We almost got eaten alive for calling Migos 'legendary' in our announcement of their upcoming visit to South Africa but those who have heard more than 'Bad and Boujee' will understand the impact made by the trap trio on the game.
Legendary American trap trio Migos is coming to SA in October. Details and ticket prices will be published on our site shortly. pic.twitter.com/QYwPF6Oqkd— ZAlebs (@Zalebs) August 8, 2017
As a genre, trap is nothing new, and while there are a number of artists who came before Migos, nobody said a legend stands on the podium alone.
Donald Glover was not mistaken when he referred to them as "the Beatles of this generation" after accepting his second Golden Globe for his hit show, Atlanta.
Legendary? pic.twitter.com/JiCkvUfgkx— Mpumelelo Ngwenya (@MpumeleloNgwnya) August 8, 2017
Ni stretchile ku "Legendary" https://t.co/W17gdFu1gO— Mbuso Nhlapo-NKABZ (@mbuso_nkabinde) August 8, 2017
Migos' choice to call their second album 'Culture' was a calculated move based on their observation of the game and their impact on it.
"For the culture" has become a popular phrase. Unfortunately, it is used more as a caption for cool photos than a description for things that have truly made an impact.
Unlike your favourite influencer, among Migos' many contributions to "the culture" are the Versace flow (as appropriated by the likes of Drake, J. Cole, AKA and even Cassper Nyovest), the dab, catchy ad-libs as well as the popularization of slang terms such as "bando" and "pipe it up."
Many of the arguments leveled against calling the group legendary include:
"They only have one EP" - No sweety. Migos has TWO mainstream projects to their name but the road to those projects was paved with a number of mixtapes, features and producing for other artists.
"They are mumble rappers" - this eye-roll-inducing argument is wack. Migos may not rap using conventional English but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the Southern slang that the group uses to glamourize a lifestyle birthed and funded by the drug trade as well as the nouveau-riche trappings that come with that life.
And if you're REALLY struggling to understand, Rap Genius has your back.
Vibe writer Jasmine Alyse raised some pertinent points with regards to said mumble rap criticism when she wrote;"most folks don’t really mean what they say when they unfairly slap that label on the likes of Migos and Lil Yachty (who some folks claim to not understand yet still seem capable of rapping along to in the club). I questioned if Future, Desiigner and Lil Uzi Vert are really “mumbling” as it’s claimed, or do they just lack the lyrical prowess that would ordinarily make them “Top Five” contenders?"
Is Gucci Mane not a mumble rapper? What makes him any different from Migos, Young Thug or Lil Uzi Vert? What is it that prompts you to respect Gucci more than you respect Quavo?
"When we first came out with "Versace," people got it, but they didn't get it all the way. They just thought: fashion.. But if you listen to it, we're still talking about some stuff. The young generation know who we are. They already understood our lingo. The other crowd, they had to grow with us" explained Quavo to Fader following the release of Culture.
In fact, Offset summarized both their contribution and the meaning of their album when speaking to U.S. publication, Fader:
"The new album title is about the culture of hip-hop music. It’s time to let the culture be known. It’s time to claim it. And it’s time to claim that we are the Migos, and for people to understand that this is what we did. We did a lot for music. Migos is the culture. Seriously. There are artists that are way bigger than us that get recognition off our flow."
Hip hop is just that - a culture - and culture is dynamic, meaning it changes.
Rap, whether conscious, lyrical or mumbled, will always be affected by the status quo of the culture. What is hot now, may not be hot tomorrow but that will never diminish what it stood for and what it meant to the fans.
We can appreciate 2 Pac, Jay Z and Nas just as easily as we can appreciate Migos and once hip hop purists get off their high horses, maybe they will able to admit just how much Migos has done for the culture.
Our use of the word 'legendary' may be premature, but now that hip-hop has officially surpassed pop as the world's most popular musical genre, we'll be there to say "we told you so" once Migos gets the recognition they deserve.
Takeoff, Offset and Quavo will touch down in SA in October and perform in Johannesburg and Durban. Tickets range from R350 to R790 and will be sold at Computicket.
Date: Friday, 20th Oct 2017
Venue: Durban ICC
- Tickets: Available at Computicket - Monday 14th August from 12pm (noon)
R690 - Golden Circle
R350 – General Admission
Date: Saturday 21st Oct 2017
Tickets: Available at Ticketpro - Thursday 10th August from 12pm (noon)
R790 - Golden Circle
R450 – General Admission
Main image credit: rollingstone.com