SpringFest headliner Migos has record of criminal activity at college concert

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 8:49pm

MUSIC Matters’ SpringFest headliner Migos is no stranger to the spotlight — both from public acclaim and criminal acts.

Returning to campus after a February appearance, the rappers have released singles like “Versace” and “Fight Night,” which defined the modern Atlanta hip-hop scene, and started a worldwide dance phenomenon with “Look at My Dab.” The rappers have a reputation for being the kind of high-energy performers SpringFest has selected to positive response in the past. However, Migos has another college-based reputation as well: The last time the group performed on a college campus, police officers had to cut the show short.

Almost exactly a year ago, at Georgia State University’s Spring Bling — a banner concert similar to SpringFest — local law enforcement arrested two Migos group members and several individuals travelling as their entourage. Rappers Quavo and Offset were also charged with felony possession of cocaine, Oxycontin and codeine in addition to charges of carrying a loaded weapon in a school zone, Rolling Stone reported. Offset was briefly jailed and then released last December.

MUSIC Matters President Jibran Ahmed, a Business senior, said the organization has been very clear with Migos’ management about limiting personal issues.

“We’ve gotten the OK and approval from all relevant University partners,” he said. “We are being as careful and proactive as possible.”

He noted that a major factor in selecting Migos for the concert was the group’s previously established relationship with the University of Michigan. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh hosted the artists during “Signing of the Stars,” his grand unveiling of the team’s 2016 recruiting class in February. Harbaugh and the rappers have also exchanged tweets in the past, and a video was released of them dabbing in support of the football team before a game against Ohio State on Twitter.

“They’re passionate about Michigan, and Michigan is passionate about them,” Ahmed said.

 In an e-mail interview about Migos’ upcoming performance, University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald acknowledged the group’s record, but wrote MUSIC Matters and the Center for Campus Involvement are working closely with the Division of Public Safety and Security to manage the event.

“We have good planning practices in place for an array of events that help us avoid issues that sometimes pop up on other campuses,” he wrote.

DPSS spokesperson Diane Brown said it was not University policy to comment on security measures.

Past performers at SpringFest include Common, 2 Chainz, Ben Folds and J. Cole. These artists’ philanthropic efforts have also lined up with MUSIC Matters' goals, as Common’s work with underserved youth in Chicago corresponded with the student organization’s charity in Detroit. Migos doesn't have a similar background, but Ahmed said he hopes the experience of SpringFest prompts the rappers to get more involved in philanthropic endevors.

“I hope we inspire Migos to be more tied to the community,” he said. “They can create that space for students to come together.”

Correction appended: The headline for this article has been clarified to better represent the article.