Offset, aka Kiari Kendrell Cephus, has seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows. While his then-group, Migos, was experiencing astronomical success, Offset was incarcerated. Post-prison, he has reaped all the accolades and rewards befitting a superstar musician; successful career, endorsement deals, private planes, A-List wife, and… pain. Public pain.
Public pain from marital scandal and repair. Then a falling out with Migos, who are also his relatives. Pain so deep it caused the group Set just became a shooting star with to break up. Before any healing could be done, he was hit by the tragedy of Takeoff’s murder. R.I.P. Take. So, what’s a young fella to do when his world gets crushed three to four different ways? Harness it. We know what happens as people get more successful… the whispers start – ‘Offset changed,’ ‘he’s not the same’ and, damningly, ‘you can’t just go back home.’ But you know when Offset heard these rumors? When he was back home. Yeah.
Offset home. Offset has been everywhere. For his recent album release he completed the greatest weekend I’ve seen in a while – he was streaming with Kai Cenat having the time of his life, dancing, singing; just pure joy. He looked so alive. If I’m not mistaken, he went to an award show then ended up on the Colorado Buffaloes sideline still wearing the same clothes and giving an interview on ESPN about the game. Offset set it the fuck off, dawg.
On his first solo effort since his departure from Migos, we find Offset alone with his back against the wall. While loneliness may bring fear in others, that darkness is played as a beacon for light and a desperation for greatness. He was built for this. Set It Off starts with my favorite song, “On The River,” a declaration short and to the point, flag in the sand, ‘aye mf I’m here. You gotta deal with me.’
Overall, Offset employs an if it ain’t broke don’t fix it formula on the album and the usual suspects all pull up to parlay with Set as he stakes a claim at solo album supremacy. “Say My Grace” features Travis Scott – a jam. We get spots from Metro Boomin, Young Nudy, Latto, and, of course, Cardi B. He and Cardi are united in their very public marriage, and they have a great union in music here.
Don Toliver goes crazy on “Worth It.” That’s what Don does though. A great flip of a Busta Rhymes “Put Your Hands” sample. Unfortunately, no appearance from Quavo in the 21-song project. Yes, TWENTY-ONE songs… there’s no need to have 21 whole songs on an album, bruh. It’s the streaming era, music attention span is low.
On the other side of the usual suspects, “Princess Cuts” finds Offset on a track with Chloe Bailey. On paper this doesn’t seem like a great mashup, however, Offset turns melodic and Chloe employs a sing-songy flow. It grew on me. I like it when artists take chances.
“Jealousy” is a Three 6 Mafia flip featuring Cardi B – a bop. One thing about Offset, no matter who he’s with, that boy can flow. It’s legendary at this point. He’s come a long way from his early projects to this one.
This release makes me proud to see Set’s growth as an artist. I like to see creativity and becoming a songmaker rather than just a stereotypical artist. On the album, you find Offset hype, balling, ladies’ man, father, dad, vulnerable. All sides of a man. That’s impressive. My only real knock is… 21 songs.
When life throws you lemons, find some tea and make an Arnold Palmer. Pain is part of life. There’s only so many things you can do when faced with it. You can run and hide, but pain knows your address. It’s always around – often creeping near joy – and sooner or later it will knock on your door. The real ones don’t run.
The real view pain from a window pane in the form of stained, they make art out of it. The real turns pain into champagne. The real toast to sorrow and dare that motherfucker to try harder. We even pour a cup for those who hate us. Adversity is indeed adverse. That shit is abrasive. Throughout these tumultuous times, one thing you learn is tough times don’t last but tough people do. Offset might’ve bent at a few points, but he ain’t break a bit. Surely a testament to true strength. The real are resilient. Shout out to us. In the words of Offset, the show must go on.