cardi b by August Prum November 1, 2017
Migos are American royalty. The group, which has long since confirmed their status as ‘better than The Beatles’, have been hoisted up by de facto leader Quavo since they broke through with the 2013 smash “Versace”.
But in recent months, Offset, the wildcard of the group, has emerged as possibly the most intriguing rising talent in the trio, if not hip-hop as a whole. Backed by a slew of features, solo projects, and his relationship with now-husband Cardi B, Offset is building himself quite the brand.
This wasn’t always the case.
As Migos blew up in 2013, Offset was locked up in Dekalb County Jail for violating his probation on previous burglary and theft charges. Offset was notably absent from early Migos hits and visuals like “Versace”, the original version of “Hannah Montana”, and “Chinatown”.
You couldn’t blame casual fans for assuming Migos were just a duo although the album artwork for their breakthrough mixtape YRN shows Offset standing alongside Quavo and Takeoff.
Offset told Vlad TV last year about being locked up as “Versace” blew up and Drake hopped on the remix. Initially, he didn’t believe or understand the scope of the glo up until he heard prison guards singing the song while doing count, “I didn’t believe it at first, though. But then I knew it was real when they use to do the little count. They use to be singing ‘Versace’ while they doing count.”
While locked up, Offset found comfort in the biblical story of Solomon, he told Rolling Stone,
“He was a king that had everything, and he lost it all but still had faith. So God blessed him with 10 times more. When I was in jail, like Solomon, I didn’t understand why I was going through what I was going through. I was on the right path. Wasn’t riding dirty. Then I got trapped in this hole. So I reached to the Word.”
After getting out and returning to the booth with Quavo and Takeoff, Offset went back to prison after an incident during an April 2015 Migos concert at Georgia Southern University.
Cops found firearms, less than an ounce of weed, and some lean on Migos’ tour vans. While the other two Migos were let free on bond, Offset was kept behind bars because of his priors.
Offset spent another 8 months behind bars and was freed in December 2015 after accepting a plea deal.
All of this is to say Offset had to make up for lost time.
And make up he did.
Merely a month after being released from prison, Migos released a mixtape YRN 2 and began gearing up for a run with their complete trio devoid of any legal troubles hampering their development.
Offset gifted Migos with their biggest hit to date when he came up with the anthemic chorus for “Bad and Boujee”, which peaked at no. 1 on the Billboard charts, became an internet phenomenon, and was praised by Donald Glover at the Golden Globes as the Atlanta sat claimed “there is no better song to have sex to.”
There’s a darkness to Offset’s tone and delivery that’s absent in both Quavo and Takeoff’s bars. While Quavo has the most obvious star power and Takeoff has perhaps the most distinct voice in the group, Offset brings a different tone.
That difference is clear on “Bad and Boujee”, which makes no sacrifices in its roots as a street anthem before a pop one (Offset really had suburban kids saying ‘cookin’ up dope with a Uzi’), and Offset told Rolling Stone that coming up with that hook was a way of getting rid of some personal strife,
“I had some little situations going on with life, family stuff going down, so I went downstairs to record. Sometimes that’s the best time to get music off – you might be mad, make some crazy shit.”
“Bad and Boujee” is indeed some crazy shit. As was Migos’ album Culture, which came out in January 2017.
Building off “Bad and Boujee” and Culture, Offset went on a run of features this year that can only be described as fucking wild.
Without the crossover appeal of Quavo, Offset has become the go-to feature for fellow rappers looking to add his rapid delivery and wild bars to their catalog. Offset has a notably harsher delivery than Quavo and Takeoff, he’s been enlisted by every trap rapper du jour for their hits in 2017. That list of 2017 features is ridiculous.
Then on Monday, Offset did some shit of his own. He dropped a solo EP $uave and a collaboration mixtape with 21 Savage and Metro Boomin No Warning.
Offset and 21 Savage are a perfect duo. Backed by Metro Boomin’s horror movie production, Offset and 21 trade bars about stunting, drug dealing, and generally being the shit for a perfect Halloween-themed project.
But Offset has also seen his star rise for his moves away from the microphone.
Last week, at a concert in Philadelphia, Offset proposed to Queen Cardi B.
The pair appeared on last week’s Migos release “Motor Sport” alongside Nicki Minaj.
“Motor Sport” is the first release off the next Migos project Culture II. For all of Offset’s work on his own, becoming the most fashionable rap feature in 2017, and marrying the biggest star in hip-hop right now, it’s Migos’ collective power as a group that makes them great.
Offset’s rise has been one of the great stories in music this year. He was in and out of prison for more than a cumulative year and had to watch Takeoff and Quavo’s success from behind bars.
Now, Offset is a legitimate star and alongside Quavo and Takeoff, Migos are an unstoppable force.