Label: Quality Control Music
Released: January 27

Even without “Bad and Boujee,” the buoyant track that got the Migos a Donald Glover co-sign and blew them up into megastars, Culture would still be one of the best albums released this year. Get past the title track kickoff, where an overexuberant DJ Khaled throws everything off-balance, and Culture is front-to-back bangers, a touch under an hour with four perfectly placed features from the right rappers. 

After honing their craft through countless mixtapes and managing peaking and dipping expectations throughout their career, Migos actually exceeded them on Culture, refining their staccato three-man weave delivery and ad-libs into a cohesive whole. It’s the same Migos, but its Migos with an actual budget, no label no longer. The centerpiece, of course, is “Bad and Boujee,” with it’s eminently memeable “Rain drop, drop top” and a charismatic appearance from Lil Uzi Vert, but it’s hard to pick just one other track for acclaim. “T-Shirt,” “Big On Big,” the heartfelt guitar-driven “What The Price"—they all could have taken lead single status. And while Quavo was the Migos’ undisputed star until now, Offset and Takeoff have both more than come into their own. The South, the South still got something to say. —Russ Bengtson