Can you hear that? That's the sound of Migos' bubble bursting.
When Donald Glover shouted out the Atlanta hip-hop group and their track Bad and Boujee at this year's Golden Globes, Migos ride to the top was short.
And as steep as the incline was, their decline has been sharper still after their recent comments on fellow artist iLoveMakkonen.
Let's get everyone up to speed real quick: iLoveMakkonen - another prominent hip-hop star on the rise - came out on Twitter on January 20th.
"And since y'all love breaking news, here's some old news to break, I'm gay", he tweeted. "And now I've told u about my life, maybe u can go life yours".
The admission was largely met with indifference, and the world continued to turn.
That was, until Migos weighed in in a recent Rolling Stone interview, in which they referred to his coming out as "whack".
"They supported him?" Quavo asks in the interview, raising an eyebrow. "That's because the world is fucked up," says Offset. "This world is not right," Takeoff says.
"We ain't saying it's nothing wrong with the gays," says Quavo. But he suggests that Makonnen's sexuality undermines his credibility, given the fact that "he first came out talking about trapping and selling Molly, doing all that."
Migos have now apologised for the comments, saying: “We are all fans of Makonnen’s music and we wish he didn't feel like he ever had to hide himself.
“We feel the world is fucked up that people have to hide and we're asked to comment on someone’s sexuality. We love all people, gay or straight and we apologize if we offended anyone.”
A plausible enough explanation, sure. Nevertheless, it opens up an important conversation - how rampant is homophobia within the hip-hop community in 2017?
People who expected a significant and immediate change in attitudes resulting from Frank Ocean's now infamous open letter were naive. Hip-hop artists and rappers set the benchmark for what it supposedly means to be a strong, black man in a systematically oppressive society. You have to work hard, you have to hustle and your appetite for women exclusively must be insatiable.
The scene does very little to discourage and dismantle these notions. It's fiercely competitive - in what other genre do we use the word 'feud' so frequently? Rappers created an entire off-shoot of songs solely dedicated to 'dissing' other artists for God's sake.
So it was almost surprising that the genre didn't fold in on itself when Frank came out as bisexual; when his most famous record unashamedly detailed his first relationship with a man.
Gay is not a synonym for shitty
Eleven years ago, Kanye West sat with MTV News’ Sway Calloway to talk about hip-hop’s homophobia.
Beginning with his own experience, he reflected on how the pressures to conform to standards of masculinity poisoned his perspective towards gay people. “If you see something and you don’t want to be that because there’s such a negative connotation towards it, you try to separate yourself from it so much that it made me homophobic,” he said.
In the early stages of his career, Kanye’s pink Polo shirts raised questions about his sexuality, as did wearing a kilt in 2011. West used the interview with Sway to discuss how his cousin being gay helped him realize that selective discrimination belies the point of being discriminatory in the first place.
A similar conversation arose last year, when Young Thug released his mixtape 'Jefferey', society's perception of black masculinity was once again challenged. On the cover, Young Thug dons a billowing periwinkle gown.
"I feel like there’s no such thing as gender," he said during a campaign with Calvin Klein.
And while again, thankfully, the commentary at the time was wholly positive (and produced some top-tier memes), the lingering discomfort with Young Thug's comfort in his identity was palpable.
One step forward, two steps back
To overlook the journey artists have come in developing a sense of acceptance within the community would undermine their progress entirely.
Grandmaster Flash's 1982 track The Message uses slurs so coarse that it's unpalatable; DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith told AIDs victims to "be quiet" on a live recording of He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper.
It's this casual attitude, however, that has allowed homophobia to remain ingrained in the genre. Tyler, The Creator has consistently had to defend his position as an LGBT ally following his use of the word 'faggot' 213 times on his debut album 'Goblin'.
"I WAS NEVER REFERRING TO SOMEONES SEXUAL PREFERENCE WHEN USING THAT WORD," he tweeted, arguing that his overuse of the word dilutes its power as a derogatory term.
As a straight man, however, he is not - and never will be - in a position to use that word.
Ultimately, homophobia will only be truly challenged within the community when the grass-root perceptions of what it means to be a male hip-hop artist are redefined. The concept of masculinity as artists understand it needs to be entirely challenged.
Further on in the Rolling Stone interview, Quavo says of his mother growing up: "She was the father figure," says Offset. "She knew how to raise you as a man, tell you how niggas is.'" It's another problematic statement, because there is no one way that a man should and shouldn't be.
The second issue which must be addressed is the overwhelming silence the community indulges in when it comes to issues that affect the LGBTQ community. Kid Cudi remains the most vocal on the scene, especially in the wake of the Orlando nightclub attack. 2 Chainz, Missy Elliott, and Vic Mensa also acknowledged the incident on Twitter.
IF YOU ARE AN INSECURE HOMOPHOBE AND HAVE A ISSUE WITH GAYS AND EQUALITY, UNFOLLOW ME NOW. THANK YOU
— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) June 12, 2016
Hip-hop and rap continue to be some of the most influential genres, with their popularity continuing to grow due to the success of mainstream artists like Drake, Rae Sremmurd and Fetty Wap. They - well, everyone - bear the responsibility of shifting mindsets. You can fuck women and spend money 'til your blue in the face. Or you can wear dresses and write letters about boys that broke your heart.
None of these actions should be mutually exclusive of each other. But as long as they're encouraged to be, groups like Migos will continue to practise intolerance, and run their PR people off their feet.