Atlanta rap trio Migos dropped Yung Rich Nation, their explosive first studio album on Friday, and while the group became famous for mixtapes and smash singles like “Versace” and “Hannah Montana,” the full-length record is a roaring announcement that they have indeed arrived on the mainstream rap circuit. After comparisons to the Paul McCartney (rap internet has deemed them better than the Beatles) and involvement in a heavily documented Miami shooting incident, Migos is ready to top charts with cocky rhymes and theatrical production in the big leagues.
While in New York for a jam-packed premiere week, including a viral interview with ESPN’s Highly Questionable and an album release show at the city’s Highline Ballroom, Quavo and Takeoff (third member Offset is currently serving jail time due to an incident in April, during which all three were arrested on drugs and weapons charges) spoke to EW at their label’s Manhattan office on Wednesday, and discussed going from trap heroes to flashy hitmakers.
“We owned the mixtape game and every mixtape we put out was like an album,” Takeoff said. “[YRN has] more focus in every aspect,” Quavo chimed in. “We tried to hit all corners of music. Try to feel the people.”
“Feeling all the feelings.”
That they do on tracks that make allusions to the Beatles/ Migos meme — “They the Migos better than the Beatles! / Paul McCartney, I would like to meet him!” Quavo says on “Street N—a Sacrifice”— and the album’s opener “Memoirs,” which highlights pre-fame days.
With so much frenetic energy spinning from three guys who know each other deeply, and are all blood-related, there’s no need for outside help. Only two tracks feature guest spots: Young Thug on “Cocaina” and Chris Brown on “Just For Tonight,” about what happens when a young act pines for the limelight. “Not trying to be cocky but there are three of us, we really don’t need nobody else,” Takeoff said. “We already got something to say. I got something to say, he got something to say.”
Brown’s contribution came about after a visit to Sean Kingston’s house, according to Migos. “The song was on and we were like we’re getting on that,” Quavo said. “It’s not even like, ‘Hey we need you on this song.’ We listened to it and were like we want in. Open the door to the booth, let’s go. I won’t say no to him. He won’t say no to us.”
Smack dab in the middle of the summer’s most-hyped rap beef between Meek Mill and Drake over ghostwriting accusations, Quavo and Takeoff broke down what would happen if a guest came into Migos’ studio.
“Don’t come to the Migos with no pad, no pencil talking about doing this reference,” Quavo said. “We’re gonna erase your sh-t. It’s not gonna get on. We’re not gonna do it. We’re gonna send that sh-t back.”
“We do our own sh-t,” Takeoff said.
Quavo added, “Don’t let it be some YOLO brother referencing a goddamn song saying you’re gonna re-record it. It’s f—ed up.”