Atlanta’s Migos can explain that the most major label situations are a gift and a curse. Their label, Quality Control has been pivotal in not only their careers but also that of Lil Yachty. In a new cover story for Complex, QC label heads Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas recall the drama of the group being signed to 300 Entertainment.
Formed in 2013 as a black-owned independent record label, QC bought into the concept that streaming/digital only benefitted their biggest stars. But their partnership with 300 constantly held them up. When asked about the group’s biggest hurdle to success, Offset says it plain, “300. I’m saying it. 300 was the biggest hurdle. 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.”
One of those songs in contention was “Look At My Dab,” a song that predates the dab craze that struck the nation in 2015. “It was one of the biggest songs of that year. We had the athletes doing it. You had the kids, everybody was doing it. But you ain’t see it on iTunes, you see what I’m saying?” Thomas said. “We couldn’t sell it. We couldn’t stream it, because we was in a battle. We got a company saying, “Y’all can’t put no music out. We ain’t letting y’all sell nothing.”
It took half a million dollars to break away from 300 for Migos and on the day that both sides came to an agreement, Migos leaked their biggest song, ‘Bad & Boujee’. “And the rest is history,” Coach K said.
Fortunately, both parties have moved on. Migos’ not only dropped Culture on 300 to high acclaim but also secured a new deal with Capitol Records to drop their successful follow-up, Culture II. In the end, let it be a lesson to younger artists and labels. Even with streaming being key.