Migos Takeoff: Remembering the Late Rap

Photo: Mark Salioko/Getty Images

Perhaps most people’s first taste of Migos was the bumbling of drug dealer Versace or…Hanna MontanaCrazy songs from the 2013 Atlanta Rap Trio’s hit tape, YRN (Young Rich Niggas). But if you followed hip-hop closely in those years, your prequel might be the same most reflective and determined project.”rest in peace“Where the team mourned the death of Free Bands OG Double D and explain what’s at stake if rapping isn’t a career. The trio worried loudly about safety and death, as Quavo opened up about his father’s death, cycling in grief and paragadosio before descending into paranoia: “I know they’re after me, but I won’t let them pick me up / And every day and every night, I pray they don’t tie me up.” The Migos could do caricatured absurdity and exhausting realism, and they were instrumental in changing attitudes around the trap in years when audiences were not as open-minded as they are now. It’s a testament to how much of the 2022 crucible we’ll likely be talking about in the past tense as we mourn the passing of Takeoff, the 28-year-old member of the group who was shot dead This week in Houston.

It was a family band: Quavo is Offset’s cousin and Uncle Takeoff. They had the chemistry of people growing up together, and an implicit split in Offset’s recent lawsuit against the group’s record label Quality Control Music over the ownership of its single catalog (confirmed by Quavo and Takeoff with the dropping of the Unc & Phew album Built only for Infinity Links Without it) it doesn’t look like it could go on indefinitely. These were men who would meet each other on holidays. Quavo recalls in 2013: “His mother took care of everything, and we” faint an interview. “We always stayed in the same house.” The idea for rap was Tikhov’s idea. Art imitates life. Migo who put the group together was the glue, the one who held a song together and the hook-man/front guy leanings on the Fulcrum Quavo and the Offset’s laser focus on impressing you with his grip on tricky sections. can do take off All who – which Or play the field while you’re showing up. Many of his greatest poems lie near the end of a long song tail. (That’s why it didn’t really make sense that he was left out of”bad and buggy. He took second place last time in Drake’s ‘Awards’ remix and he melted it down: ‘When I knock down I’ll jump in Zonda/Smoke good marijuana in Mexico, call that Kitana / Tryna fuck me with Rihanna.’ It’s take off on culture bruiser album “Deadz” that drives the flop thing home, perfect timing and rhythmic pronunciation: “Niggas discuss, they hate, they plan, they’re waiting/They want ice, I tell them come take it/Have people told me I can’t do it/Now I do shows outta state in nations.” Put it in the starting position and crush it. About “All Good” from 2014 Rich nigga schedule mixtape, Takeoff grumbled about enduring another significant other’s worrisome bout of “Talkin” whom I treat like Macaulay Culkin because she stayed home alone.” Elsewhere, he decides to take her to Miami and keeps her at his side like a Tommy gun, tending to Scarface thing but also balance that with humor.

They were clever things, undeniable evidence of a fine craft, but they puzzled many people who came to music in search of a clear moral compass. A track like “drugs”—”drug, psychedelic, psychedelic”—disturbs a certain genre, people who listen to rap lyrics hear the ways other pairs of ears might receive them, and who worry about being able to distinguish real-world violence from intentional excessive violence. For that unit, Take Off jokes about hitting pots like Bernard HopkinsAnd the Winky WrightAnd the Adrian Brunneror Mike Tyson They sold harmful suggestions to impressionable audiences. If you think music should be a delivery service in order to elevate messaging, you have trouble with music talk because it doesn’t explicitly tell you that drug dealing can be a terrifying field of business. Migos songs made you aware of the spoils and toil that lifestyle can lead to, but left you to your own devices the way the action movie portrays its hero as he shoves the rough and tumble morals of a dearth of options. cultureThe Brown Paper Bag goes there: “Never look past my past, sip slowly and live fast / I ended up in first place but I swore a nigga finally started / I was born empty-handed but a nigga knew I had to get a bag / I grew up before My mother, so the nigga never had a father. ”

These are road makers, not role models – arrests, wrangling and civil lawsuits have made selling the latter difficult. But black artists deserve the license to tell grim stories without the spoon-feeding moral meals of young listeners, to address adult themes in art specifically intended for mature audiences. We can appeal to rappers to be more aware of the messages they are promoting. We can’t ask them to patronize everyone within earshot, and we should have more to offer fans mourning influential community figures than icy, moral distance. The rapper is in danger if armed violence takes Takeoff at a game of dice, Young Dolph is fatally shot after a trip to the cookie store, and Trouble cannot relax at home without worry. And if we do these tragedies, along with the deaths of PnB Rock and Pop Smoke, as evidence of the lack of soul at the heart of the hip-hop community, then we serve them to actors who don’t care about the culture beyond the ways it can be used to demonize and criminalize black youth and their interests. Turning violence in hip-hop into a story about abdicating personal responsibilities, choosing rap as a source of toxic worldviews and criminal activities rather than a megaphone to amplify pre-existing attitudes and divisions, this tells people who have a vested interest in public safety but don’t care about hip-hop’s future As a way of life so that stopping crime by preventing rappers from doing business, and keeping black youth away from amazing job opportunities is not a solution to the problem of latchkey children who lack outlets and positive influences.

You are within your rights to look forward to more loud music at this perilous moment, to plead with artists to calm their nerves on their records and social media posts. But we can’t flatten the art, skipping over the ambitious threads in rappers’ work to highlight only the dirt they do or discuss. (Yes, Takeoff is waving Draco culture“T-shirt”. He also touches on religion and civic duties: “I feed my family, nigga, there’s no way to get around it / I’ll never give up, nigga, said God show my talent.”) We need to treat this problem like it’s bigger than hip-hop. In a climate of widening wealth disparities, sectarian violence, and mass murder, where not even routine shootings can spur our national leadership to legislate gun reform, it would be foolish to ask our 20-something rappers to annoy our elected officials with a show. . This is a recipe for inertia.

Dealing with Takeoff’s loss as a victim of violent rap chickens returning home to roost tarnishes his character’s image, which can be best seen in his grotesque friendliness rap and warm family recalls of recent Takeoff and Offset tracks like “Two Infinity Links”: “Before the cake, before the stage, we made Splitting honey cakes / 5:30, mother’s house, we were all sons / 85 NAWF where we are all.” They seem certain that they will spend the rest of their lives sharing these experiences. It’s something that’s beyond shocking and there’s tragedy even Migos, this group that brought thrilling comedic timing and contagious triple-streams to the pop charts, and forced mild-weather rap listeners and loyal seniors alike to appreciate the profession. Takeoff will be missed. One of the great rap trios will never be the same again. But within the glut of records he left behind, Takeoff still shines, all the green diamonds on his neck, You look like a Riddler. We just have to consult him there now.

Leave a Comment