Migos’ Quavo Is The New Busta Rhymes
The Migos have survived the true test of today’s wavering hip-hop industry – consistency. Especially coming out of the quintessential cesspool which is Atlanta, artists are here today and gone tomorrow. Since exploding on the scene in 2013 behind their pivotal Y.R.N ( Young Rich N*ggas) mixtape, Migos continue to prove they possess the formula for longevity. As with any group of any genre, success brings about hypotheticals, namely which members could take off (no pun intended) as solo artists. The trio’s charismatic pseudo-frontman Quavo is the latest to be chattered about potentially jumping ship, and it triggers memories of a similar situation with rap legend Busta Rhymes.
Groups break up; sometimes it’s purely business, others it’s sprouted by jealousy and yes-men. A mysterious burglary broke up EPMD, severing ties between childhood friends Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith. Jerry Heller and the love of money broke up N.W.A shortly after taking the world by storm in the late ’80’s. Lauryn Hill’s intimate relationship with Fugees members Pras and Wyclef Jean caused the trio to split after 1996’s Grammy-winning The Score album.
The list goes on and on; and then there’s the ugly disbanding of Leaders of The New School in 1993 – on national television. See, LONS was coming off the release of their sophomore release T.I.M.E (The Inner Mind’s Eye), with the No. 1 hit on the Billboard Rap Charts (What’s Next). The Long Island quartet was composed of Busta Rhymes, Charlie Brown, Dinco D and Cut Monitor Milo. They exploded on the scene in ’91 with their debut A Future Without a Past…, behind the hit “Case of the P.T.A.” The group rapped about the trials and tribulations of being teens in high school over an infectious uptempo beat. The song was dope as is, but the accompanying video showcased the group members electric personalities. But one member stood out from Day 1, Busta Rhymes.
Some people just have “it,” and Busta possessed the charisma and charm from day one. Not to mention, his locomotive flow and wordplay just made him stand out immediately. The wild, flashy style of dress was just the icing on the cake. And how can you forget the dreadlocks, an anomaly at the time, save if you were of Caribbean descent. It’s not clear if Busta planned to steal the spotlight intentionally, but either way, it happened. In interviews, Busta stole the show, and in performance, his energy was contagious. As the group’s popularity soared, the discussion of Busta being a solo artist cued up like a pot on a slow boil.
A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 hit “Scenario” is arguably the greatest posse cut in hip-hop history. It featured all of LONS, but it was Busta who stole the show.
“Watch as I combine all the juice from the mind, heel up, wheel up, bring it back, come, rewind, Powerful Impact (BOOM!) from the cannon! try to read my mind, just imagine”
Busta’s verse closed out the track, and it’s been recited by millions worldwide, as the song continues to age like fine wine.
He might have getting to big for his britches, even if the other members didn’t immediately think it, someone did, because things changed. As things soured internally for the group, Busta the star continued to bloom.
In 1993, the group appeared in the film Who’s The Man with hip-hop icons Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. Of course, Busta stole the show in the group’s marginal scene. And before the release of the group’s sophomore album in ’93, Busta snagged another role in the cult classic Strapped.
It’s often the yes-men, the members of the camp that don’t actually do anything but leech that plant the seeds that have destroyed our favorite groups over time. Maybe it was Charlie Brown, or Dinco D, who knows. Each member has their own spin on what finally killed the love, but they weren’t professional enough to call it quits in private.
On a 1993 recording of the hit show YO! MTV Raps, the group quarreled on the air, huddled up arguing, asking for the dispute not to be taped. Shortly after, the interview ended abruptly, and the official breakup announcement followed.
Times have changed, and the Migos lyrical content pales in comparison to LONS. But the social media generation is quietly attempting quelling up a riff between the superstar trio. Much like Busta, Quavo has the it-factor, the flow, the voice, the lyrics and looks the ladies love. Unlike LONS, the other two-thirds of the Migos are just as talented. Despite constant run-ins with the law, Offset is just as essential to the group. Possessing arguably the best lyrical ability of the three, a three-month bid in jail didn’t make a dent in the emcees popularity. Lastly, there’s Takeoff, who makes up for his lack of charisma with a truly remarkable flow reminiscent of Bone Thugs and Harmony.
You see the comments all the time, namely on social sites like Twitter, where Quavo is compared to every pivotal member of a group and solo success there is.
Quavo is Beyonce, Offset is Kelly, and Takeoff is Michelle. When Quavo breaks off Migos their solo careers will follow this pattern
— The Kiiiiid (@_leonardokim_) December 27, 2016
The difference between the possible fanmail and comments that Busta may have received back then, is artists today are much more in tune with fans. All it takes is a tweet or Instagram comment to show a fan that an artist is closer than they appear. You have to wonder whether the Atlanta emcee is catching wind of the discussion, better yet entertaining it.
The LONS story ends by the remaining members unfortunately falling off the face of the earth, while Busta propelled to superstardom, releasing several Platinum albums and timeless hits.
Of course this is a different day and age, groups aren’t as relevant, and artists don’t sell nearly as much as the golden age. But that’s the beauty in the Migos, that despite an oversaturated market that sees artists stealing their swagger, they manage to come back better every time.
If Quavo did go solo, there’s no guarantee that he will be a success, just like their’s no guarantee it will see an end to the Migos. The Wu-Tang graciously saw Method Man’s potential from Day One, which is why his solo track “Method Man” is the only single on their debut to release with one artist. Method’s success ultimately paved the way for all the members to make solo projects, many which have become classics.
Whose to say that it even happens, there are groups that have remained together through it all, even though you can probably only count them on one hand.
No one knows what is going on internally between the Migos, but we do know we don’t want to see another ugly situation like Busta’s. Like LONS, the Atlanta trio was comprised as childhood friends, that became superstars.
No money, or success is worth true friendship.
Here’s to more success and longevity for the Migos.