The three Migos members have used the year since their early-2018 album ‘Culture II’ wisely, pursuing various side-projects and using them as outlets to do something a little different from the main fare.
Takeoff’s solo effort ‘The Last Rocket’ saw the often-overlooked rapper (famously mocked for being “left off ‘Bad & Boujee’”) finally occupying the spotlight, while Quavo’s ‘Quavo Huncho’, released last October, saw the group’s most prolific member bouncing back and forth with a multitude of guest stars (including Drake, Lil Baby and, err, Madonna) to various degrees of success, but never really matching the same kind of chemistry that he does on the regular with his Migos bandmates.
So, in the build-up to Offset‘s debut solo album ‘Father Of 4’, it’s been interesting to anticipate what he might bring to the table on his record, the last but certainly not least of the recent Migos solo trilogy. Here’s what we learned from the LP.
Offset opens up
On ‘Father Of 4’, we get a bit closer to Offset than we ever have before. As the title suggests, fatherhood is a major theme here, and the album’s cover art features the rapper, decked out in pharaoh garb, sitting atop a throne with his four children: Jordan, Kody, Kalea and his most recent, Kulture, born to Cardi B.
This markedly more introspective mood is evident from the very get-go, as Offset kicks things off on the record’s opening title-track by reflecting back on becoming a father while still in his teens (“I was 17 years old when I had you / Tryna find my soul when I had you / I was oh so broke when I had you”), not being the best of dads (“Sorry I wasn’t there for all your birthdays / I tried to hit, I wasn’t rich, and had no workplace”) before vowing to learn from the past and provide for his family (“I’m a father of four, gotta get that cash, gold / Keep my past closed, ‘member I ain’t had no dough”).
I’m loving hubby album …It’s a very deep album..Intro made me cry twice ?
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) November 7, 2018
Elsewhere on ‘Red Room’, Offset raps about the deaths of friends and family (“See my grandma in a hearse / And Pistol P gone in the casket”), how he himself grew up without a father (“How I grew up, my momma was my dad /So when I blew up I put her in a pad”) and his near-fatal car crash in May 2018 (“I like to throw up when I think about the crash / Not playin’, when I hit the tree I smell the gas”).
Following the massive success of the first ‘Culture’ album, its follow-up was met with a slight underwhelming response last year, with some listeners feeling like the bloated 24-track, 106-minute album simply recycled the same old Migos motifs.
In a recent interview, Offset explained that he wanted to touch upon “relevant situations” and rap less about “Pateks and Lambos because it’s not relatable”. On ‘Father Of 4’, it truly is refreshing to hear Offset offering a different side of him.
He disses Kanye… kind of
Offset isn’t one to get into needless beefs and he certainly isn’t the kind of rapper in whose work you’d find verses peppered with various subliminal shots. That said, there’s one brief moment on ‘Father Of 4’ where he addresses the whole Kanye MAGA saga.
“My bitch on your ass, Kim K / No disrespect,” he raps on ‘Clout’, adding: “The n***a be tripping, but we love Ye (He tripping)”. So there you have it: Offset is not buying into Kanye’s political journey of recent times, but he’s still leaving the door open somewhat for Migos to appear on ‘Yandhi’.
He and Cardi address their marital crises
In a blurb for the album’s release on the streaming service, Apple Music signal Offset’s album’s arrival by teasing: “The most-talked about Migo sets the record straight”. And, following months of headlines surrounding his marriage to the biggest female MC in the game, it’s true that Offset fires back at the tabloids on ‘Father Of 4’.
On ‘North Star’, Offset laments the toll that online speculation has taken on his relationship (“The blogs is after me / They tryna capture me / They lyin’ about the hoes, it’s fuckin’ my bitch up mentally”), while on ‘Don’t Lose Me’, he begins by sampling his own (infamous) public apology to his then-estranged wife.
“I apologise,” Offset can be heard saying in the audio clip. “Breaking your heart, breaking our promise, breaking God’s promise, and being a selfish and messed up husband… I’m tryna be a better person.” Later in the track, the rapper admits regrets for his indiscretions and infidelities (“Temptation, had the devil in my soul /I wanna be with you when we old / We didn’t do this, we didn’t know how shit goes”).
On ‘Clout’ meanwhile, Cardi’s the one that steals the show with her guest verse, which hits back at haters and brushes off any outside prying into her life. “Public opinions from private accounts / You not a check, then you gotta bounce / They do anything for clout,” she spits, before delivering the very Cardi punchline: “Bitches is mad, bitches is trash / Oscar the Grouch.”
The guest features are a very mixed bag
Offset finds several of his guest stars on fine form for ‘Father Of 4’. Cardi shines, while ‘Legacy’ operates as a roll call of those currently at the top of the rap game: 21 Savage is as quietly magnetic as ever, Travis Scott picks up where he left off on the dizzying 2018 trip that was ‘Astroworld’ while 808 Mafia’s Southside provides the backbone beats.
The album’s not without its dud cameos though. Quavo’s feature on ‘On Fleek’ sounds like it was recorded on autopilot, ultimately producing a forgettable Migos-by-numbers affair, and CeeLo Green’s ultra-dramatic appearance on ‘North Star’… well, the less said about that, the better really.