It was another epic Grammy weekend in Los Angeles and while Artists like Jay Z, Kanye West, Big Sean and Pharrell Williams kept the headlines coming with surprise appearances and star-studded performances, Atlanta trio Migos may have been the hardest workers and players in the City of Angels.
The triumvirate that has provided the soundtrack for many a ratchet day and epic night rocked three shows in as many nights, bringing a taste of that ATL madness to the docile by comparison L.A. club scene and showing why, in a year that has seen the resurrection of the crew in hip hop, they are ready to make a run at the title that was once held by NWA, World’s Most Dangerous Group.
In an exclusive conversation with BET.com after their final performance of the weekend, Quavo, Takeoff and Offset, whose album Y.R.N. 2 comes out later this year, discuss branching out beyond music, coping with style stealing MCs and crafting a legacy that will garner a biopic 30 years from now.
BET.com: Tonight they debuted the trailer for the NWA movie, which caps a nearly 30-year legacy. Did that make you think about your own legacy in 30 years?
Takeoff: We’re the new NWA
Offset: Legendary. Epic.
Quavo: We’re the new NWA. Migos in the building. We’re coming hard.
Takeoff: I want you to be talking about us decades from now.
Offset: I want you to see on the music aspect that we brought that cadence. We want them to recognize that we changed the game in our era 30 years from now and accept us the right way.
You’ve had a rapid rise and rocked with and without the label. What have you learned from a personal and business standpoint?
Takeoff: Don’t ever dive head first. You can’t trust too many people, and you gotta stay focused.
Offset: You gotta keep making hits and stay consistent in the game to remain. You gotta stay consistent or you won’t last. You gotta stay up on what’s going on right now.
Consistency is a fragile thing. How do you achieve the balance of evolving while staying true to your roots and fan base?
Offset: We just keep it 100. We just keep doing the same thing. We can change up, we can switch up and go any way but, like, say for instance when we drop our album, we ain’t switching up cause of the album. We gonna keep coming with them hits and them bangers and them mixtapes.
Takeoff: We don’t change our work pattern. We just work harder and then keep on working harder and harder.
Quavo: They just summed it all up.
Another legendary crew, Wu-Tang, was notoriously competitive in the booth. How is it with you guys when you’re together in the lab?
Offset: You got 20 minutes in the booth. If you can’t come up with anything in 20 minutes, you gotta come out and let the next man go in. Ain’t no hard feelings. We competitive but we push each other.
Takeoff: That ain’t really for us 'cause we really been mastered that 20 minute rule, so I really can’t say how competitive we are. If I go in first, Quavo might hear my verse and he come in after me.
Quavo: Migos, Wu-Tang, it’s a lyrical brawl!
You recently said your new style can’t be copied. Have you heard anything that has changed your mind?
Takeoff: You can try to take our style but you can’t take it from us.
Offset: You can never beat the sensei. You can never beat the master. You can never beat us.
Quavo: You can’t beat Mr. Miyagi.
Offset: We hearing folks bite but it’s all cool. You can’t beat Master Splinter. As long as the people recognize and see what’s going on.
Now that you’ve traveled the world a bit, has going other places affected your style?
Takeoff: Yeah, we’ve been traveling, been to Belgium, been to Dubai and we’ve seen lots of different stuff and it gives us some different things to rap about.
Offset: Yeah, it shows us different sides and definitely gives us more stuff to rap about. And it lets us see how they’re living over there and gives us more perspective.
Quavo: Cross the country. You seen the video shot by The Fader, we cross the country.
You have the short film Bando out. Are movies something you want to keep doing? And what other ventures have you considered?
Takeoff: We got a bigger movie than that. That was like a 35-minute clip. It was short. People wanted longer than that, so we’re going deeper into the movie right now and focusing on the album.
Offset: We got another movie out right now with Zaytoven called Finesse, so we in two movies.
It’s been a good year for Zaytoven.
Offset: That’s our boy!
Takeoff: Zay got them hands. His hands are blessed. He do his thing on it.
Quake: He keep it 100. That’s our boy, man. We been rocking with Zay.
Someone else you’ve been working with, Jermaine Durpi. Talk about the influence he's had on you.
Takeoff: When we were growing up, we watched that JD “Welcome to Atlanta.” He did that. Now we got our song “Welcome to Atlanta.” It was a blessing when we got him in there. It would have been alright with him, but you can’t drop it without JD.
Offset: That sums it all up. Legacy.
Quavo: That’s it right there.
Last one. Any chance of collaboration with GBE?
All three: Nah!
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(Photo: Diwang Valdez/Quality Control Music)