Prior to “Bad & Boujee” hitting no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this past week — kept from hoisting the title belt by only “Black Beatles,” that chart-pulverizing world-eater made by my younger cousins that are not actually related to me — 2014’s “Fight Night” was Migos’s biggest hit, peaking at no. 69 (control yourselves). But here’s the rub: “Bad & Boujee” is better than “Black Beatles.” I might even go so far as to say that there’s “Bad & Boujee,” and then there’s 15 feet of crap, and then there’s “Black Beatles.” This is not to say “Black Beatles” is bad — it’s actually great, and I’ve only recently learned to sing the “KNOW MEEEE” ad-lib with perfect pitch (perfect, yes) after months of failed attempts. It’s just that “Bad & Boujee” is the best thing ever, and less of a song than it is an out-of-body experience. Like, snorting crushed caffeine pills off of a machete and riding a raptor motorcycle out of the bay of a cargo plane.
Of course, you’re welcome to form your own opinions about this. But if you disagree, you should probably change your mind. Here is some footage from a recent Migos concert. This was taken in Lagos, Nigeria, by the way.
“Bad & Boujee,” along with the good-but-not-anywhere-close-to-as-good follow-up single, “Call Casting,” will appear on Culture, out January 27. It’s Migos’s first album since Yung Rich Nation, their commercially underwhelming major-label debut.
I suspect Culture will be just fine, and I held that opinion before I saw the video for “T-Shirt.” But then the video for “T-Shirt” was released Friday, and a description of “T-Shirt,” like “Bad & Boujee,” is unworkable without hyperbole. Because “T-Shirt” is a grab bag of, if not the same, then similar victory bars about what they’ve bought or sold, what kind of girls they’re with, and what they’ll do to anyone who dares come between them and those things; but they turned it into The Revenant. Because here, “POCKET ROCKET” means “LONGBOW.” Because Offset is dressed as a fur trapper — still rocking vintage Versace frames, that’s a crucial detail — WHILE BRANDISHING A SPEAR. Because — I’ll repeat it — this is Migos doing The Revenant.
Some questions: Why is there a random white dude smoking a peace pipe in a geodome tent and heating a Pyrex beaker over an open flame? They’re talking about selling work, but why did they need to travel to a frozen tundra to shoot an Iñárritu film about it? Why is Takeoff in head-to-toe black bear fur?
One more question: Why are you questioning providence? Culture is coming. Set your goddamn bear traps.