For a hot rapper, a guest appearance can make for a nice payday no matter how off-brand it is (witness Kanye West and Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon on Justin Bieber’s “Runaway Love”). But far rarer is when the rapper brings the golden touch to a song — as seems to be the case with Migos’ Quavo, who appears on three of BuzzAngle’s Top 25 songs of 2017 thus far. Not only is he a lead rapper on Migos’ ubiquitous hit “Bad and Boujee,” he guests on DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” (along with Lil Wayne, Chance the Rapper and, er, Justin Bieber) and Post Malone’s “Congratulations.”
And those are just the top-charting songs: in the past year-and-change he’s also appeared on songs by Drake, Mary J. Blige, Lil Uzi Vert, Halsey, A$AP Mob, Major Lazer, ex-One Direction singer Liam Payne and many more (in September, HipHopDX posted an article called “Quavo’s Best Verses of 2017 — So Far” and listed 12). And that’s not even including his solo work or Migos’ “Culture” album (which debuted at No. 1 in February) or the follow-up “Culture 2” album expected early next year. Speed is key to the monumentally prolific MC’s madness: He says his verse on Khaled’s song took just 15 minutes.
“I just go hard,” the 26-year-old Atlanta native (born Quavious Keyate Marshall) tells Variety. “I know I can get on every type of genre in the world, so I just picture myself in whatever story somebody wants me to be a part of. At the time [‘I’m the One’] had only me and Bieber on it — Bieber had just a hook and as soon as I heard it, I went right in and did my verse in about 15 minutes and we was onto the next song.”
Surprisingly, he says his favorite guest spot in recent months is on Payne’s song, “Because it’s a different feel but it’s still talking about things that we do in our world. I like the fun of it and I like the fact that Liam even wanted to make me a part of the record — it’s platinum in seven or eight [countries] across the world.”
Despite such a vast number of guest appearances and a sound that’s so often imitated it’s easy to think Migos are on songs even when they’re not, Quavo isn’t concerned about overexposure. “People look to me as the leader of a new wave, a new genre, a new sound — so they all gotta listen to me first to even see what the new flavor is!” he says. “I’m the flavor …” he pauses, “I don’t wanna say ‘God’ because there’s only one God. But I’m the flavor guy. Come and get some when you need it — I’m sellin’ sauce!”