A look back at the career of Migos member Takeoff – video obituary
Along with Quavo and Offset, the Georgia rapper was renowned for producing singles like Versace and Motorsport
Rapper Takeoff, who was a third member of the group Migos along with Quavo and Offset, has passed away. Takeoff, actual name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was shot to death at 2.30 a.m. in Houston at a bowling alley where he and Quavo were playing dice. Takeoff was declared dead at the scene. Quavo was uninjured, but two other guests were shot and brought to the hospital. This morning, TMZ broke the story, which was subsequently verified by a regional Houston site (1 November).
Friends and lovers of the late rapper paid homage to him on Twitter. Boxer Chris Eubank Jr. said, “I remember Takeoff being a really down to earth, pleasant man. I can’t believe I have to repeat myself, but something has to happen in the business since another young Black celebrity was murdered without cause.
Gucci Mane, who often worked with Migos, tweeted “R.I.P.” in response to the news, while Ja Rule wrote: “This shit needs to STOP… wishing my family and friends well.” Migos “changed the entire rhythm of rap,” according to Ugly God on Twitter, while Lloyd Banks hailed him a “really dope artist gone too soon.”
In 1994, Takeoff was conceived in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He was raised by Quavo’s mother Edna alongside his uncle, who is just three years his senior. He started rapping at a young age. Joe Coscarelli claims in his book Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story that Takeoff, out of the three members of Migos, “put the most early hours into the craft of rapping” and was greatly influenced by Lil Wayne’s rap group the Hot Boys as well as the Tupac, Biggie, and OutKast albums they would purchase at the local flea market.
Takeoff, Quavo, and Takeoff’s cousin Offset started rapping together in 2008 under the moniker Polo Club. In 2011, the group released Juug Season, their first mixtape as Migos. “As a child, I tried to succeed in the music industry. In 2017, Takeoff said to the Fader, “I was grinding, which was exactly what I enjoyed doing. “Just developing something for myself… I was enjoying it for myself because it was what I like doing. I would wait for Quavo to return from football practice before playing him one of my tunes.
Versace, the group Migos’ first widely popular track, was released in 2013. The song was important for popularizing the triplet flow, which is Migos’ trademark rapid-fire cadence, inside current rap. Drake, a Toronto rapper, later remixed the song, and the three members of the trio would go on to work together often.
The 2016 Lil Uzi Vert-produced song Bad and Boujee is what made Migos famous. Other Top 10 songs by the group include MotorSport with Nicki Minaj and Cardi B and Walk It Talk It with Drake. (Although Takeoff is listed as a member of Migos, he doesn’t really appear in the song or the music video for Bad and Boujee.) Takeoff has one album out as a solo artist (2018’s The Last Rocket, which debuted at No. 4 in the US) and one record out as a duet (only Built for Infinity Links, released last month) alongside Quavo.
A woman who claimed that the rapper had sexually assaulted her at a party in Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against Takeoff in August 2020. The rapper was the subject of an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, but the district attorney’s office chose not to pursue charges due to a dearth of evidence.
Takeoff’s officials have been contacted by The Guardian for comment.
On November 1, 2022, this article underwent revision. Contrary to what was previously said, Takeoff does not rap on the Migos song Bad and Boujee.
Thanks to Shaad D’Souza at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.