Migos are currently the biggest group in hip-hop, floating across a seat of clout and timeline buzz and RIAA certifications, but their powerhouse status was not achieved without overcoming struggle.
Speaking with Complex for a cover story on Quality Control following last month's GRAMMY Awards ceremony in New York, Migos and their label's founders, COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee and CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas, discussed Migos' greatest roadblock to sustained success: 300 Entertainment.
“300 was the biggest hurdle,” Offset told Complex writer Brandon "Jinx" Jenkins. “They tried to hold us against our will. It wasn't never no in-house hurdles we ever had, like where it had been a problem. With 300, that was the biggest thing, going through times and situations with them. And we still did them right. Left them a nice piece of work.”
Pee substantiated Offset’s statement, confirming that the label would not let them sell records for 18 months. The group's frustration is more than understandable, considering Migos were well on their way to becoming major pop culture icons and trendsetters at the time they first struck a deal with 300.
Both Pee and Coach K note that it took nearly half a million dollars and, as Coach K describes, “good litigation,” to get Migos out of their damning deal and back into the spotlight.
While dismal, Migos’ situation is far from uncommon. At narrowly every turn, we find horror stories of labels withholding already-recorded material, blocking new material, or forcing artists to produce music they aren't interested in making all in the name of a check.
Slimy, but that’s the music business.