“I just want to do big numbers,” Offset tells Billboard of his upcoming solo album. “To me, I don’t give a damn about anything but numbers.” The Atlanta native’s still untitled project is set is to arrive Dec. 14, on the heels of his Migos brothers’ solo releases, but Set’s may be the most anticipated of the three.
Outside of Offset’s high hopes for the LP, which he says will remain free of features, the 26-year-old has enjoyed a monstrous 2018. The Migos kicked the campaign off with the Billboard 200 topping Culture II back in January and Set has equally been a force in the feature department. Offset, born Kiari Cephus, racked up three top 15 solo appearances on the Hot 100 during 2018 alone.
“I’m talking about relevant situations that have occurred over the last 18 or 24 months, like me being in the crash, my kids, my family time and me being married,” the “Ric Flair Drip” rapper says regarding what to expect content-wise on his album. “There’s different parts of my life. The ups and downs of being in music, the feeling of people doubting me and being the underdog to becoming the big dog.”
Cardi B’s husband has even made some shrewd investments on the business side, pushing his personal branding to the next level. One of those lucrative partnerships finds the luxury car connoisseur teaming with emerging avatar company Genies, which looks to capitalize on the growing Bitmoji sensation.
Below, find the rest of our conversation with Offset, where we dive into his upcoming solo album, why he prefers it be looked at as a playlist, landing on Kodak Black‘s “Zeze,” touring with Drake, and much more.
Billboard: How did your partnership with Genies come together?
Offset: Genies is my family. My boy Dubs does my business management and he tells me that the jewelry, cars, and clothes won’t be there, but the investments in 10 years will. I just got into the wave of investing into things I believe in.
I believe in Genies to the ten thousandth hour, especially with the emoji lifestyle going on right now. People rarely text without emojis, so it’s going to be very relatable. Plus, with me being an artist, people are going to love that shit. I just saw the vision of it coming together.
What kind of outfit would your Genie have on if it was up to you?
I had went Versace on them for fashion week when I did the little “Walk It Talk It” move inside the emoji little clip, with the pink I had on at the Met Gala this year.
I know you have quite the fleet of cars — which one would you have to go with for your Genie?
I told them I got to have the McLaren 720 and the Lamborghini truck. They just got to represent your boy all the way to the fullest.
What can we expect from your solo album dropping on your birthday next month (Dec. 14)?
I could give you a little content, but I don’t want to spill the beans, beans, beans. I’m talking about relevant situations that have occurred over the last 18 or 24 months, like me being in the crash, my kids, my family time and me being married. There’s different parts of my life. The ups and downs of being in music, the feeling of people doubting me and being the underdog to becoming the big dog.
I’m not really talking too much about Pateks and Lambos because it’s not relatable. That’s almost like bubblegum rap now, how the people are accepting it. They just get two days of playing it, then it’s over with. This can last and people can feel it.
I’m really pushing my album to be a playlist and not an album, because a playlist is consistently being played for moves, exercises, and different things. With Spotify and all the streaming services, it’s all about who got the biggest playlist. So I was focused on making my album like a playlist. The format of what an album is in the books, isn’t what’s going on in 2019.
When I say I want a playlist vibe, I’m still giving you content with the songs — real shit that’s going on. It’s an album of what I’ve been going through here and there and what got me to this point.
— OFFSET (@OffsetYRN) November 6, 2018
What part of the album’s introduction made Cardi B cry?
You’ll find out December 14th. [Sings.]
Do you know how long you want this album to be?
I really don’t even have it yet, bro. I’m not going to go 20 deep, that’s when you lose the people. That’s a scared way to go about it like, “I don’t know what’s going to work, so I’m going to pile this shit on.” The lower numbers for sure. With the internet right now, and the attention span of fans is on, like, 30 percent. We did that for Culture II because you got the best group in the guys, and we all got to get our points across. Nobody wants to hear 95 songs, because the next day or week someone else is dropping another 95.
Is there plans for a single to drop before the album releases?
I’m not doing the single shit because it’s not organic. The single shit is like, forceful. Being on the artist side, every song beside “Bad and Boujee” that I thought would do something, I’m always dead ass wrong. I’m not putting out any singles because I know that’s how all the artists are. You be thinking one song is hot and it be the other one. I never thought “Ric Flair Drip” would be that big. Metro [Boomin’] was the n—a who told me like, “This is the one.” I finished my second verse the day before it came out.
Who is featured on the project?
No features, I’m coming by myself. Solo album, I’m coming with the shit. I got features top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 right now. I don’t need any features right now. Free of features, I’m going to give you all this drip I got.
What do you hope to accomplish with the project?
I just want to do big numbers. To me, I don’t give a damn about anything but numbers. Another No. 1. On some solo shit, I got to have a No. 1 album. It’s just going to show people to stop playing with the group, and stop playing with me an artist.
How do you feel about Quality Control’s strategy to flooding the marketplace with content to close out 2018?
We’re just trying to show you what we can do. That’s all it is. It’s not a real strategy like that. We just love rapping and we see a lot of people trying to see what we can do on our own. We’re showing you we can fly with our own wings, or we could be more powerful as one. Of course, we all know that. We’re showing our artistry and ability.
What happened during the Saturday night show on tour in Atlanta? Did your mics get cut off?
It sounds like it. It wasn’t anyone’s team or anything. It was arena issues. That shit had a n—a mad. It’s all good. People loved it at the end of the day and it is what it is. You make the best of those situations. Sometimes you could uppercut somebody, but you got to make the best of it.
What’s been your favorite moment on this tour with Drake as it wraps up?
My favorite moment has just been being in my city and getting the love. Before the world, I was just trying to impress the city. Being able to come back and have these meet-and-greets, and they’re thanking us for holding the city down. Plus we’re from the North side and the outskirts, so it’s a big thing for us being back home.
Is there any truth to this collab project between Drake and the Migos, or was that something the media ran with?
I don’t know. That’s my brother, so we got shit, but I don’t know.
Is Culture III up next for January?
Yeah, working together and getting back to the basics [for Culture III].
Was there ever any talks of a Without Warning 2 with Metro Boomin and 21 Savage?
I’m not going to lie, we got so many songs that didn’t even make it and still had the people going crazy. So it’s any time for that. Those are my brothers.
You’ve been all over the feature game this year. Do you have a favorite assist that stands out to you?
All of them, I been eating n—-s. That’s the purpose of the features. You got to come with yourself. All I do, no matter even if it’s a pop single, I just be myself.
How did you land on “ZEZE” with Kodak Black and Travis Scott?
My boy [Kodak] had called me and we locked that shit in when he got the record. Before he got locked up, we were chopping it up and shit, because I’ve been through that. I want to keep the young n—-s on the straight path ,because we got the opportunity of a lifetime. Sometimes we get taken advantage of with the money and being able to do what you want.
You also hopped on some more pop-sounding records like Madison Beer’s “Hurts Like Hell” or Chantel Jeffries’ “Wait” earlier in 2018. What’s your approach like on those kind of songs?
I consider those wins, man. I have a girl myself. It’s just real-life shit that’s going on, more than the flexing. Those songs are easier for me because there’s content already with the song. It’s already a lead, so the song isn’t a first bar shooting somebody, second bar about a watch, or third bar “I fucked their bitch” and the fourth bar about the drip. Those songs are easier for me, because you’re being a real one within your reality.
Do you expect to be nominated at the Grammy Awards again next year?
Yessir. I want to win one, I don’t just want the nominee. I feel like we deserve it. We’ve been the underdogs and nobody really believed in us. This shit is really real.
Why did DJ Funkmaster Flex go after you on the radio last month?
These old n—-s be hating on young n—-s. If you n—-s was so powerful in hip-hop, why the fuck was hip-hop never No. 1 until we started getting in this motherfucker”? Let’s be real, we’re the No. 1 genre. You guys weren’t even slept on, you just didn’t have the status.
They wasn’t respecting our shit. N—-s wasn’t going six-times platinum as a hip-hop artist. Whoever did that is a god. Other than that, I don’t want to hear that old writers shit. I never had anybody write for me. I don’t even write, I’ve never used a pen. I wouldn’t hate on the young n—-s, I would embrace them.
I DONT RIGHT I FREESTYLE OFF THE HEAD
I MAKE MONEY OFF THOUGHTS
YOU HATE TI GET A BAG AT 40
Smh we love you bro
— OFFSET (@OffsetYRN) October 31, 2018