The Lowdown: When Quavo isn’t creating trap hits with Migos, he’s collaborating with artists from a mix of other genres. His Huncho imprint has been heard on top-charting songs like DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One”, Travis Scott’s “Pick Up the Phone”, and Liam Payne’s “Strip That Down”. That same energy is what many were looking forward to from his solo studio debut, QUAVO HUNCHO, but that’s not what they’ll get. Instead, the 19-track album exposes the trap star’s weakness: an inability to consistently create attention-grabbing hooks and melodious verses.
The Good: A few songs on this album are a reminder of Quavo’s potential to produce infectious hooks. On strip club anthem “GO ALL THE WAY”, the playful chorus not only elicits dance moves, but also sticks to the brain long after the album comes to an end. With a combination of Tay Keith’s matchless production and Huncho’s sweet trap hook, “SHINE” is another standout moment. The 27-year-old rapper also shines when his lyrics take a turn towards the playful. In his reply to Nicki Minaj’s “Barbie Dreams” on “HUNCHO DREAMS”, he says: “I see a queen on the tree-tree/ She like the ride that boy tree-tree,” jokingly referring to Minaj’s recent album cover and vague comments about her “new boy.”
The Bad: In the streaming age, artists are aware of how streams affect the money they make from their albums, which is why many have increasingly released bloated records. Quavo takes this more-is-more approach, and it exposes just how many weak tracks are actually on the album. For instance, after several entertaining cuts, the album’s flow turns stale on “HOW BOUT THAT?” and hits a distasteful peak with Madonna’s verse on “CHAMPAGNE ROSÉ”. Other tracks like “BIG BRO”, “LAMB TALK”, and “KEEP THAT SHIT” all stink of bland rhythms that would’ve been left off a tighter album in another era.
The Verdict: QUAVO HUNCHO ends up being a half-and-half affair: half making it easy to hit the skip button and the other half highlighting the talents Quavo brings to Migos. The hooks on songs like “GO ALL THE WAY”, “FLIP THE SWITCH”, “SHINE”, and “WORKIN ME” are what make him a special part of the group, and his playful ad-libs act as the gas that fuels the vibe he presents (when there is a vibe). Unfortunately, monotonous verses, tedious flow, and not enough hooks to go around quickly catch up to him. In the end, QUAVO HUNCHO can be either be perceived as a glass half full or a glass half empty.
Essential Tracks: “GO ALL THE WAY”, “SHINE”, and “FLIP THE SWITCH”