The Lowdown: Hip-hop has already taken some new and interesting turns over the past two years. What do Quavo and Travis Scott have to add to the conversation since Culture and Birds in the Trap? The answer for both is, unfortunately, nothing new. That’s not to say the duo completely disappoint. Quavo remains charismatic and clever while Scott still spits out pithy Instagram captions like a Magic 8 Ball filled with lean. But nothing on Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho feels like it was done for any other reason besides the fact that it looked good on paper.
The Good: Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho is bolstered by its outstanding production. Buddah Bless provided two bangers in “Modern Slavery” and the woozy, Mike Dean co-produced, “Saint Laurent Mask”. “Moon Rock” would have been a welcome addition to Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo’s playlist as they made their way to Las Vegas. And Cardo and co-producer Cubeatz let their freak flags fly on the album’s pinnacle “Where U From” by adding a much-needed dose of eccentricity with its psychedelic strings and body-enveloping bass.
The Bad: Save for the memorable hooks on “Modern Slavery” (“All these damn chains/ Modern slavery/ But this ain’t 1800 so they pay me”) and “Motorcycle Patches”, the lyrics throughout the album are mostly interchangeable. The guest appearances by Takeoff on “Eye to Eye” and Offset on “Dubai Shit” are welcome changes of pace, but not much else stands out. Lyrically, nothing is bad or great. It just is.
The Verdict: I don’t know if it was the nod to Hunter S. Thompson on the cover art (drawn by Ralph Steadman himself!), but it’s hard to shake the feeling that Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho would have been better if it was just a little weirder throughout. The best collaborations find the artists inching out of their respective comfort zones to create something that doesn’t feel easy for anyone involved. There is no palpable effort or discomfort on Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, resulting in a perfectly fine album that no one will remember next year or maybe even next month.
Essential Tracks: “Modern Slavery”, “Saint Laurent Mask”, and “Where U From”