Expectations sure are a bitch. Though long rumored and mentioned, Travis Scott and Quavo's Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho materialized rapidly late last year. Not quite without warning (respect to Offset), but it felt like a gracious gift to close out a great year for Migos-adjacent content. Then, the fans reacted: overall, it seemed, with a “meh”.

In fairness, getting none other than Ralph Steadman to handle the artwork for your project isn't going to soften hype, but even this should be viewed through the same lens as the album (Mixtape? Who can say anymore.): adding a bit more fun to everything.

It shouldn't need saying, but not every collaboration need be an earth-shaker. This project couldn't more clearly be two pals goofing off and having a good time in the studio, and there's nothing wrong with that. Scott and Quavo clearly had fun as Huncho Jack, and while playing, it offers the same to all. For a last minute gasp in 2017, it's hard for this writer to not see it as a gift, a few tunes to get you through the dry spell as the music world resets itself for the new year.

And yet, a quick perusal of the rap corners of the web around release quickly revealed antipathy bordering on declaring the project something of a rap Hindenburg. “Travis can just keep Astroworld,” (Scott's approaching solo LP) one, seemingly former, fan squawked, while others thought it signaled trouble ahead for Migos' CULTURE 2. Et tu, Brute?

The hype cycle of a rap fan has always been a brutal, moody beast, willing to reverse at the drop of a single, but such an overreaction here signals a spoiled fan base. More than in some time, different camps are offering meeting of the minds, collab projects often arrive out of the blue. It's a good time to be a hip hop fan. Saturation has almost certainly pampered us. Seeing as they're often done on the fly, does every artist assortment need offer a BlackOut!?

Granted, the general criticism of Huncho has been a sense of lethargy between its creators, but even this tastes of bitterness. Certainly, the young Atlanta favorites are coasting off charisma here, and don't often fire on all cylinders, but an honest listener would be hard pressed to point to a track that truly bores.

What's more, there are indisputably diamonds in the rough. Hell, Quavo rhymes pelican with the Netherlands on 'Eye 2 Eye'. 'Dubai Shit' lives up to its title, with a beat to make Metro Boomin wish he'd been involved, while 'Where U From' is graced by a deceptively simple guitar loop, with Scott and Quavo hopscotching back and forth across one of the catchiest choruses either has offered in recent memory. Considering Quavos' year, that's saying something.

This may be hip hop destined for the background, but Travis Scott and Quavo offered carefree fun and ease in a year far too short on both. It never reaches for more, and to bludgeon it for achieving its minor ambitions is bizarre practice. It may not leap, but it never stumbles. Calm down, sit back and vibe.