By Bernard Dayo
“I’m getting new paper over here,” Quavo sings on his new solo OG Parker-produced joint Paper Over Here, released Thursday, a song that romanticises his stacks of (newly minted) dollars and bears no surprise. Just look at Migos, the chart-topping rap trio from Atlanta which Quavo is a member of, and you will get a picture of the group’s dripping, collective penchant for materialism. More visible than the rest—Offset and Takeoff—Quavo, throughout last year, has been stringing himself closer into solo territory with brilliant guest verses on collaborations, from Lil Yatchy’s Minnesota to Yo Gotti’s Castro, spitting rhymes and making it look seamless and effortless. His individual style, the quick-fire pitter-patter, or the triplet pattern as highlighted in this Complex article that proclaims Quavo as the most influential rapper of 2014, is a strong indicator of the rarity of his talents.
What makes Migos stand out is the utilisation of Quavo’s rap technique as the group’s robust avatar, but sometimes there’s also the room to shuffle between stylised individual sounds. Quavo turned 26 on April 2, and he’s clearly the most dynamic in the group, teaching us how to say Versace multiple times like a mantra. On Katy Perry’s Migos-featured Bon Appetit released last month, Quavo plays along with the frivolity of the food theme as he sings, “Sweet tooth, no tooth fairy/ whipped cream, no dairy,” which, somehow, has the exquisite effect of making you feel hungry as you listen.
On DJ Khaled’s I’m the One, collaborating with Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, and Chance the Rapper, Quavo is situated in proper rap terrain, dropping bars like, “You can run inside my life that fame bus/ ’Cuz I promise when we step out you’ll be famous.”
Though there isn’t anything to imply that a Migos split is on the way, Quavo seems to embody the elements of a breakout star (think Beyoncé of the post-Destiny’s Child era and fresh-faced Zayn Malik released from that bubblegum boy group). The strength of Migos is how wholesomely compact they sound as a unit but, whatever happens, Quavo will remain a gifted rappers from his generation. And our favourite Migos.