Why Migos Left 300 Entertainment

Just as Migos—​alongside their label Quality Control Music—​began to rise through the ranks, 300 Entertainment swooped in to sign the Atlanta trio in 2014. However, instead of the deal leading to a fruitful relationship, the partnership soon soured, with behind-the-scenes issues culminating in Migos and Quality Control parting ways with 300.

In Complex's new cover story, Migos and Quality Control Music executives Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas spoke with Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins about the problems they had at 300, and what it took to make a clean break from the label.

“300 was the biggest hurdle. They tried to hold us against our will,” Offset says. “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.”

The hurdle, as Pee explains it, was preventing them from seeing a financial return on new releases. “For 18 months, we couldn't sell no product. Whatever that was already out, that was already on iTunes or whatever, that was cool, but anything that we was putting out, it was like we was shackled down.”

An example Pee points to is “Look at My Dab,” a Migos record that helped push the dance move craze into the public eye. While the song was making noise across the country, its success was stifled from the business end. “It was one of the biggest songs of that year,” he says. “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? We couldn't sell it. We couldn't stream it.”


Pee continues, “We got a company saying, “Y'all can't put no music out. We ain't letting y'all sell nothing. We ain't letting y'all, until whatever.”

The struggle to take full control of their destiny played out in a legal showdown, and Pee estimates they spent around a half a million dollars in fees to get out of their contract with 300.

“As soon as we came to a [legal] agreement, we leaked 'Bad and Boujee,​'” Coach K adds. “The rest is history.”

Read and watch Complex's February cover story with Migos, Lil Yachty, Coach K, and Pee here.

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Cam’ron, Rick Ross, Young M.A, and KYLE Discuss Rap’s Generation Gap | ComplexCon(versations)

The generation gap in hip-hop and the culture's ever-changing mores and rules are constant topics of conversation. So naturally, they became subjects of a Complex Con(versation) at ComplexCon 2017. The panel was hosted by Everyday Struggle co-host DJ Akademiks, and featured new and veteran artists as well as journalists talking about how and why hip-hop has changed. Panelists Rick Ross, Cam'ron, Young M.A, KYLE, and Complex's own Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins discussed the new norms in fashion, MCing, beef, and more.

When it comes to style, Ross noted that hip-hop's staggering growth means that you can no longer tell where someone is from just by how they dress. “The culture became so big, we past that,” he said of regional styles.

Talking about rap, Young M.A lamented the state of the game. “It's not just about the music now. It's about going viral,” she said. She also coined the term “tweef” when talking about the propensity of rappers to beef on Twitter instead of on wax. 

KYLE, for his part, stressed originality. In fact, he said he basically has no choice but to do his own thing.  

“I don't feel pressure to act like other people or rap like other people, because I just can't,” he explained. “I'm not ever going to ever going to be able to put on chains and become the Migos.”  

Watch the full conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Gunner Stahl Talks Photographing Gucci Mane and Getting Turned Down by DMX | The Culture

In just a few years Gunner Stahl has gone from a name to know in the photography world to being one of the elite photographers documenting some of the biggest names in hip-hop. On top of that, he's also released two photo books, shot a magazine cover, and hosted a number of gallery exhibits.

Even with the rapid success, it's safe to say his biggest moment has yet be captured. In the debut episode of The Culture, Complex's own Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins links up with the 25-year-old photographer to find out how he got to this point, and where he's going next.

Stahl's work behind the lens began at the age of 18 when he bought his first camera. He didn't get into portraits of musical acts until 2014 when he shot Wiz Khalifa after the Pittsburgh rapper had just dyed his hair purple. That moment inspired him to pursue photography more seriously.

Gunner Stahl
Image via Complex Original/Photography by Andy Hur

After a quick stop at a camera shop, Stahl and Jinx hit the studio for a photography session with ATL rapper Rich the Kid. There Stahl highlights the importance of trust between photographer and subject, and reveals his favorite commissioned gig was doing the cover art for Playboi Carti's self-titled debut mixtape.

Stahl also admits he got turned down by a high profile figure: “DMX… got me hyped bro.”

Check out the full episode above, where Gunner Stahl talks about capturing the moment Gucci Mane and Young Thug reunited after Mane was released from prison, and why he's inspired by photographer Chi Modu. Subscribe to Complex to catch more episodes of The Culture, and keep up with Stahl's latest moves on Instagram.

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