Celebrating the Life of Takeoff

Rap trio Migos member, Takeoff (Kirshink Khari Ball), was fatally shot on Nov. 1 in Houston, Texas after a game of dice went awry at a private party. Takeoff was one of three people shot that evening. Coroners have ruled Takeoff’s death a homicide, and the killer is still at large.

At only 28, Takeoff had made a name for himself in the hip-hop community. Born on June 18, 1994, in Georgia, he was raised alongside his uncle, Quavo, by Quavo’s mother near Atlanta. At a young age, Takeoff started getting into rhythms and music. Originally named the Polo Club, Takeoff, Quavo, and Offset formed in 2008 before changing the group’s name to Migos.

In 2013, the group debuted their single “Versace” which became a hit at spot 99 on Billboard’s Hot 100, with their album Yung Rich Nation shortly following in 2015. Migos hit greatness in 2016 with their song “Bad and Boujee.” Upon release, controversy erupted because of Takeoff’s absence from the track. It was later stated that timing was to blame. The song was nominated for “Best Rap Song” at the 60th annual Grammy Awards and gained over 800 million streams.

Throughout the Migos’ career, four of their songs went to Top 10 of the Billboard charts and were even featured in a small cameo on the television show “Atlanta.” Their second album, Culture, was also nominated for “Best Rap Album.”

While he was still one third of Migos, Takeoff started working on some solo music. In 2018, he released his first solo album, The Last Rocket. The album featured 12 tracks with songs like “Vacation” and “Last Memory.” It garnered a spot on the Top Four of the R&B/Hip Hop Chart.

The trio also dabbled in fashion, with the development of their clothing brand, Yung Rich Nation, as well as their attendance in the 2017 and 2018 Met Gala, a highly prestigious event showcasing fashion. They made history in 2017 for being the first-ever rap group to perform at the event.

This past year, Takeoff and Quavo began making music as a duo named “Unc and Phew.” In October, the pair released their record, Only Built for Infinity Links after dropping various singles like “Messy.”

Takeoff has also appeared on numerous artist’s work, with collaborations with Rich the Kid on “Too Blessed,” Travis Scott’s “WHO? WHAT!,” and Huncho Jack’s “Eye 2 Eye.”

Many have taken to social media to express their condolences, including celebrities. Artists Gucci Mane, Future, Tyler the Creator, and others honored the rapper’s short yet memorable life in different posts.

Chance the Rapper tweeted a heartfelt message saying, “It goes without saying that I’m broken hearted and confused this morning. But I have to say Take is a one-of-a-kind friend that would always acknowledge you, always make sure you [were] good and would always tell you keep God first. Man, I wish I had more times to see u on this earth.”

Offset and Quavo have yet to release statements about Takeoff’s death.

A graphic video of the incident has circulated the internet, showing the murder in an inhumane way. His death sparked outrage in the Black Community where members are angered over the exploitations of Black American deaths such as Nipsey Hussle, whose murder was also shared online in 2019.

Psychotherapist Lizandra Leigertwood spoke to USA Today in regard to the video, “It’s been relived and rehashed in the public eye. This is real dehumanization of Black people, their feelings, and their experiences that they have to go through all the time.”

As fans mourn the life of Takeoff, they think of not only the accomplishments he had, but also of the impact he had on the music industry.