It has been a monumental year for Migos, arguably the biggest rap-group success story of the year. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the trap trio (comprising Quavo, Offset and Takeoff) occupy a strange space in the music landscape: ever-present and popular among their young following, but fairly niche and invisible by mainstream standards.
Still, their epochal song Bad and Boujee catapulted them to the top of the Billboard charts and peers such as Childish Gambino have satirically labelled them “the Beatles of this generation”.
The trio’s first-ever Australian performance started with a set from up-and-coming R&B influenced rap artist 6lack before Migos’ DJ Durel hyped up the audience. In typical hip-hop fashion, Migos themselves came on half an hour late and spent much of the time between songs giving the audience directives, including to open up a mosh circle. The crowd always obliged but it left no room for shared personal interaction or a commanding stage presence.
On a musical level, there are no singing or instrumental skills to assess, just their triplet rhyme scheme flow – perfect for swag trap – but even that proved too similar to their recordings: a little too calculated and auto-tuned.
It didn’t phase the young crowd, especially when their rapping free-flowed in during T-Shirt and Scotty Too Hotty. As a young act their set was necessarily short (under an hour) but the crowd and its wall of smartphones weren’t phased, Bad and Boujee duly captured for Snapchat.
As for the MCs themselves: for the most part Takeoff was catatonic while Quavo rightfully exerted his dominance, commanding the show’s direction as the most promising in the group. (You may know the latter from his guest spots on Katy Perry’s Bon Appetit and on DJ Khaled and Justin Bieber’s I’m the One.)
Production-wise, it was the usual rap bells and whistles to complement the drug-laced references: pyrotechnics, streamers and polarising political and high-life imagery.
The trio and their trendsetting catch phrases have struck a chord with their young legion of fans but the viral nature of the internet means anyone can be just a hit away from success; maintaining that status is the challenge. Migos’ next project is crucial, with longevity riding on their attitude towards the craft.
Migos play their second and final sold-out Sydney show at the Hordern Pavilion tonight (October 13).