Brother Set is indeed in a league of his own as a solo artist.
I felt it for a long time. Okay, maybe not a long time but really since late 2017. Song after song, Offset‘s verses got better and better, and his placements only got larger. With the ability to flex the autotune and rap with the best of the best today, there’s no mistaking it – if Migos were to break up, Sir Set would go the furthest. Think about it, do Quavo and Takeoff as individuals have anything better than “Ric Flair Drip?” I apologize in advance to the Quavo hive or those who feel Takeoff has been the cornerstone of the group. Somewhat true, but Offset is the real star.
Do we begin with how good Father of 4 is, or the clear disparity between that album, The Last Rocket and Quavo Huncho? How about the fact Kiari Kendrell Cephus actually let us in on his life, rather than showing us he can make 19 annoyingly catchy songs like Quavo or deliver quality verses over slow jams like Takeoff that unfortunately don’t have much staying power or variation? Offset is the perfect storm because he’s got the commercial appeal of Quavious and the consistency in expanding his lyrical range like Takeoff. Combined, it’s everything we’d hope for. Offset does the best job in capturing the Migos sound on his own.
Father of 4 showed a different side of Offset, though. He addressed his infidelity, fatherhood, his relationship with his estranged father, and the car crash that nearly took his life. He shed the typical flossy skin for a more mature, humble individual who was close to losing it all. He stood strong alongside heavyweights features like J. Cole, Cee Lo Green, Travis Scott, 21 Savage and his wife Cardi B who might have delivered one of her hardest verses to date.
I anticipated he would have the best overall and most enjoyable album, but to see what he ultimately concocted and how he incorporated his personal mishaps was a true treat. The very opener he calls his children out by name, apologizing for things he did wrong. It was a tear jerker.
I’ve said it so many times, but the true stars are the ones who peak, and then find a new mountain to climb. Migos have been the biggest rap group since the “Bad & Boujee” days. They continued the group dominance but soon recognized they’d need a new angle.
The Quavo solo album was called on for years, but they turned it into an entire spectacle with all three members dropping their own. However, even the biggest Migos fans were concerned about how each member would prosper on their own. Given the lukewarm reception to Quavo and Takeoff’s albums, fans assumed the triumvirate would go 3/3 in delivering mid.
The fact Offset continued to delay his album hinted at fear to the average eye, but for me, I had an idea he was going back to refine what he had. He was touting the album would originally be no features, which raised a bit of concern for me. I was expecting Set to be the middle ground between his group members, where Quavo opted for 12 features on a 19 song-project and Takeoff only brought along Quavo. Turns out, Sir Offset did exactly that with eight features. Not exactly the middle, but I can say I definitely didn’t feel overwhelmed.
This was a make or break album for him, whether people realize it or not. People had already written it off or canceled Brother Set, which made it all the more exciting to see what he came with. “Red Room” set the tone, but the entire album and subsequent press run are what really made a statement.
Offset appears more mature these days, explaining how he’s off the lean, how he disciplines his children but wants them to remain children, and the fact he’s not embarrassed about anything he did to win Cardi back. Right on, king. Sampling his IG video apology kind of made me laugh, but boy if he didn’t flip it well.
I’m not certain if the three albums worked out the way they did, but my guess is Migos likely won’t do this again. Quavo’s name will always guarantee sales and charting, but his music very clearly has a ceiling to the culture. Takeoff is just too aloof; we love him, but it almost feels sometimes like he doesn’t love us and just enjoys rapping with his family. Offset continues to grow, develop, and expand. I liken his maturity to that of Meek Mill and 21 Savage, all of which endured different paths that forced them to grow up but they’re promoting their new attitudes.
Rappers can make anything cool, and I firmly believe this wave of men who previously would only flex now owning up to their shit in their music is going to only inspire more and more to reexamine themselves. Even if this isn’t the case, I think it’s pretty safe to say within Migos that Offset has the highest ceiling in terms of rapping ability and hit-making. He’s the best Migo, and I stand by it.