Though it feels like a fever dream now, there was a time when Migos' Culture II seemed like it was eons away from existence. Sure, the first Culture dropped less than a year ago, but—given the events of 2017—time has started to pass with a deceptively slower pace. With Culture II now (finally!) set for release this Friday, Rolling Stone dropped a Touré-conducted cover story with the Georgia trio that sees them discuss their current creative methods, influences, investments, Cardi B, and more.
At the time of the interview, conducted in early December, Culture II consisted of 30 "great songs" that Migos were trying to slim down to 20 or 21 "perfect ones." Travis Scott gifted the sequel with some vocal assists, as did Big Sean and Ty Dolla Sign. For the tracks' main portions, Migos—in the middle of the most successful year of their career thus far—were forced to record in makeshift studios across the globe. Some parts were recorded at a resort in South Africa that Takeoff likened to being "in the middle of, like, the jungle," an environment that ultimately worked its way into the lyrics. "[Quavo] saying 'straight out the jungle, straight out the jungle,' like on a Bob Marley kind of like Jamaican tip," Takeoff said. "We wouldn't have said that if we wasn't in the environment we was in."
As for what fans should expect with the final product, Culture II will represent a slightly "funkier" vibe from Migos. Rest assured, however, that Migos aren't diving fully into total experimental territory just yet. "See, 'Bad and Boujee' was really a ladies' record," Offset said. "It made all of them want to stand up a little more and feel a little better about themselves. When you got the women, you got everything. If a n***a needs to know the secret to hits, you need something that the women like."
During a drive to an Atlanta-area strip club, Touré asked Quavo to name his top five MCs. Quavo instead goes one higher, naming a Migos member as one of his all-time favorites:
When I ask him to name his top five MCs, he lists six—Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z, Kanye, Gucci Mane, and himself.
The personal lives of each Migos member will also likely have an effect on Culture II, including Offset's well-publicized relationship with Cardi B. "She is real solid, came from where I came from, did what I did," said Offset, whose first date with Cardi B was at last year's Super Bowl. "She's herself, man. I seen her develop from the trenches all the way up, and I like how she did it. I respect her grind as a woman. She came to the game with some gangsta shit. I like that. I fuck with her. That's my baby."
The full interview, featuring poster-worthy photography from Theo Wenner, is available here and you better fucking read it.