Offset Talks "Set It Off" With Zane Lowe: 7 Takeaways

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Global Citizen Live, Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Offset of Migos performs onstage during Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

With his sophomore album on the horizon, Offset gives insight into "Set It Off" and why he's approaching this era like a new artist.

At the stroke of midnight tonight, Offset Mania will ensue as he releases his anticipated album, Set It Off. The sophomore effort follows the Migos hitmaker's explosive 2019 debut, Father of 4, which found success at its peak No. 4 position on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. The industry often worries if an artist's second go-round will be as successful as the first. Still, because so much has happened in the four years since Father of 4, fans are poised with the expectation that Offset will address most of his most scathing controversies in what is slated to be another chart-topper.

We've seen the highs and lows of Offset and Cardi B's marriage become critical conversations on social media. This is especially true as rumors of infidelities plague the couple. Also, Offset's move to a solo career was heavily debated amid chatter that he'd split from his Migos family. Then, of course, the rapper's world was shaken when Takeoff, a best friend he considered a "cousin" since they were kids, was shot and killed almost one year ago in Houston. Further, who can forget his epic clapbacks during his Bobbi Althoff interview? As these hot topics are weighed by admirers and naysayers alike, Offset sat down with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1 to discuss Set It Off, why now is the perfect time for its release, and how the family has kept him grounded.

On Set It Off & Elevating

"I'm so excited for this project. You just don't know, man. I feel— I'm proud of myself, man. I never be proud of myself, I never give myself no pats. But I'm proud of myself, bro. I know I put a big effort into it. I stepped outside of the box, like I said, and I took my time and didn't rush the product. I'm not settling for the past. I want progression through the future. I wanted to, especially with this project, progress as an artist and not bottle my talents like dancing. That's why in my videos, I've been bringing those elements out of me because I feel like the more you entertain the people, and the more you show people who you are, the more they accept you and follow your lead.

"Even me doing interviews and speaking more, I've been wanting to do that. Because people need to understand Offset. I'm not a serious guy, I'm a funny guy. I'm very creative. I love to speak, and I know how to speak well as an adult. Man, like you saying, man, I just want to elevate my sound and elevate... I do appreciate all the things I've been through. You know what I'm saying? Everything's been great, and I love the blessings, but I just want more. I'm hungry for more and to challenge myself to get better."

On Why Set If Off Needed To Be Released Now

"I felt like I was supposed to drop last year, and it would've been the wrong time. It would've been overlooked, and the music wasn't there yet. So I didn't. I'm glad I held back to make sure that the sound of the music was good and also the story that could match what I'm trying to do. It was hard, too, though, because, like you saying, that cycle going. You watching other people go, you watching new people come every day. Then it's like, 'Am I getting... I need to drop.'"

"At one point, I was like, 'Man, I need just drop. I need to drop, I need to...' Honestly, bro, I've never felt good about an album because I always was nervous, or think you too much into it like, 'Damn, what if this ain't the song? We put out the wrong song.' But this one, I'm confident, bro. I feel good, man, I feel like I did—I know I challenged myself. I know I took it to the next level for me. As an individual, not about everybody else, but me as an individual, bro, as an artist, challenging myself to do different things. I salute myself because I was stubborn for a long time."

On Growing As An Artist & Working With New Producers

"I want to grow, and I'm cool to grow, and I accept the growth. I just feel like every year, every time, you should always be growing … What my whole mission for this album was, was to not get caught up in 'I'm that guy.' I feel like sometimes, when you get caught up in that, you create the same thing because you're comfortable in that element. Then, in this day and age, people is pointing that sh*t out now. Like, 'Oh, this sounds the same. This sounds the same.'"

"I feel like a lot of people talk down on the A&R like you don't need them. But they bring you another element that you wouldn't have thought of, or they might tell you to work with these producers instead of working with the old producers. The only two producers I worked with that's on this album that's previous was Metro [Boomin] and Southside. The rest like, Vinylz, Boy Wonder, and even Taste the Money, I had not really had no product out with these guys."

On Takeoff & Migos's Legacy

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: (L-R) Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff of Migos attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

"Take had that…he just had good character. He was a good person at heart, away from none of this jewelry and music and fame, which was never a part of his agenda. He just was like, 'I make music with people that love my music, and I love everybody.' He's a loving person, man. It was just a tragedy my boy had to go like that, man. But I'm pushing for him, too. Legacy, the group thing is it. Can't be a group because our main member is missing. That's what people don't... It's not nothing against it with us. Just like, for us, we just can't continue that way.

"But even on my own journey, I still feel his presence and his energy, like, 'Bro, we got to go hard. We got to win. We got to win. This ain't the end of it. We got to win.' So, that's another thing that pushed me through is my boy, Take, man. I know he always would want... He didn't care that he didn't care about the numbers, nothing. He like, 'Bro, y'all's sh*t hard.' He's just very supportive in that. I just keep that in the back of my mind and just keep pushing. Just keep pushing."

Advice For His Younger Self

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Rapper Offset of Migos attends Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2014 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Power 105.1)

"I would tell myself to pay attention more and not to move so fast. When you first getting on, it's like, oh, show, show, show, show. You're not really figuring out a strategy onto what your long-term is. So, I would prepare myself for longterm instead of in the moment. I was always in the moment, in the moment, in the moment, in the moment, but never wanted to be an 'in the moment artist.' If you look at all the greats, the longevity is always reinventions. It's always working outside of the box of what you usually do.

"My younger self, I would say, slow down and pay attention. Learn the game, learn yourself. Learn yourself first. Understand who you are as a person. Because that's what helped me also with this album, understanding who I am as a person. I was having downtime. Music is up and down, not putting product out for a long time."

On Approaching This Era With New Hunger

"Everybody want to go big, macho man. But I want to be able to just build my sh*t. I'm not afraid to jump in. I'm jumping into it like a new artist. I feel like if I do that, it'll help me learn more, and then I will see the bumps instead of have a big head. 'Well, I'm Offset. I come from the biggest rap group, or I got number one song, I got solo songs. They went crazy.' Instead of getting into that bag, which I was maybe two years ago, it's like, nah, bro, slow down. Show these people that you can do this. Build a show where people love Offset."

On How His Family Inspires Him

"That has kept my head on my shoulders… being home with my family is also another reminder of why I do things. Then, them being able to be close to me and to hold me tight because I needed family for a long time, man. People think everything is peaches and cream with an artist. You go through mental things, you go through things with your family, you go through confidence things, you go through creative block. I had a creative block for a minute, and then in the summer, I had all my kids around, and that helped me be able to get back into, 'Yo.'

"Because my son was like, 'Dad, I want to hear some new songs.' It was like, 'Dang, okay.' Like they giving me more life when I felt like I was draining. It just gave me—hearing my boys be like, 'Dad, man, we want to hear your new music. When your new album going to drop? You need to come on.' It just sparked the juice. Okay, let's get back into the grind mode. Let's get back into it."

Stream Set It Off on all major platforms on Friday, October 13th.

About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.