Foreign Gists

How Takeoff changed hip hop with Migos


(Credit: YouTube/Hip Hop Hero)

Features

Migos were a legendary trio, and during their tenure as hip hop’s leading crew, they most certainly made some changes to the culture. For better or for worse, whether you love the Migos or hate them, it’s fair to say they made some lasting changes with regard to the kind of rap people consume.

Formed in Atlanta, the Migos (short for amigos) was comprised of the late rapper Takeoff alongside Quavo and Offset. All three members were related. Managed by legendary Atlanta manager Coach K, in 2013, they had their first breakthrough into the charts with the track ‘Versace’.

Coach K (real name Kevin Lee) is Atlanta’s answer to Suge Knight, with QC acting as a Death Row of sorts. QC, short for Quality Control, is an extremely successful label and has been home to many of Atlanta’s name-brand rappers, including The Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, City Girls, Rich The Kidd and even Cardi B, under a management deal.

After creating a buzz locally through their first two mixtapes Juug Season and No Label, in 2013, the Migos signed with QC and proceeded to release a third mixtape Y.R.N. QC does its distribution through Universal Records and with the label being to the South what Death Row was to the West Coast, the mixtape’s lead single was the group’s first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 where they debuted at number 99 with ‘Versace’.

From there, the group continued to grow and grow, especially with the weight of Universal and QC behind them. Releasing collaborative mixtapes with other QC artists continuously, such as, Streets On Lock with Rich The Kid, Streets On Lock II: With Rich The Kid and Lobby Runners with PeeWee Longway, Young Thug & Rich The Kid. Following the blueprint as laid out by Lil’ Wayne of flooding the South with mixtapes and hammering your distribution deal, it wasn’t long before the major labels came knocking at the door of QC for the Migos.

In 2014 after the QC mixtape Solid Foundation hit the streets, Migos signed with Warner Bros’ 300 Entertainment but still wanted to be managed by Quality Control. From here, the group grew to take over hip hop and became the faces of what some dub mumble rap but others just call rap.

However, one thing that the Migos did popularise is something called the triplet flow, and although they did not create the flow, their ingenious use of it for hooks became a practice that is now regarded as common practice. In fact, some may argue that due to the Migos’ repeated use of the flow, it has now actually become the de facto flow of modern-day hip hop.

It’s generally known as “The Migos Flow” because of their first single on QC ‘Versace’. The song was such a hit and so infectious that even Drake done a freestyle over it, utilising the triplet flow, and although it’s impossible to pinpoint when exactly it started, it’s pretty safe to say that once Drake began using it along with the Migos and other big artists on QC such as Lil Yachty and Rich The Kid, it simply just took over. Watch the video below to see the impact Takeoff and Migos made with ‘Versace’.