(Photo: Quality Control Music)
Ever since their breakout "Versace" took over the radio in October 2013, the ATL trio collectively known as Migos has become the benchmark of efficiency. They released Quality Control Music last month along with fellow spitters, Rich the Kid, Jose Guapo, Chill Will and more. Now, already, they've got another tape to unload: No Label 2.
The family keeps true to their down south roots from the beginning with the "No Label 2 Intro," which serves as an announcement to fans and foes alike that they're not looking to go away anytime soon. "Way back in the day, n---a made No Label in the basement/Young n---a got all that talent, but radio didn't have a placement/Linked up with the hood OG, had a hunch on Migos/Then we took over the north, $20 getcha song played at Flamingo," rapped Quavo, who had the most standout verses of the three on this effort.
From there, Migos go back and forth rhyming about their pre-fame capers in songs like like "Contraband," "Birds" and "Body Parts." They then highlight their lifestyle bump in songs like "YRH," "Hot Boy" and one of the mixtape's highlights, "Handsome and Wealthy," which turns out to be an unorthodox feel good song with rhymes like, "Don't know why I came in this club with two girls/Don't know why I came here with these diamonds on my chain/Surrounded by these b-----s, I can't get 'em out my face/'cause a n---a handsome and wealthy," spit all three on the hook.
Production from Zaytoven rounded out No Label 2's success. Zay comes with a versatile array of sounds on the eight songs he crafted for the mixtape, including the hard-hitting "Just Wait on It," the harmonious "Antidope." and "Add It Up," which also features some of the group's best flows.
Though a majority of the content was geared towards the streets, Migos snuck in a few for the clubs, like "Fight Night," "Freak No More" and "No F----n' Wit."
However, at 24 songs total, No Label 2 is long. Practice makes commercial, it seems.
Having spent less than a quarter in the limelight, the trio is proving they can continue to draw in an audience. The Future-inspired "No F----n' Wit" and "Freak No More" effectively used Auto-Tune to make the hooks jump out a bit more, and their strategic pauses, á la Rick Ross, make for more dynamic verses.
Mostly, however, in an age when it's rare to see a successful group in hip hop, what makes Migos continue to stand out is that the group is a prime example of how great chemistry can pay off — and you don't need a [major] label for that.
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