Rap group Migos has been soaring to heightened levels of success month after month, banger after banger.
The Atlanta-based group, which consists of rappers Quavo, Takeoff and Offset, seem pretty much untouchable at this point. And while many trap music aficionados have long seen the group’s star potential since the release of their 2013 smash “Versace,” their latest hit song “Bad and Boujee” which is featured on their recently released album “Culture,” has only helped to cement their status as superstars.
In light of all their success, the group took a trip to New York University last Saturday for a sold out “culture class” led by The Fader’s Naomi Zeichner. The discussion, which was primarily attended by NYU students, touched on topics ranging from their early days as emerging rappers to the crucial role women play in the popularity of their music.
Here are eight takeaways from the event that partly explain how the three Atlanta natives have catapulted to success and become trap culture’s trendsetters.
1. They received some timely mainstream recognition.
Few people can be successful without a helping hand. In the case of Migos, that hand belongs to musician and actor Donald Glover who declared their song “Bad and Boujee” to be the “best song ever” on stage at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
Quavo said his phone “caught fire” immediately following Glover’s mention of the group and that they are constantly getting stopped in airports and public spaces. The song also soared to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 the day after the awards show.
2. They were creative in their hustle.
During Saturday’s conversation, VFiles CEO Julie Ann Quay, one of the event’s moderators, mentioned that Migos used to employ a clever come-up tactic by offering to buy DJs drinks in exchange for playing one of their songs. Now, the group is being paid to promote brands.
3. They built their brand early on.
Many artists like to expand their brands with clothing lines, colognes or apps after they’ve garnered fame. But Migos went with a brand that directly aligns with their craft by partnering with Rap Snacks, which claims to be “the official snack of hip-hop,” and they did so prior to achieving mass stardom. In July 2016, they partnered with the snack brand for their own line of chips “Sour Cream with A Dab of Ranch” to which they created a fitting rap jingle. It doesn’t get more on-brand than that.
4. They’re authentic.
When discussing their debut album titled “Yung Rich Nation,” which didn’t perform as well as they expected, Quavo said the album’s sales were disappointing because they weren’t being true to their sound and style when creating the album. Once their music was able to be reflective of their personas again, they opened themselves up to rave reviews and a co-sign from hip-hop mogul Kanye West.
5. They don’t take themselves too seriously.
During a break in the discussion, technical malfunctions caused two of the Migos’ songs to play at the same time prompting Quavo ― whose class clown demeanor is instantly disarming ― to say that the mix actually sounded good, so much so he “didn’t know which way to bounce.” Zeichner even noted that she found Quavo to be a funny guy, to which he of course replied, “you like the way I sound, girl?”
6. They’re loyal to the concept of “family first.”
Aside from the music, the other element that ties Migos together is the DNA they share. Quavo and Offset, who are both 25-years-old, are cousins while 22 year-old Takeoff is Quavo’s nephew. When asked by an audience member if they think anyone will attempt to come between their family ties, Takeoff replied “nobody can separate us because we’re real family, we have to stick together...we’re going to come back to the same dinner table.”
7. They like to be in control of their product.
“Nobody’s gonna care about your stuff the way you do,” Quavo said at the event, adding that that he likes to have as much control over their products as possible. The rapper shared that he mixed and mastered their entire “Culture” album.
8. They know how important a woman’s opinion is.
When asked about the impact women have on their music, Quavo replied that women “set the trends” and that “men always like what the ladies like.” He then wonderfully concluded his final response with “girls run the world.” Amen, bro.