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Takeoff is Migos’ secret weapon, so why hasn’t he made solo moves yet?

The internet lost its collective shit earlier this summer when an interview between the ‘Everyday Struggle’ crew and Migos turned a little dramatic.

It all began when noted trash take haver and Jerry from Tom and Jerry lookalike, DJ Akademiks asked the Migos’ Takeoff how he felt about being ‘left off’ the group’s number 1 hit “Bad and Boujee”.

Then chaos ensued.

Takeoff, wearing Versace, dripping in jewelry, and rocking clout goggles, responded “Does it look like I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee?'”

No, it did not appear to the naked eye as if Takeoff had been left off “Bad and Boujee”, but Akademiks didn’t seem to be able to understand Takeoff’s Southern drawl and kept asking “I’m sorry what?”, Joe Budden walked off the set, and Migos gave us the best GIF of all-time.

The entire interaction became one of the funniest viral moments of the summer, with amazing edited videos and gifs capturing the reactions from all of those involved.

Migos have apparently not forgotten this encounter. On the chorus to “Ice Tray”, off the new Quality Control release, with Quavo and Lil Yachty, the chorus includes the line “If a n**** hatin’, call him Joe Budden (pussy)”. While Joe Budden more actively hated on Lil Yachty, or his happiness, the message is rather clear.

The actual question at hand, why Takeoff was left off “Bad and Boujee”, is still kind of legitimate. Adding Lil Uzi Vert’s (unnecessary at best) verse instead of Takeoff seems like a bit of an oversight.

As the other Migos members Quavo and Offset see their stars rise meteorically through pop feature placements and celebrity engagements, you’d be forgiven for your own oversight of Takeoff’s work. But if you’ve been paying attention to Migos since “Versace” and the litany mixtapes and releases since, you already know the youngest Migos member has the bars.

When Offset was serving various stints in jail, it was the duo of Quavo and Takeoff that took the hip-hop world by storm.

It’s clear from their very first releases, like “Chirpin” that Takeoff has the skills.

His distinct delivery and deep, gravelly voice, arguably the most outstanding and unique of Migos as a whole, makes him the perfect foil to Quavo’s harmonies and Offset’s aggression.

Takeoff is both the youngest and most reserved member of the group, which means that he gathers up less blog and tabloid headlines, perhaps this is by design.

All you have to do is watch a Migos interview to see the dynamic between the three in which Takeoff is clearly the least talkative and eager to please interviewers.

The video for an early Migos release “Rich Then Famous” begins with Takeoff claiming he’d rather be rich than famous.

This contrasts with the other two members of the group.

Quavo, who was also the high school quarterback, is a natural superstar. His crossover appeal has seen him jump on songs with former One Direction member Liam Payne, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, and Keke Palmer.

On the other hand, Offset has featured on some of the best hip-hop songs of the year, rapping on songs with Cardi B, Gucci Mane, and Young Nudy.

It’s hard to imagine Takeoff matching up with any of the artists Quavo worked with, his choppy, gravelly style is perhaps the most specific to Atlanta trap music of the group. And while Takeoff hasn’t joined any One Direction members or become the trap feature du jour like Offset, he’s been putting in fuckin’ work this year.

2017 may have begun with being “left off” the group’s smash “Bad and Boujee”, but Takeoff went crazy (apology for the ableist term) on numerous tracks off the group’s aptly named album Culture.

Take “T-Shirt” for instance. Takeoff not only bodies the chorus, his verse is easily the best on the song. On hits like “Slippery” and “Get Right Witcha” Offset caps off the song with a final verse in his trademark rhythmic, symmetrical flow.

“Call Casting”, another jam off Culture, sees Takeoff supply the chorus and a first verse that was one of the best of the entire album.

Takeoff didn’t have the type of year that Quavo or Offset had in lieu of Culture, but he’s capped off 2017 with a standout performance on the Quality Control label’s Quality Control: Control The Streets Vol. 1.

“We The Ones”,  off Control The Streets with Takeoff and “First Day Out” rapper Tee Grizzley, is perhaps the most exciting and energetic song on the massive 30-track project.

On “Interview”, which features Takeoff and Offset, Takeoff raps about his dislike for interviews, a reference to that incident with Akademiks and co.:

“Don’t ask me no questions in no more interviews
‘Cause I don’t really like to talk much
Not that I don’t know how to speak
It’s you just ain’t paying me enough to talk much”

“Intruder”, his only solo release to date, shows Takeoff rapping more unhinged and rawer than with on most Migos tracks.

Hearing Takeoff on his own, or outside the Migos margins, offers a different perspective on his skills and shows the potential of an artist that has yet to take that step into personal stardom.

It’s clear that Takeoff is the Migos member that’s least comfortable or interested in the spotlight. Despite the fact that he hasn’t made an active attempt to crossover like his bandmates and become a pop cultural phenomenon, Takeoff is consistently putting out heat.

If 2017 was Offset’s coming out year, the early signs are that 2018 looks like it’s got Takeoff written all over it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.