Atlanta rap trio Migos released their debut studio album Yung Rich Nation over the summer and are avid sports fans, often sprinkling references into their lyrics and song titles. Offset, the group’s third member, has been incarcerated since his April arrest (members of the group were arrested after a performance at Georgia Southern; Offset was denied bail), but Quavo and Takeoff took the time to chat with SI.com in early September.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
SI.com: Did you guys hear Serena Williams lost?
Quavo: Oh, Serena Williams finally lost?
SI.com: Yeah, to an unranked player.
Quavo: To an unranked person? She must've been having a bad game. They trying to say she don't got it no more?
SI.com: Well, Drake was in the stands. Twitter was trying to blame Drake.
Quavo: That's crazy. Serena gotta get back to focusing, you know.
SI.com: What are some of your earliest sports memories?
Quavo: We're from Athens, Ga., we're big Bulldog fans, and I remember watching A.J. Green, David Pollock, David Greene. We were big Cowboys and Falcons fans. Cowboys, 'cause Deion [Sanders] went to Dallas. Bulls fans most definitely, 'cause of Dennis Rodman, they had the whole squad.
SI.com: Any predictions for the Falcons?
Takeoff: I believe in my Falcons. I think we're gonna go all the way—16-0. That boy Julio [Jones], he's cool people. We're in Atlanta, we see all the players all the time, I believe in them. Super Bowl, man.
SI.com: Were you happy to see Julio get his new contract?
Takeoff: Most definitely. Can't see him leave. Can't let Julio go, that's the best bird in town.
SI.com: For sure. Any thoughts on the Falcons' new stadium project?
Takeoff: We ride by it all the time. It's real big, it's gonna bring a lot of money into Atlanta. It's gonna have Atlanta turnt up. I'm ready to see it, ready to get off in it.
SI.com: Shifting gears to the NBA, are you guys big Hawks fans?
Quavo: We don't really have one team, I like the Warriors, but I'm a Hawks fan. We gotta stay native. I think they're in a stage of rebuilding, keeping Horford, Teague, all them young guys. They probably didn't know they were capable of doing that last year. Now they believe in themselves. I don’t think they’re gonna come out as strong as they did, but they're gonna get a lot of respect. Teams are gonna really prepare for the Hawks.
SI.com: You mentioned the Warriors, you were rooting for them in the playoffs?
Quavo: Both of the teams were pretty good. We like 'em both. I know Iman Shumpert, I met him on tour, we played ball outside. I stay in the neutral zone, man, I just wanna see a great game.
SI.com: Fight Night is one of your guys' biggest songs—if you had to pick, would you rather fight Floyd Mayweather or Ronda Rousey?
Quavo: [Laughs] I'd rather fight ol' Floyd. I can't see myself hitting a woman.
SI.com: How do you think fighting Floyd would go?
Quavo: I mean, Floyd ain't really going for a knockout anymore, he's tryin' to just win the round. I think we'd be battling pretty good.
SI.com: You guys rap about sports a lot—where does the inspiration come from to weave a reference into a track?
Takeoff: As kids we always wanted to go outside and do what they did. Sometimes it's just our lingo. Like, say a girl might change her hair color every day, we might call her Dennis Rodman. When you're playing football and you go up for a catch over somebody, we call that "Mossin," like Randy Moss. It's part of the lifestyle we live.
SI.com: Quavo, tell me a bit about your high school football career.
Quavo: In ninth grade I played wide receiver. Our quarterbacks were getting hurt, a couple got kicked out of school, the coach asked who wanted to try out for QB. I went and tried out, and from there on I was a quarterback. I was ineligible in 10th grade until spring, so I did baseball, I started in left field and pitched. Then I came back my junior year at quarterback and started my senior year.
SI.com: What was your greatest moment?
Quavo: My first scrimmage game, the first time they ever put me in at quarterback for varsity, as soon as I got in I threw a touchdown pass. My first snap of the ball.
SI.com: Was it a deep pass?
Quavo: We were at the 40-yard line. I'll never forget it. We ran a spread offense. I motioned my slot, Z receiver, to run a corner post. We did those drills in practice and I guess they came to life in the game.
SI.com: Who's the best rapping athlete?
Quavo: You gotta give it to Shaq. That's who started it, man. Shaq got platinum albums, I give it to Shaquille O'Neal.
SI.com: Would you guys ever make a song with him?
Quavo: Not right now. Shaq ain't got it no more. [Laughs] Nah, I know Shaq got them rhymes … tell Shaq hell yeah we’ll do a song with him, but only if he goes back to Kazaam. [Imitates] "I-am-Kazaam!"
SI.com: I know you guys used to live at a country club. Do you still live there?
Quavo: Uh, nah. We stay on the moon now.
SI.com: When you did live there, did you try any of those sports?
Quavo: Yeah, I went golfing, with the whole lil' squad. We kind of disrespected somebody's hole. There was a hole in my backyard, I didn't know what hole it was, but everybody gets assigned a hole, you gotta go to the front of the country club to do that.
So we in the backyard just playing on somebody else's hole! Get what I'm saying? Balls just coming, we're like: "Where the f--- these balls coming from?" And they called us like, you're playing on somebody's hole, you gotta go get assigned a hole to play.
SI.com: Has Offset been able to keep up with sports and other news?
Quavo: Most definitely, I talk to him all the time. He's fine, he's doing alright, he's just ready to come home like anybody else that would be in jail, you know.
SI.com: Absolutely. Anything else you want to add?
Quavo: Make sure y'all put the Migos in that celebrity flag football game at Super Bowl week.
SI.com: I can write that.
Quavo: Yeah, we'll be open for that.