Migos: Young, Rich and Outrunning Trouble
“Pretty nice, huh?” Quavo sweeps a hand toward the matte-black interior of his BMW X6 sports car. The 24-year-old leader of the hyper-stylish rap trio Migos is doing 60 on a highway through midtown Atlanta on a Tuesday night. Takeoff, his three-years-younger nephew and partner in the group, leans back in the passenger seat. “Put your seatbelt on,” Quavo warns as he hits the accelerator.
Ever since they achieved fame with 2013’s ultra-catchy “Versace” – a high-fashion flaunt whose distinctive rhyme patterns echoed through subsequent tracks from superstars like Drake and Kanye – Migos have been on a hot streak of mixtapes and singles like 2014’s “Fight Night” (certified gold, with 13 million YouTube views and counting). Their boundless charisma and creative flair have kept them at rap’s cutting edge for two years straight, making fans of street-level hustlers and Justin Bieber alike. Whatever cool is in 2015, Migos are it. This summer, they’re on the brink of new conquests: Their first official studio LP, Yung Rich Nation, is due out on the last day of July, and work is coming down to the wire. “We’re grinding right up until July 31st,” Takeoff says. He plugs his phone in to play a new track, and molasses-thick bass booms from the stereo speakers. “We did this one today,” Quavo says.
The mood in the car feels relaxed as we cruise through the city, but there’s big drama hanging over Migos. The group’s third member, Quavo’s cousin Offset, is languishing more than 200 miles away in a Statesboro, Georgia jail tonight due to an unresolved incident from this spring, in which all three were arrested on drugs and weapons charges. It’s a major complication that couldn’t have come at a worse time. Even so, Quavo shrugs it off. “Everybody gets slapped on the wrist,” he says. “Offset will be back soon.”
For now, the two free members of Migos are taking a few hours off the clock to have some fun. A little after 10 p.m., we pull up at a bowling alley, where two other cars carrying friends with names like Lingo and Peaches have already arrived. Quavo strolls into the brightly-lit building and rents a couple of lanes for the night, paying the cashier with a bill from the fat roll of hundreds in the back pocket of his skinny gray Balmain jeans. A dark blue patterned T-shirt from Migos’ YRN clothing line, several flashy chains and medallions, a diamond-encrusted Rolex and a pair of oversized, non-prescription Versace eyeglasses complete a look that could be compared to an extremely swagged-out Steve Urkel. Quavo trades in his gray Air Jordans for size-nine bowling shoes, chooses a red ball and throws an effortless strike on his first try. “Put that in Rolling Stone!” he crows.
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