What does Migos do well

The actor and film producer Donald Glover named the at the award ceremony of the Golden Globes Migos, the hip-hop trio from Atlanta, "the Beatles this generation ". He giggled. He was aware of the provocation. The Beatles are the most important band in music history. And the Migos? about the best way to cook crack. And of course about their luxury brand "Saatshi", which means: Versace. In short: The Migos make exactly the music that the cultural establishment has problems with. And then their new album is called the one on the first place in the American charts is also "Culture".

But a lot of the tracks on "Culture" are actually breathtakingly good. For example the number 1 hit "Bad and Boujee". The three Migos rap over a very slow, melancholy, heavy beat - all more or less at the same time. Maybe you would have to do them with the instead of the Beatles Beach boys to compare. Because just like this, the three rappers are currently revolutionizing the principle of polyphony in pop. Incredibly artful they interweave different vowel tracks. While one is rapping, another repeats passages of the same text at a different speed, the third is responsible for the so-called ad libs, for imitated pistol shots, animal sounds or cryptic abbreviations. Language is broken down into abstract material, the voices become rhythm machines. All of this has been around for a few years, but the Migos have perfected it. And so "Culture" is a completely original product from Atlanta. This big city in sultry Georgia is the greenhouse that grows a very special kind of hip-hop: trap.

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Atlanta is the epicenter of the trap movement

Trap evolved from various other varieties of southern hip-hop a good ten years ago. The name - trap - refers to the scene in which Trap was created: the extremely precarious milieu of Atlantas, characterized by drugs and violence. The sound has a clear signature. Trap is remarkably slow at around 70 beats per minute. The focus is on electronic production: garish sounds chirping over dystopian synthesizer surfaces, plus a powerful bass, and underneath all of this works the beat from the Roland 808 drum machine, which is characterized by sharp, ultra-fast cymbal beats. Trap has now become an international phenomenon, pop stars like Rihanna have songs produced in this style, but it is clear that Atlanta remains the epicenter of this movement.

One of the central figures is the hyperactive rapper Gucci Mane (trademark: the tattooed ice cream cone on his cheek), who is revered in the city and produces around one song a day when he is not in prison. But producers like Zaytoven, Mike Will Made It or Metro Boomin are real stars. This can also be seen in the fact that they proudly stick a kind of acoustic business card at the beginning of each song. Above all, there is a very special form of hit production in Atlanta, a kind of short circuit. In Atlanta, strip clubs clarify what will be a hit - especially a club called "Magic City", where new songs are systematically tested. All of this generates a laboratory where sounds and rap styles are pushed as far as possible. Specifically, that means: as long as strippers can loll around the bar and the audience freaks out.

And so for some years there has been a never-ending stream of black music from Atlanta that sounds new, exciting and, in the best sense of the word, extraordinary, for example from rapper Future or Abra. But above all from Young Thug, who is currently becoming a favorite of the international pop scene. This is partly due to his rap style. What the three of them Migos do - celebrate a polyphonic witch's sabbath - Young Thug manages alone. He uses his voice like a sampler, almost every word is emphasized differently, he screams, sings, coo, chatters and barks, and all of this at different speeds and, arrogantly sovereign, sometimes in time, sometimes against the beat. The ridiculous thesis that there is nothing new in pop has not been so casually falsified for a long time.