It was a pretty eventful Sunday evening for Migos at the 2017 BET Awards. Getting into a confrontation with Joe Budden and the Everyday Struggle crew and tearing down the stage with their performance during the awards would have been enough for most groups. But after the awards were over, Migos apparently got into it with Chris Brown, leading to total chaos outside of an after party in Los Angeles.
Though Brown himself appears to be lurking in the background not doing much of anything, it's not too hard to connect the dots here. There's clearly some bad blood between the members of Migos and Brown, the latter of whom always seems to be in the thick of some new drama. And that's despite Brown making claims that he was trying to move onward and upward with his life in recent interviews.
So what's really going on here? You just have to look closely about what they've said about each other in the past to get a handle on this.
They used to respect one another
It wasn't always so bad between Brown and Migos. In fact, during lengthy profile on the group for Billboard this March, a bit of mutual admiration was shared between them.
Migos rap over a few songs. A thick cash-shaped envelope passes hands. Then a surprise: Chris Brown is here — and he’s got a microphone. “I just want to shout out y’all,” he announces, addressing himself to Migos. 'Y’all my real friends and brothers. I bought your album three times. I spent my own money and shit. I’m proud of you n—s. I will never hate on you n—s.'
Quavo explains: 'You don’t want to let a n— know you f— with him the soft way. You got to come the hard way, aggressive.' It’s a nearly satirical depiction of masculinity, like a line from the great ’90s gangsta mockumentary Fear of a Black Hat. But then he gets verklempt about, of all people, Brown. “Damn, that boy Chris said a real one. That f—ed me up.” Then he adds: “Make sure you put that in the story.”
This isn't from a long time ago either, as the profile was released in March 2017. Within the last half a year, things have deteriorated. But why?
Quavo begins dating Karrueche Tran
Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose has a running theory about disputes between professional athletes on the same team: they're nearly all about a card-game debt or a woman. If you subscribe to that belief and apply it to people in other fields, you can see where things might have gone wrong here.
Just a month after that story of mutual affection between CB and Migos, Quavo was spotted out with Karrueche—actress, model, and Brown's ex-girlfriend at a festival in Biloxi, Mississippi. For a normal adult, this wouldn't be a big deal, especially because it's not like Brown is sitting at home eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream after he goes through a break-up.
But Brown has a well-documented history of problematic relationships with women, and his issues with Karrueche post-breakup are no different. He was handed restraining order paperwork as he left his 28th birthday party, but has been on record as claiming he was being "slandered."
Brown feels "betrayed" by Quavo
Days after photos emerged of Quavo and Karrueche dating, reports came out that Chris Brown wasn't happy about the whole thing. After he helped promote their new album, Culture, and sang the praises of Migos to whoever would listen, Brown allegedly felt like he'd been "stabbed in the back" by Quavo, who he felt was seeing Karrueche in secret.
According to TMZ, the prior relationship between Quavo and Brown had extended far beyond a business/musical relationship, with Brown reportedly hosting the Migos member in his home. This tracks with other supporting evidence out there; Brown has attended parties hosted by the Migos before,
When he found out about the new relationship between Quavo and his ex, Brown then felt "betrayed" after spending so much time with Quavo. If this sounds ridiculous, that's because it is. Just because you're friendly with someone doesn't mean you get to control who they date for the rest of eternity, even if they end up deciding to date a former partner of yours.
Confrontation after the BET Awards
The video evidence from after the BET Awards seems clear—Chris Brown himself wasn't actively involved in the scrum with any members of the Migos, let alone Quavo. Despite some sensational headlines about the incident, video shows Brown posted up on the scene, mostly just trying to weave his way through foot traffic.
Of course, that doesn't mean he's not culpable here. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and if you believe the reports out there, it was a member of Brown's crew who started the altercation by pushing Quavo. Brown's aware that if he starts any issues, his legal history leaves him susceptible to potentially severe ramifications. If he were to, say, let members of his team mess with Quavo and keep his own hands clean, he could get the point across without risking too much himself.
In an era of throwing shade and not getting too heavy into beef, this version of events would make a lot of sense. And it would fit the profile of other recent issues between artists beefing over a woman, like when Meek Mill's crew allegedly roughed up Safaree over the weekend, despite Meek denying any involvement.