Album Review: Quavo’s ‘Quavo Huncho’
The so-called Beyoncé of the Migos just dropped his solo debut album, Quavo Huncho, to much fanfare. I enjoy some of the Migos’ music, but I was never a major fan. However, I was interested in seeing what Quavo could do on his own.
The album starts with two songs that sound like throwaway Migos tracks. On “Biggest Alley Oop,” Quavo raps about his journey so far, and on “Pass Out” (featuring 21 Savage), he does a lot of gun talk — and 21 Savage has a hilarious line about broke niggas’ money being short like Yeezy slides.
“Huncho Dreams” is the first song that grabs your attention — because it is about Nicki Minaj. Huncho alludes to smashing Nicki and skeeting on her face, and says that he is sorry if he hurt her feelings. He also mentions that it’s all fun and games, which makes me think he’s joking; and given that the title is a play on Nicki’s “Barbie Dreamz” (which is all jokes), it is very plausible that Quavo is just fooling around. However, there had been rumors that the two were dating, and those rumors intensified after the two appeared on Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” remix. Who knows?
(Sidebar: If they did date, it would make the Nicki/Cardi beef that much more interesting and would perhaps explain why Nicki had certain expectations of Cardi.)
If you needed another reason to doubt that Quavo was being serious on “Huncho Dreams,” it comes in the form of a Drake collaboration on the very next track. I don’t think Quavo would disrespect Nicki and then follow up with a track that features her labelmate and close friend. In any case, “Flip the Switch” is the first song on the album with real replay value — I ran it back like four times after the first listen. I has a bouncy beat that is markedly different from the three opening tracks, which all kinda sound like throwaway Migos tracks — not bad, but far from spectacular. As far as lyrics are concerned, both rappers brought their A game, but Quavo is no match for the 6 God.
“Give It To ‘Em” features Quavo’s current rumored flame, Saweetie. The track is a return to the standard Migos sound, complete with the “skrt skrt” ad libs. Absolutely nothing to see or hear here.
“Shine” was produced by Tay Keith, so you already know it’s a banger. Quavo plays around with autotune on this track and ends up sounding a bit like Travis Scott. The next track is “Workin Me,” which has grown on me significantly since its release.
“How Bout That?” is another Migos-esque track; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t see the point of Quavo going solo if he’s just going to give us Migos redux. I understand that he was an integral part of the group’s sound, but it would’ve been dope to see him try to switch it up a bit. That being said, I actually kinda like “How Bout That?”
Madonna and Cardi B provide an assist on “Champagne Rosé.” I was expecting to love this song. I am so full of disappointment. Cardi has a line about “not doing number two,” which the people of the internet are interpreting as a dig at Nicki — I happen to disagree, but I see why people would think that.
“Keep That S**t” features Takeoff, who absolutely kills his verse. The song’s message is clear: Keep that shit over there.
“Keep That S**t” is followed by “F**k 12,” which features Offset. The song opens with an excerpt of Malcolm X’s famous “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?” speech, which he gave at the 1962 funeral of Ronald Stokes, who was killed by the LAPD. The inclusion of that speech led me to believe that Quavo and Offset were about to go super lyrical and thoughtful, but they don’t, and that’s fine. The chorus is a repetition of the words “fuck 12” — 46 times in the first chorus and 23 times in the second one. Yes, I counted.
“Lose It” features Lil Baby, and I must admit, I haven’t been paying attention to any of his music — mainly because I couldn’t get past the fact that he chose to call himself Lil Baby. However, he might have a new fan because he sold me on his verse. I didn’t like the song’s production at first, but it grows on you after a few listens.
Travis Scott’s yelling ass makes an appearance on “Rerun” — the track is [flame emoji] [flame emoji] [flame emoji]. Both artists are in their bag. Arguably the best song on the album.
“Go All the Way” was co-written and produced by Pharrell Williams. I don’t like to mention repetitiveness when I critique music because I think it can be a good thing. However, this song is repetitive in an annoying way.
The next tracks are “Lamb Talk” (one of the album’s three lead singles) and “Big Bro.” On “Big Bro,” Quavo tries to impart wisdom on a wayward young’n. One of the lines appears to be about Lil Peep, who passed away from a drug overdose last November. Apparently, that got the internet hot, with Lil Peep fans tweeting out #fuckquavo in the hours after the album’s release.
Controversy aside, the beat to “Big Bro” is dope and it is good to know that Quavo is capable of rapping about things other than money, cars and women.
Quavo gives us more range on “Swing,” which features Normani and Nigerian singer Davido. Produced by French Montana, Murda Beatz and G Koop, parts of the beat will remind you of “Unforgettable” (French’s hit collabo with Swae Lee). At over five minutes long, I would usually suggest shaving some time off, but not in this case. All three performers did their thing (and Quavo even does a bit of singing).
“Swing” is followed by “Bubble Gum” (one of the lead singles) and “Lost,” the album’s final track. Featuring Kid Cudi, “Lost” is a lot more solemn than most of the album. Quavo hopes he doesn’t get lost in the money and the fame; Kid Cudi, who sings his verse, talks about trying to escape his demons — the rapper has struggled with depression for years. It’s a drastic change in mood, but a welcomed one nonetheless.
At just over an hour, Quavo Huncho isn’t a very long album. However, it has 19 tracks, which is still a lot to digest, especially when many of the tracks are about the same thing. I can’t bring myself to criticize Quavo for not delving into a broader range of topics because he has never presented himself as anything but a Lamborghini-driving, Versace-wearing young rich nigga. He stayed true to himself and that must be respected.
Album rating: 7 out of 10.