The hip-hop world was shocked at the news of “peaceful” artist Takeoff, one-third of the successful trio Migos with Offset and Quavo, being shot and killed in Houston on Nov. 1.
Takeoff was attending a private birthday party with Quavo at a bowling alley when an argument allegedly broke out. According to witnesses, Takeout was an innocent bystander when he was shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 28.
A 24-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were also injured and taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, The New York Times reported.
“We have no reason to believe that he was involved in anything criminal at the time,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said of Takeoff.
So far, no suspects have been arrested or named.
Migos was made up of family members. Born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Takeoff began performing with his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset in 2008. The trio released their first independent mixtape as Migos, “Juug Season,” in 2011, and then gained local success with the track “Bando.” They found national success with their 2013 single, “Versace.” Three years later, their track “Bad and Boujee” with Lil Uzi Vert hit the international scene.
Even former President Barack Obama was impressed, putting the song “Straightening,” from Migos’ album “Culture III,” on his summer 2021 playlist, CNN reported.
Migos completed four studio albums, two of which have gone platinum. Takeoff’s 2018 solo album, “The Last Rocket,” went to No. 4 on the U.S. charts.
Takeoff and Quavo recently announced they’d be performing under the moniker Unc & Phew, and their first album, “Only Built for Infinity Links,” dropped in September. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard rap charts.
Just hours before he was killed, Takeoff tweeted the video of the single “Messy” off the project.
Last month, he and Quavo appeared on the podcast “Drink Champs,” and Takeoff told listeners, “It’s time to pop it, you know what I mean? It’s time to give me my flowers, you know what I mean? I don’t want them later on when I ain’t here. I want them right now, so …”
Fans and fellow artists went to social media to speak out against violence and to grieve Takeoff’s passing.
Veteran hip-hop artist Ja Rule tweeted, “this s**t has to STOP.” Houston native and Atlanta-based MC Lecrae tweeted, “No hot takes. No profound thoughts. Just sad that another rapper, son, brother, and friend has been killed. God be with all those who feel the loss.”
Black America spoke out as well.
One woman said on Twitter she was an eyewitness. “Ima speak on this bc I feel like I got to… I was there right next to takeoff they wasn’t arguing about shooting dice quavo was pressed and takeoff was hit by stray bullets shot for no reason RIP Takeoff he didn’t deserve that he was to himself the whole night,” a woman identified as saint tweeted.
Actor LaKeith Stanfield spoke out against violence in the rap lyrics following news of Takeoff’s death. “If you are for gangster rap you can’t also be for black,” Stanfield wrote in an Instagram post. His statements were shared by some on Twitter including from the Say Cheese! account.
“There will never be another rap group like the Migos ever. So many hits, so much influence, the longevity,” The Hood Therapist tweeted.
Others pointed out the violence that takes place against hip-hop artists and Black men.
“Just opened up this bird app to news about Takeoff. Too many black men are not living to be ‘old.’ Rest In Peace to the best rapper in the Migos,” attorney Bakari Sellers, who served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for the 90th District from 2006-2014, tweeted
Some cautioned against spreading the “black-on-black crime” narrative.
“It is NEVER, EVER okay to use instances of violence in the Black American community to push the inherently anti-Black American ‘black on black crime’ myth and lie and yet watch some of us and OTHERS do just that,” tweeted congressional candidate Gregg “Marcel” Dixon.
FILE – Takeoff of the group Migos performs during the 2019 BET Experience in Los Angeles on June 22, 2019. A representative confirms that rapper Takeoff is dead after a shooting outside of a Houston bowling alley. Takeoff , whose real name was Kirsnick Khari Ball, was part of Migos along with Quavo and Offset. He was 28. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)