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Interview: Offset of Migos

photographer KEVIN LEE

Migos' missing member is free

Migos is a trio, but the group's functioned as a duo since February, when third man Offset, born Kiari Cephus, entered a guilty plea to a probation violation and was incarcerated in Dekalb County. As Quavo, 22, and Quavo's nephew Takeoff, 19, ate wings with Drake and performed at Birthday Bash, Atlanta's banner summer showcase, the crowd was dotted with "Free Offset" tees. "We got a game of Double Dutch going," Takeoff said this summer as Migos blew up, "but he can just jump right in." Today, after eight months locked up, Offset is free. Manager Kevin "Coah K" Lee picked him up from a Dekalb County jail Tuesday around 3PM. "We picked him up, gave him some money," Lee says. "I was like, you wanna go to the mall? He's like, Naw, I wanna go to the studio." Here, in his first interview, Offset talks about his plans to get back into the action and Migos' upcoming tape, Young Rich Niggas 2, which will drop in December.

How to do you feel? Like a million bucks. I just got out an hour ago and I'm in the studio right now. All work, no play. We're recording "Hannah Montana"—we're changing the whole thing up to a twerk anthem.

Your team has been working to get you released all summer. Did you successfully appeal today? This wasn't an appeal situation, it was just my release day. I went in on February 15th of this year. I had to sit down for eight months and now I'm home. I'm still on probation.

What did you go in for? I went in for violation of probation. My original offense was possession of firearms. [Editors note: Dekalb County court records list Offset's original offense, from October 2011, as theft by receiving stolen property, for which he was sentenced to two years probation.] I was locked up in Dekalb, but I was arrested a couple times on the North side.

Did you meet Migos fans inside? They treated me like a boss inside. They knew what was going on. I don't wanna talk too much on treatment cause you know that's someone's job and I don't want to get nobody fired. My daily routine was writing music and talking to Quavo and Takeoff on the phone. I didn't really kick it with nobody else cause they weren't on the same level, they weren't doing what I was doing so I didn't have any conversation for them. [Prison] wasn't nothing. I've been through it before, but that's my last go-round. There's money to be made, ain't no more playing. That's the old me, I threw that away.

Did you expect Migos would find so much success before your release date? Quavo and Takeoff have been keeping me posted—I talked to them on the daily. I knew it was gonna happen, but I didn't know it was gonna happen this fast. It went crazy within six months. It's not a surprise, but it is a blessing. I seen the "Versace" video. It put a smile on my face to see my boys shining like that. Came a long way from the bottom all the way up to the top. "Versace" was the biggest song this summer. Everybody loved it. When we made that song, we knew it was gonna be a hit.

What are your new verses about? I wrote about street stuff. The streets will get you in jail. I kept my music relevant, though. I wasn't just talking down, cause we're on top. I had to talk about that. My brothers kept me relevant. They got my back 100%. After all the times I've been incarcerated, they've always had my back. There was never no questions about why I was in there, wasn't every no pressure on me or nothing like that.

Where will you live now? We all live together, just the three of us. We're all brothers. They're my cousins, but we're family. I'm 21, Quavo's the oldest. We all treat each other the same, we're grown men. Ain't no little brother going on. When we met, I was in the streets and they put me on the stage; they told me to go ahead and start rapping. I took that and ran with it cause I didn't really have no way else out the streets. We had our spot before the rap took off, we were already getting money. The spot was the bando, that's what we called it. There was a lot of things going on that I really don't wanna talk about.

Has YRN2 been recorded yet? Will you be on it? I'm gonna add Offsett to [what Quavo and Takeoff have already recorded]. I'm on every track. I ain't missing out on the YRN2. I'm spending all my time in the studio. I'm gonna spend some time with my family, but they know I've gotta work. It's business, not personal. I've been out for eight months, I got work to do.

What would you say to someone who thinks Migos is just two guys? Offsett is in this motherfucker. If you don't know, now you now. I'm gonna make sure they know. My style is like no other. I go crazy. I'm gonna keep going crazy. I'm real hungry. I'm about to go head first.


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Interview: Offset of Migos