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‘Quavo Huncho’ is a big, bland boring mess

Migos’ head honcho’s debut solo project offers mere glimpses of brilliance in an overwhelming jumble of mediocrity.

%22Quavo+Huncho%22+is+the+first+solo+album+of+Atlanta-rapper+Quavo.+Quavo+is+a+part+of+the+hip-hop+trio%2C+Migos+who+found+mainstream+fame+after+its+2016+single%2C+%22Bad+and+Bougee.%22
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‘Quavo Huncho’ is a big, bland boring mess

"Quavo Huncho" is the first solo album of Atlanta-rapper Quavo. Quavo is a part of the hip-hop trio, Migos who found mainstream fame after its 2016 single, "Bad and Bougee."

Quality Control Music

"Quavo Huncho" is the first solo album of Atlanta-rapper Quavo. Quavo is a part of the hip-hop trio, Migos who found mainstream fame after its 2016 single, "Bad and Bougee."

Quality Control Music

Quality Control Music

"Quavo Huncho" is the first solo album of Atlanta-rapper Quavo. Quavo is a part of the hip-hop trio, Migos who found mainstream fame after its 2016 single, "Bad and Bougee."

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Quavious Marshall, aka Quavo has had one hell of a year, both in his own solo career and as one third of hip-hop trio Migos. The Atlanta rapper has spent the better part of the year either in the studio or on the road, receiving a multitude of production and vocal credits across various projects.

From his third studio album with Migos, his No. 1 collaboration with DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper and Justin Bieber, to his current tour with Migos and Drake, Quavo’s been busy accumulating millions for himself and his team.

He’s come a long way since Migos formed in 2008. Their imprint on the modern rap scene is undeniable, and the trio has become cultural icons in the time since they exploded into the mainstream with 2016’s “Bad and Boujee” single and their 2017 masterpiece “Culture.” But Quavo’s debut solo effort “Quavo Huncho” feels far removed from those days, in more ways than one.

The question of whether or not he could hold up an entire project on his own has been looming in the back of my mind since early August, when he released a triage of singles that were catchy but lacked substance.

The songs “Lamb Talk,” “Workin Me” and “Bubblegum” all recieved big-budget visuals that really set the tone for how “Quavo Huncho” was going to feel: big, overblown and largely uninteresting.

Quavo’s known mostly for his ability to craft catchy hooks, and while there’s no doubt that he is also capable of serving up tight verses with great writing and memorable flows, he was barely even capable of holding his own on the preceding singles.

The first third of the album fails to accomplish anything tangibly new or innovative. There’s plenty of memorable hooks, great feature performances from Drake, 21 Savage, and Saweetie and some interesting and original production ideas thrown about, but these small pockets of brilliance fail to make up for the overall blandness tracks like “Pass Out,” “Give It to Em” and “Shine” offer.

Things don’t start to pick up until “Workin Me,” the second single released ahead of the album, but by that point we’re already seven tracks and 17 minutes in. The track is more or less the type of club-banger we’re used to seeing from Quavo, but frequent collaborator and producer Murda Beatz keeps the energy going when Quavo cannot.

Once the album really starts to get going, it becomes horribly apparent how unprepared Quavo is to be off on his own.

His features outshine him on nearly every track, and the material he brings to the table is often just not up to par. He reuses many of the same few harmonies, flows and subjects repeatedly, leaving most tracks feeling like a bland, inconsistent mess. This goes on for 19 tracks, for over an hours worth of mostly mediocre material.

“F*ck 12,” featuring fellow Migos member Offset, is arguably the best example of a song that could have been great had Quavo put in his best effort possible.

The track opens with a combination of two different samples, one from Malcom X’s 1962 speech at the funeral of Ronald Stokes, one of seven members of the Nation of Islam violently gunned down in an altercation with the LAPD, and the other from a “hands up, don’t shoot” protest. This effective combination immediately establishes the tone for the track.

Quavo’s first verse is largely flat and forgettable; his flow is a very basic take on the iconic Atlanta triplet flow that he and a fairly large majority of the modern rap game rely on. But unlike his performance in Migos’ “T-Shirt,” where he utilized a very similar flow, the quality of his writing fails to make any impression at all, leaving the whole verse feeling like a waste of time.

Offset’s verse, although only 30-seconds long, is one of the strongest and most poignant on the entire album.

“You shot him ’cause you thought he had a gun or he black/You better watch out for the boys when you’re black” are fantastic lines with such strong delivery that anything from Quavo’s game would fail to suffice.

The one track where he does manage to maintain equal pace with his feature artist is with Travis Scott on “Rerun,” although this really shouldn’t come as any surprise since he and Travis have worked together since 2014.

With a cosmic, almost psychedelic-esque beat produced largely by Wondagurl, producer for the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, SZA and Drake among others, this track stands out as one of the album’s biggest highlights.

I was holding out that this would be at least a good record, one that I knew from the start would be over-stuffed with mediocre material but, hopefully, could provide a solid eight to twelve tracks somewhere in the mess. There’s maybe five tracks here that leave a lasting impression.

“Quavo Huncho” never feels like it’s heading anywhere specific, and that’s fine for an artist still striving to find his solo sound, but this effort feels half-baked.

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