Quavo / Takeoff - Only Built for Infinity Links Music Album Reviews

Quavo / Takeoff - Only Built for Infinity Links Music Album Reviews
The Migos members’ new collaboration is longer than it needs to be, but Quavo and Takeoff can make most scenarios sound exciting, whether life-changing or mundane.

In 2018, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff reached the point where the only thing more impressive than succeeding together would be dominating apart. Eager to divide and conquer, each member of the Migos released a solo album. Every record had its moments, but none—not Quavo’s QUAVO HUNCHO or Takeoff’s The Last Rocket from 2018, nor Offset’s Father of 4 from 2019—came close to the best Migos material, if only because the trio work so much better as a unit. Takeoff benefited most from charting his own path outside the group’s gravitational pull. Beyond the flexes, it was the little anecdotes that beefed up The Last Rocket: being forced to move drugs during the winter, grappling with stage fright as a superstar. Quavo’s solo outing did the opposite, indulging his worst habits. “If I went a little personal,” he later admitted to GQ, “I think my album would’ve been a little bit better.”

Only Built for Infinity Links, the new collaboration from Quavo and Takeoff sans Offset, functions like a Migos album with lower stakes and without a consistent third voice. It succumbs to the same monotony and bloat that plagued the last two Migos albums, yet stands as proof that young rich niggas bring out the best in each other. Allegedly approved by Raekwon and named after his 1995 mafioso-rap epic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Infinity Links’ similarities to the Wu-Tang classic don’t stop at the title. Both albums are steeped in the paranoia and excess of the drug trade, using it to emphasize the platonic bonds at their centers: friends Raekwon and Ghostface on Cuban Linx and uncle Quavo and nephew Takeoff on Infinity Links. But the mood on Infinity Links is less insular and more celebratory. After its hokey intro, opener “Two Infinity Links” turns into an intense baton-passing session over producer Buddah Bless’ rousing 808s. It’s exhilarating to hear the duo switch flows and drop ad-libs as they recall their early days; “Two Infinity Links” deserves to demolish car subwoofers and concert venue floors the same way “T-Shirt” and “What the Price” did back in 2017.

As a pair, Quavo and Takeoff follow one another’s lead. If one comes to the track with malleable flows, the other holds it down with something sturdier. Sometimes, they take the same approach but play with syllable count and timing. On “See Bout It,” Quavo’s strip club-ready rhymes sputter and stop unexpectedly while Takeoff’s verse anchors the song. On “To the Bone,” they trade roles: Takeoff bends time and crams syllables into tight spaces, while Quavo’s sing-songy raps adhere to the rhythm like a roller coaster car to the track.

Their reliable but unpredictable dynamic does as much heavy lifting as their actual bars. Most of the subject matter is one-note by design—these are rappers who made their name off tracks with repetitious hooks about designer clothing and moving cocaine. But they’ve always diversified with splashes of color, which continue to keep Infinity Links interesting: Take the way “Integration” plays on the idea of Quavo and Takeoff’s blindingly white jewelry mixing with their Black skin, or the way Takeoff compares his former lean habit to a discontinued Rolex on “Messy.” And while neither are open books, their writing shines when it leans into the personal touch that QUAVO HUNCHO withheld. Quavo, in particular, drops a handful of details that reinforce the drama of his early 2010s come-up, like the time Quality Control co-founder Pierre Thomas offered him a garbage bag full of money (“Bars Into Captions”). It’s the closest he comes to sounding tender or wistful, and Infinity Links could’ve used more such reflection.

Colorful descriptions can only take this album so far, though. At 18 tracks, Infinity Links is just one song shorter than 2021’s overlong Culture III, and as fun as its best songs are, a quarter of the album registers as either chintzy or superfluous. “Bars Into Captions” represents the latest attempt to flip a sample of a classic rap song—in this case, OutKast’s “So Fresh, So Clean”—for a new generation, but the beat is uninspired and the constant allusions to the sampled song (including an homage to a bar about Anne Frank’s attic) detract from Quavo and Takeoff’s easy chemistry. “Mixy,” “Big Stunna,” and “Hell Yeah” are as generic as their titles, with the flavor and presence of packing peanuts. Bloat is par for the course on albums like these, which doesn’t make the experience any less exhausting.

Though they haven’t solved all their curation and sequencing issues, Quavo and Takeoff’s compatibility grants Infinity Links an easygoing energy that’s hard to resist. Their uncle-nephew relationship isn’t just a bit of fascinating rap trivia: You can hear their bond in their back-and-forths, the way their mutating styles make slight tweaks to an already solid formula. The best songs on Infinity Links blow the entirety of Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho*—*Quavo’s indistinct and meandering 2017 collab with Travis Scott—out of the water. The future of the Migos as a unit remains uncertain, but this album represents as natural an evolution as any.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Quavo / Takeoff - Only Built for Infinity Links Music Album Reviews Quavo / Takeoff - Only Built for Infinity Links Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 27, 2022 Rating: 5


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