In just under three years, rap trio Migos — which consists of Quavious “Quavo” Marshall, Kirsnick “Takeoff” Ball, and Kiari “Offset” Cephus — went from releasing the relatively successful 2015 album, Yung Rich Nation, to crushing the charts with their critically acclaimed 2017 breakout album Culture. The Gwinnett County, Ga. natives followed up with the highly anticipated Culture II in 2018 and racked up chart-topping hits during their meteoric ascension to fame — from “Hannah Montana” to “Versace,” and the Grammy-nominated hit, “Bad and Boujee” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.
International success meant the threesome was able to transcend the rap world and cross over to pop. They lent their vocals to Katy Perry’s “Bon Appétit” and even made an appearance on electro house DJ Steve Aoki’s 2017 song, “Night Call”, featuring Lil Yachty.
It didn’t take long for the world to become hypnotized by hip hop’s mumble rap champs, and their lives have certainly done a 180 since fame seemingly dropped in their laps. Despite making waves in the industry and headlining their own Yung Rich Nation tour, they’ve faced a series of legal battles and deadly gunfights that put the Wild West to shame. They’ve also ruffled more than a few feathers with their peers, as well.
If “yeah, dat way” sounds completely foreign to you, keep reading to find out more about the untold truth of Migos.
In an interview with GQ, it was revealed that Quavo and Takeoff are uncle and nephew, respectively, while Offset is Quavo’s cousin. Takeoff’s mother was the matriarch who took on the responsibility of raising all three of them, Quavo told The Fader. “[Takeoff’s] momma took care of everything, and us. We always stayed in the same house. We share everything,” he said before stating that he views his nephew, Takeoff, as “basically like a brother.”
Takeoff seconded that sentiment by saying, “I don’t look at him as my uncle, but more as my brother. But we always have clowned on each other. He is my uncle, so I gotta clown on him. You gotta be funny.”
They admitted to Vice’s Noisey that, growing up, there was some competition between them all, but it was all in jest and done in a playful manner. “We’ve got each other’s back. We love each other,” Offset declared.
Crime sprees funded their image
After spending a considerable amount of time with each other as kids, the group “cliqued together” and started calling themselves “Migos,” Quavo told Rolling Stone. What came next were a few years of “terrorizing” and getting into a lot of “trouble” in order to shape their image. Trouble for the trio included the task of making ends meet … by any means necessary. “We had to got-damn find some motherf*****g money,” Offset said in the same magazine interview.
Resorting to burglary and other crimes “in the streets,” they later used their illicit earnings to fund their music aspirations, shelling out dough for recording equipment, DJ mixtape-hosting fees, and of course, flashy jewelry and clothing. “You gotta flex. You gotta look good, bro. Especially coming from the outskirts and wanting to take over the whole Atlanta,” Offset said.
But reality set in when it came time to record the music video for “Versace.”
“When we came out doing ‘Versace,’ we were actually fantasizing about wearing it. We didn’t even have the clothes until we got to the video shoot and they brought in all the props. Then they tried to take ’em away from us after the video shoot,” the group told Thrasher.
Of course, things have changed for them. Street life is a distant memory (well, sort of), and Donatella Versace, the head of their most-loved fashion brand, is now a fan of theirs. Go
Gun violence follows them
Being in the limelight means there’s no shortage of drama for the rap trio, including the time one of their fans opened fire on them in Miami. The incident went down in March 2014 while Migos and their crew were leaving a club appearance. According to TMZ, a vehicle “pulled up alongside them and started shooting.” At least one member of their entourage was injured, a news source confirmed.
That year proved dangerous for the group because just four months after the barrage of bullets rang out in Miami, they were involved in yet another shooting at a Duluth, Ga. hotel, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A man named Cory Marzette and another unidentified man reportedly shot into a “crowd of people” who were gathered at the hotel to celebrate the rap group’s musical success, killing one. Although Offset was present at the party, he allegedly refused to cooperate with the police investigation.
The Gwinnett Daily Post suspected the incident was linked to Migos’ rivalry with a Georgia-based music group and alleged street gang called 2G. But the investigation took a turn when the suspect, Marzette, took his own life in September 2015 before police could apprehend him.
They’re still ticked off about their Grammy snub
After successfully climbing the charts in 2017 with their breakout album Culture and their smash hit “Bad and Boujee,” Migos thought for sure they’d be snagging a Grammy award. “I feel like we worked the album for a whole year and rode it the whole year. That’s why I feel it’s our time to take that Grammy home,” Quavo boasted during an interview on Beats1 (via Billboard).
But by the time the 60th Grammy ceremony rolled around, Migos found themselves up against other talented acts in the best rap album category, including Jay Z’s 4:44, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom, and Tyler, The Creator’s Flower Boy. And when the winner for the best rap album was announced as Kendrick Lamar, the trio felt robbed.
In an interview with NME, Quavo proclaimed, “There was nothing bigger than the f***ing Culture album this whole last year!”
Reporters on the receiving end of some of Migos’ most cringey interviews would agree they’re not the easiest to deal with. For example, during their chat with NME, the writer noted the “T-Shirt” artists were “five hours late” to the interview. “It’s a miracle. But like herding particularly baked cats, much wrangling has to take place in order to get them onto a sofa to talk,” the writer reported.
They’re not the easiest group to interview
And then, there was the time they cut an interview short mid-sentence with Dana Cortez after she asked Offset a question about his on-stage wedding proposal to fellow rapper Cardi B. And how could we forget the on-air standoff that occurred between the group and rapper Joe Budden during an interview with Everyday Struggle on the 2017 BET Awards red carpet? Takeoff became utterly ticked off when the co-host, DJ Akademics, asked him what it felt like to be left off the group’s most successful single, “Bad and Boujee.”
“Do it look like I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee?'” he asked defiantly. Budden, who was noticeably frustrated during the entire segment, stated, “Alright we gotta wrap this up though,” before dropping his microphone and walking away from the camera’s view. This escalated to a brief altercation that threatened to ruin everyone’s night before security jumped in to save the day. Budden later justified his actions, saying the group’s attitude during the interview was too “sassy” for him in a since-deleted tweet (via Metro).
They’re big Criss Angel fans.
Together, the members of Migos can create magic in the studio booth, but, in their down time, the group prefers to leave wizardry in the hands of the pros. While conducting an interview with GQ magazine in Las Vegas, Quavo (pictured) coordinated a fun activity for the entire group and their entourage to partake in after scoring ten tickets to see celebrity magician Criss Angel perform.
Based off of the interview, it was clear that punctuality wasn’t the group’s priority. However, Quavo wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of seeing the illusionist in action, instructing his group members that he’d “tolerate no delays” on the night of the show.
Angel was also lucky enough to receive a shout out from Offset on the Migos track “MotorSport” featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. “I’m boujee, so, b***h, don’t get near / Criss Angel, make dope disappear (voilà),” he raps.
EDM and rock is on the horizon
Migos’ songs may be infused with rap beats and lyrics dedicated to the “culture” as a way to pay homage to their gritty upbringing, but being pigeonholed into one genre of music isn’t their thing. The head of their record label, Pierre “Pee” Thomas, revealed in a Tidal documentary (via Rolling Stone): “They’re not making music for just one particular group … Don’t be surprised if you see ’em making a rock album one day or an EDM album.”
The group has also shared their own dreams of branching out, with Offset telling Vice’s Noisey that the group had requested “some pop beats” so they could “try and do something different.” Although Takeoff admitted they weren’t particular fans of “that kind of music,” they were open to exploring EDM-infused tracks. “I want to do a song on a beat like that,” he said.
Does this mean Migos will be headlining Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival one day? We’ll keep our glow sticks on standby just in case.
They’re not homophobic, but…
The group found themselves in the middle of a firestorm when speaking about artist ILoveMakonnen’s candid 2017 Twitter confession, which read, “And since y’all love breaking news, here’s some old news to break, I’m gay.”
When Rolling Stone asked Migos about the support ILoveMakonnen received following his announcement, Quavo said he only received backing because “the world is f***ed up.” Takeoff added, “This world is not right.”
After intense backlash, they were prompted to release a statement via Twitter, which read, in part, “We are all fans of Makonnen’s music and we wish he didn’t feel he ever had to hide himself. We feel the world is f***ed up that people feel like they have to hide and we’re asked to comment on someone’s sexuality. We have no problem with anyone’s sexual preference. We love all people, gay or straight and we apologize if we offended anyone.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last time they would make insensitive comments. During a feature on rapper YFN Lucci’s song, “Boss Life,” Offset rapped, “60K solitaire / I cannot vibe with queers.”
He defended his lyrics by posting a definition of the word “queer” alongside an Instagram caption that read in part, “I didn’t write the line about gay people … I got love for all people. My passion for fashion has lead me to a lot of gay people around me who I have mad respect for … I’m not in a place where I’m hating like that.”
Pen and paper aren’t required
With lyrics such as, “Neck water faucet, mocking birds mocking (woo),” some may call their songs juvenile, but perhaps they’d think differently if they understood the group’s creative recording process. “We never wrote a song before. We ain’t ever wrote no song. Everything we do come straight off the dome. We go into the booth and record it and it comes out a masterpiece,” Offset told Vice’s Noisey.
Takeoff opened up even more about their unorthodox recording sessions, saying each group member gets “20 minutes” in the booth to “just do what you’ve got to do,” and after the 20 minutes are up, they’ve “got to get out.”
Throughout the years, the “Stir Fry” lyricists have gotten their recording routine down pat, with Offset adding, “But it’s never where somebody’s got to get kicked out [the booth] because we’ve been doing it so long it’s just (snaps three times) like that. We go in, do the verse.” Easy peasy.