“If you know yo’ mama in the building, cause my mama in the building, can I get a ‘Mama!’?” Quavo commands, taking his place on the hardwood alongside Offset and Takeoff as they launch into their third song in a post-game performance.
Atlanta’s Hawks have just suffered a 12-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, but no one really seems to notice.
The spotlight, both literally and figuratively, is settled on a certain trio from the North (read: Nawf) side right now.
“I said if you love your mama like the Migos love they mama, cause my mama in the building,” he cries out once more. “Can I get a ‘Mama!’?”
Faithfully, the crowd surrounding them responds with a healthy ‘Mama!’, and I’m sure you know what comes next.
Migos are hometown heroes. I simply won’t debate it.
Currently navigating a wave that’s been eight years in the making, molding themselves into a household name is a feat that’s been a long time coming for the trio.
It’s no secret where Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff call home. They’d never let you forget it. And, in an amusing encounter, those roots radiated.
At the core, you have three boys from Gwinnett County, Georgia who took their street knowledge, matched it with a unique cadence, and transformed it into a movement—a familiar narrative, but one much too often overlooked.
“From the beginning, we had to kick the door down. Boom,” Offset tells me.
Right now, we’re in a courtside suite somewhere in Philips Arena just moments before tip-off.
All three are huddled over my cellphone as it records “so it can hear the chains” is what Quavo reasons as a host of jewelry around his neck rattle against each other.
Their thoughts are bouncing off one another in an instinctively synchronized approach, a practice, that apparently for Migos, doesn’t stay confined to a studio booth.
“We had to grind,” Quavo continues. “We had to grind and get that, you know what I’m saying,” Offset interjects. “Tony Hawk,” Quavo alludes. ‘Work,” is what Takeoff pads on.
For reference, I’d just asked them about “Bad and Boujee” and the subsequent Culture album, whose successes are a long way from Juug Season, the group’s debut mixtape, first released in 2011.
It would be another two years before “Versace” hits the airways thus commencing their steady takeover of the mainstream.
“After that,” Offset revs back up. “We had to level up and hit another grind mode where you had to kick that door down. Nothing comes easy,” he declares. A statement supplemented with an impassioned “Boom Boom!” from Takeoff.
They’re proud of who they are and self-assured in what they’ve become. That’s evident in the over half a decade-long maintenance of their signature sound.
They’d never switch it up. That’s their vow because “the sound ain’t never been heard of,” Quavo points out. “We stayed trap and it influenced the pop folks; the reggae. They doing the flow.”
“Whichever way you go,” Offset requites. “Heh, Pop fasho’,” Takeoff ambiguously adds. A moment greeted with laughter from the crew they’re traveling with.
Following the success of “Versace”, many were quick to write off Migos as a one-hit wonder. A notion that resurfaced amid the rise of “Bad and Boujee” among those unfamiliar with the group’s extensive catalogue.
For most of us in the region, Migos have always been on top. “Hannah Montana”, “Fight Night”, and “One Time”, for example, were highlights of my high school soundtrack.
It was only a matter of time until everyone else got on board.
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Now, running on something of a full tank, the collective, humourously dubbed “this generation’s Beatles”, are in preparations to take their repertory to every corner of the nation in a 34-city tour alongside fellow Atlanta-bred emcee Future.
“Press the gas on it,” Offset asserts in reference to their current stream of power. “Hit the gas on them folks. Skrrrt!” he exclaims. “Yeah, real hard,” Quavo augments. “Keep shining,” Offset affirms.
Momentum is a hard thing to grasp. In music, its fleeting, but Migos don’t seem to be too bothered by that. For them, the recipe is simple.
“Just keep smashing, staying consistent,” Quavo reveals. “Making great music, staying in that bowl. Have you ever been in that bowl? You gotta get in that bowl, girl,” he directs toward me.
Lost on their lingo, I ask for clarification on “the bowl”.
Takeoff confirms, “The trap.”
“Gotta get in that bowl,” Offset restates.
“You come to the spot, you’ll see. You dig what I’m saying,” is Quavo’s veiled response. “But other than that, we gon’ keep that thing up under there. Over dat way,” he appropriately concludes.