfactory merits, however tracks such as “Tats on My Face” and “Quarter Milli” emerge from the bottomless pit of copy-and-paste trap. “Legacy” featuring 21 Savage and Travis Scott is surprisingly underwhelming considering the names involved, with neither artist putting their best foot forward over the forgettable beat. “Clout” with Cardi B avoids disappointment through its engaging topic of rappers “doing anything” for attention.
The production on Father of 4 is consistently muted, a clear conscious choice when the tracklist is scanned and a trap banger is nowhere in sight. “Red Room” epitomises the minimalism, taking a leaf out of Without Warning and allowing Offset to sit in the confessional with nothing but a microphone and his words. This approach allows Father of 4 to cruise comfortably start to finish, but holds the album back when there are a lack of standout beats for replay value.
Father of 4 ends on a strong note with “Came a Long Way”, a toast to Offset’s grind and timely success. The song is another example of Offset combining B-list trap with a personal concept, the latter factor selling the track rather than the former. Another perk goes to Offset’s silky triplet flow that gives the track the rhythmic melody it needs to maintain attention.
Offset’s debut is far from perfect, but learns from the mistakes of his associates, giving a piece of the artist we’ve never heard before. Father of 4 confirms Offset as the best Migos, and may just become a promising rapper if he continues in the direction of maturity.
Rating: 7 / 10
Best tracks: “Father of 4”, “North Star”, “Came a Long Way”, “Red Room”, “Clout”