LOS ANGELES (AP) — Quavo may be one-third of the uber-successful hip-hop group Migos, but he’s also a rapper in high demand, appearing as a featured act on Top 10 hits by Post Malone, DJ Khaled, Drake and Liam Payne.
The 27-year-old star said he was collaborating with others so much that he had to turn down work so he could completely focus on his first solo album, “Quavo Huncho,” released last week.
“Right now, I’m just going to chill and work my album and calm down on features,” he said. “I just want to tuck away and go into kill mode with this album. …I’ve turned down projects all the time. Not on some disrespectful-type (stuff), but I don’t want to oversaturate my sound.”
Quavo, who has appeared on tracks by Camila Cabello, Major Lazer, Halsey and Iggy Azalea, also co-wrote Beyonce and Jay-Z’s hit song, “Apes–t.” His new album features collaborations with Madonna, Cardi B, Drake, Travis Scott and Lil Baby.
Migos, which includes Offset and Takeoff, are currently on tour with Drake. In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday at his Huncho Hoops celebrity youth basketball game and music video shoot, Quavo talked about watching Drake end rap beefs with Meek Mill and Chris Brown on the tour, new Migos music and more.
AP: You’re the first member of Migos to release a solo project. Will Offset and Takeoff follow suit this year?
Quavo: Yes, I don’t know the exact dates. But Takeoff will be next and (then) Offset will come.
AP: How about new Migos music?
Quavo: We’ll be at the top of 2019. We’re going to hit them with “Culture III.”
AP: Did you envision yourself and Migos being this successful?
Quavo: Nah, I never really did see myself as a stand-alone. We never really saw ourselves having solo careers. We came in as a group. We were trying new ways and new sounds. It’s all about growth. When we were coming as a group, we weren’t thinking about kids, marriage or like real stuff. Seeing Offset have his wife (Cardi B) and kids, it makes you want to grow up. We all can’t stay in the same house no more.
AP: What have you and the group learned from being on tour with Drake?
Quavo: The more and more we hit the stage, our chemistry becomes a lot stronger. Our sounds are better, our ad-libs come more in pocket. Then coming back off the stage and watching Drake, seeing how he controls the crowd on his solo approach, we learn so much both ways.
AP: You saw Drake squash his differences with Chris Brown and Meek Mill. How do you feel about rap beefs in general?
Quavo: It’s good when two players, two brothers, two black men come together. We don’t need to be shooting at nobody. There doesn’t need to be any violence. If you can just sit down and talk, you can work it out. That’s the best way instead of pulling out guns.
AP: What compelled you to hold the Huncho Hoops basketball game?
Quavo: I’m happy to bring this idea into physical form. These are my dreams that I want to do for the kids. Just for myself as an artist, I really wanted to touch the people. So instead of taking pictures all day, I want to throw functions for them.
I just want to be a big bro, like a mentor to the people following my footsteps. I know both worlds — I know how it is to be a musician and trying to play ball. I know how it is for a kid in high school trying to make it but you don’t and you need another plan. I know how to be a star and control stardom. And once you get there, staying humble, learning how to practice and being focused (is the key).
AP: You just renovated the home you grew up in suburban Atlanta. What are you doing with it?
Quavo: I want to put kids (in the home) from Gwinnett (County in Georgia) who don’t have a good home or (have a) single parent who is sick and unable to work. Like, I couldn’t play football my eighth-grade year because my mom had a staph infection. Stuff like that can mess up a kid’s mind and make them feel like they’re not good enough. I want to put like three or four kids in the house and let them go to my old school. I want to give them spiritual inspiration.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31