When Migos dropped their 2013 hit “Versace,” the Atlanta trio captivated the rap world with an ear-catching rhyme delivery that has gone on to influence the likes of Drake, J. Cole, Meek Mill and Young Jeezy.
The “Migos flow,” as it has been dubbed, is a start-and-stop rap pattern where lyrics are doled out in digestible rhyme triplets. While Migos member Quavo gets a ton of credit for popularizing the trend, 2 Chainz would argue that the style actually started with 1990s Memphis rap luminaries Three 6 Mafia.
“Look at my car, how did it get on dem sixes/ This flow come from Drizzy, he got it from Migos, they got it from Three Six,” Chainz raps on “Trap Back,” a song from his Freebase EP, which he dropped online on Tuesday.
“There’s a certain delivery that they brought to the game that people started snacking on, that was something that derived from a Memphis flow period,” Chainz told MTV News about the flow, when he sat with us to discuss the new project.
Ever since Quavo popularized the pattern last year, the flow has become a go-to for a ton of notable MCs known for their own innovations. Drake employed the distinct rhyme triplets on the “Versace” remix, as well as his own solo track “The Language.” J. Cole used it briefly on Justin Timberlake’s “TKO” remix and Young Jeezy added his own twist to the trend on Rocko’s “Which 1 U Workin’.”
Back in March, former Three 6 member Gangsta Boo hopped on Twitter and credited Lord Infamous and Skinny Pimp with pioneering the style as far back as 1992.
Chainz makes the same argument. “I can name 100 Memphis cats that had the flow,” he argued. “Then of course Drizzy is someone that is a perfectionist, someone that is very clear, period. You can understand everything, he’s a professional.”
The “Birthday Song” MC doesn’t want to down Migos, but would like to give the OGs their proper due. “You just forget where it came from when it’s all in the mix,” he explained. “Hip-hop is just a gumbo full of different patterns, flows, deliveries. So I was just stating my opinion, it wasn’t a dis or nothing like that, I was just stating my opinion.”