The rapper Takeoff, one-third of the dynamic Atlanta rap group Migos, has died. Migos emerged in the 2010s as a viral force within its local scene before exploding onto the national stage.
They managed to shape the zeitgeist without losing any of their regional appeal, opening a portal for acts that followed, and the members pointed to Takeoff as the group’s secret weapon. He was reportedly shot after an altercation at a bowling alley in Houston early on Tuesday. Takeoff’s death was confirmed by Drew Findling, a lawyer who represented him. He was 28.
Born Kirsnick Khari Ball on June 18, 1994 in Lawrenceville, Ga., Takeoff began rapping as a teenager, alongside his uncle, who took the name Quavo and his cousin, who rapped as Offset. «Growing up, I was trying to make it in music,» he told The Fader in 2017. «In my spare time, I’d record myself.
Find a beat, pulling em up. Just making something and creating for me. Just listening to the songs I made for myself, so I could rap to em, even if I didn’t put them out.
I was getting my own pleasure out of it, because it’s what I liked doing.» He got his name finishing songs in one take. The trio was initially known as Polo Club before donning the name Migos, and they released their first mixtape, Juug Season, in 2011.
The group broke through in 2013 with the mixtape Y.R.N. and its infectious lead single «Versace.» After the original went viral online, a signal boost from a Drake remix pushed the song to the higher reaches of the Billboard charts. Migos were formal and cultural innovators: The Migos flow spread across popular music and the triad helped popularize the viral dance move the dab.
Their hit single, «Bad and Boujee,» topped the Billboard Hot 100 in January, and their second album, Culture, became the No. 1 album in the country a few weeks later.
After they appeared as fictionalized versions of themselves in his TV show, Atlanta, Donald Glover praised the group while accepting the Golden Globe for best comedy series: «They’re The Beatles of this generation».
What could have merely been another viral moment instead established Migos as a career act; mainstream notoriety never damaged their credibility. It was his only solo release. Though his identity remained largely inextricable from the group’s for most of its run by design, Takeoff became an increasingly unignorable presence in their fast-moving music, as his combustible verses took up more space and grew more reflective.
The Migos completed their Culture trilogy in 2021, after repeated delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rumor swirled of the group’s split earlier this year when Takeoff and Quavo began releasing music without Offset. Just weeks before his death, Takeoff released a joint album with Quavo, Only Built for Infinity Links.
In a statement released following his death, his lawyer Drew Findling wrote: «Takeoff was not only a brilliant musical artist with unlimited talent but also a uniquely kind and gentle soul. He will be greatly missed now and always».
Throughout his successes, he remained largely anonymous, seemingly averse to the spotlight.
Migos Rapper Takeoff was Killed by a Stray Bullet, his Record Company has Claimed
Migos rapper Takeoff was killed by a «stray bullet», his record company has claimed in a statement.
The 28-year-old, Grammy-nominated musician died on Tuesday in a shooting at a bowling alley in Houston, Texas.
Paying tribute, his record label said in a statement: «Senseless violence and a stray bullet has taken another life from this world and we are devastated».
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said he did not want to speculate on whether Takeoff was the target.
He added: «Based on what people say about him, he’s well respected, non-violent.»I would not expect him to be involved but I do want to wait on the investigation – but we have no reason to believe that he was involved in anything criminal at the time, just as people describe him as very peaceful, loving, a great entertainer.
«He pleaded with witnesses at the scene to come forward.»Please step up, get the information to us so we can bring some closure to this family who’s hurting right now,« he said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon
Takeoff, real name Kirsnick Khari Ball, was one third of the chart-topping Atlanta band Migos, whose hits included Walk It Talk It, Stir Fry and Versace.
They achieved mainstream success with their 2016 single Bad And Boujee, which topped the US charts and was nominated for best rap performance at the Grammy Awards.
Takeoff did not appear on that song, saying he missed the recording session, but he was considered to be one of the key architects of the Migos sound – full of punchy vocal triplets, and sparse, stuttering beats.
Tributes to the star have flooded social media, with friends, collaborators and fans sharing their devastation over his loss.
«Why do we do this?» he asked through tears. «I’m done rap. It’s done, it’s done, it’s done, it’s done. Not to Takeoff, bro. It’s done».
Other musicians asked fans not to share videos of Takeoff’s final moments on social media.
«Delete all footage and people talkin’ about it so it doesn’t exist,»
Wiz Khalifa wrote. Former Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jauregui echoed the message, writing: «I wish this could go without saying but please do not watch or circulate that video. We’re all so desensitized to death and it’s so sad».
News Source BBC News