FATHER OF 4, Offset

By Daniel Winogradoff, Albums Editor

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SCORE: 7.4

Jordan Cephus (9 years old) – Born December 21, 2009
Kody Cephus (3 years old) – Born March 2, 2015
Kalea Cephus (3 years old) – Born March 25, 2015
Kulture Cephus (7 months old) – Born July 10, 2018

These are the children of Kiari Cephus, better known to the world as Offset, one of the three talented front men of Atlanta trio Migos. On “Father of 4,” the title track and introduction to his debut solo album, the Lawrenceville, GA native shouts out all four of his children, proclaiming that they are more important than anything else in his life while reflecting on some of his failures as a father and husband, such as missing out on early birthdays and not amending his relationships with his baby mamas. These thoughtful and reflective sentiments are the driving forces of FATHER OF 4.

FATHER OF 4 is the last installment of the Migos’ trilogy of solo endeavors. Last October, Quavo slicked his way through QUAVO HUNCHO, a colorful, confronting effort that is as much club-ready as it is a quiz on pop trends. Takeoff’s surprisingly blissful The Last Rocket followed less than a month later, showing the youngest member’s taste for conceptual art and potential to claim the “Most Likely to Have the Most Successful Solo Career” superlative. Offset’s last few months ebbing in and out of the limelight has cemented him as the group’s best storyteller and tragic thinker, a man who’s always escaping something. Offset effortlessly ping-pongs between different periods in his life on FATHER OF 4 and navigates the feelings and consequences of being young, unprepared, irresponsible or a combination of the three at the births of his children and beyond. Although enthralling at times, FATHER OF 4 suffers from thematic smudges and tangents that certainly don’t undermine the album’s backbone as much as they cloud it.

Since the release of Migos’ breakout album CULTURE in January of 2017, Offset has easily become the most discussed member of the Atlanta trio, predominantly due to the celebrity of his relationship with Bronx superstar and Grammy-winning artist Cardi B. The at-times-tumultuous relationship, which has seen a marriage, the birth of their daughter Kulture, a public split and appeasement between the two, has brought up questions about Offset’s suitability as a partner. Offset addresses these concerns on songs like “Don’t Lose Me,” a plea for reconciliation over a late-night instrumental that samples his Instagram apology. On the track, Offset raps, “Number one, it’s a loyalty code/ Temptation, had the devil in my soul/ I wanna be with you when we old.” Cardi counters on the sparse duet “Clout,” where the two are united in the fight against clout-chasing haters. Moments like these humanize Offset and Cardi’s relationship; Offset admits that he was wrong and wants to do whatever he can to make things better.

On top of the project’s plethora of demonic and alluring instrumentals lies Offset’s dark storytelling. The J Cole-assisted “How Did I Get Here” and Gunna banger “Wild Wild West” are anxious and paranoid, reflecting Offset’s fight for survival. On both songs, Offset raps one-liners like, “Where I’m from, police put you six feet” and “Blow your brains, turn you to a sunroof,” respectively, to further accentuate the muddiness of his past. Nevertheless, for every honest line Offset musters, he loses track of the narrative he works so hard to build throughout FATHER OF 4. In both songs, Offset uses metaphors and similes like “Whoa, shawty gon’ molest me” (“Wild Wild West”) and “I start to barf, it was too much potion” (“How Did I Get Here”) both of which certainly don’t relate to his motives, not to mention the first line occupies offense.

Prior to the release of FATHER OF 4, Offset sat down with Esquire to promote his project. In the interview, Offset said, “I’m not just all diamonds, pearls, and fancy big houses. I have flaws like everybody else. I’m a human being, too, and I want to open that up.” One could bet that Offset wouldn’t have been so introspective on FATHER OF 4, purely based on his past performances. But his whirlwind year allowed him to step back and focus on what’s important. Offset isn’t perfect, but it’s admirable that he is trying to be the perfect Offset.

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