For years, rapper Offset (real name Kiari Kendrell Cephus) screamed his north Atlanta pride to anyone who’d listen. On each song he recorded as part of the hip-hop trio the Migos, the group would yell, ‘Nawf,’ a short-handed slang term for Atlanta’s north side. Finally, after nearly a decade and a half, his hometown is returning the love.
During his inaugural Offset Toy Giveaway Day (on December 23), the “54321” rapper was surprised by his hometown of Lawrenceville’s mayor David Still and other Gwinnett County officials while giving gifts to the children residents for Christmas. In between present exchanges, Mayor Still and other officials joined the rapper onstage to present him with a key to the county.
The rapper opened his speech by thanking all in attendance for the role they’ve played in his career, saying, “I just wanted to give back to my community. Thanks to all the kids for always supporting me and always listening to me and always just being there for me, you know,” but adding, “Y’all hold me up. You know we’ve been going through a tough time, but God is good.”
This year has undoubtedly been a tough one for the father of six. After losing his cousin and former groupmate, Takeoff, last month, he began battling a deep depression which led him to step away from music. Although Offset has returned to the public eye with a few performances, he admits he still has a long road to travel on his healing journey.
Offset also took to Instagram to thank those who couldn’t attend the ceremony, “I’m going to make sure that I do more for my community, not just holidays or a one-time thing I want to be able to change it. Thank God for blessing me to be able to bless others. It’s not just a gift. It’s help to my side the NAWF be a better place.”
Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta, is located just about 30 miles north of the city’s downtown district, shaping Offset’s entertainment interest from his short career as a professional dancer and his eventual pursuit of music.