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Takeoff’s loved ones mourn his loss, but also pay tribute

A month before his death, Takeoff danced alongside his uncle and fellow rapper Quavo at a listening party for their new album, “Only Built for Infinity Links.” Takeoff, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, smiled all night long, dancing and raving about how excited he was for the future.

“It was amazing. Takeoff wanted to let the music do the talking,” said Rea Davis, a senior contributor for who covered the newly formed duo’s listening party in Los Angeles. Confident about the project. You could see his energy! He and Quavo danced around the room. They were really proud. He always shined, but on this project he needs to shine a little more.

Rea Davis.Courtesy of Rea Davis

The new album was meant to be the next step in Takeoff’s already illustrious career. As part of the Migos rap trio, which also included Quavo and Takeoff’s cousin Offset, many die-hard fans — and Quavo himself — called the 28-year-old Takeoff the best rapper in the group. Some considered him a pioneer of the band’s avant-garde hip-hop trap sound, often referred to as “Migos Flow,” a mix of jerky beats and hard-hitting rap triplets. But the rising star’s career was cut short early Tuesday morning when he was fatally shot in a Houston bowling alley.

Since the news broke, reactions of shock and devastation have poured in from fans and musicians alike, with many paying tribute to Takeoff for his contributions to hip-hop as they mourn his loss.

Takeoff’s loved ones mourn his loss, but also pay tribute

“I have the fondest memories of all of us seeing the world together and bringing light to every city we touch,” rapper Drake wrote, captioning an Instagram photo of himself and Takeoff on stage. “That’s what I’m going to focus on for now. keep still, spaceman, take it.

luck the rapper shared a photo of himself with Migos members on Twitter, writing, “It goes without saying that I am heartbroken and confused this morning. But I have to say, Take is a unique friend who would always acknowledge you, always make sure you were good, and always tell you to keep God first. Man, I wish I had more time to see you on this earth.

After Takeoff’s death, Offset changed his Instagram profile picture to an image of Takeoff.

Takeoff’s loved ones mourn his loss, but also pay tribute
Takeoff at the 2016 BET Awards.Courtesy of Rea Davis

Officials said Takeoff and Quavo, 31, were at 810 Billiards & Bowling in downtown Houston at a private party when a man, later confirmed to be Takeoff, was shot in the head or neck and was pronounced dead at the scene, NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported. At a press conference on Tuesday, police said they had no reason to believe the rapper was involved in anything criminal when he was killed.

Police Chief Troy Finner called Takeoff “well respected and non-violent”. Davis had similar sentiments, adding that Takeoff had a reputation for being the “cool”, “laid back” member of Migos.

Migos emerged as a band in 2008, but didn’t become a big band until 2013 when they released their massive hit “Versace,” which became even more popular when Drake appeared on the remix. The group released a trilogy of albums, ‘Culture’, ‘Culture II’ and ‘Culture III’, with the first two reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Takeoff also released a solo album, ‘The Last Rocket”, in 2018.

Those in the Atlanta area, not far from Takeoff’s birthplace in Lawrenceville, Georgia, say they were shaken by his death.

Lore’l, host of Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 radio show The Morning Hustle, said Atlanta residents were “extremely devastated”. “We’ve seen a lot of other young rappers lose their lives recently. It’s just something about Takeoff that really got to everyone,” she told WXIA.

Atlanta’s V-103 received continuous calls from grieving radio listeners who shared what Takeoff meant to them, according to WXIA. Davis, who has spent most of his life in Atlanta, said the group’s impact could be felt in the city long before they achieved worldwide fame.

“When they hit, it was like an explosion. It was contagious. People were drawn to the music. I feel like they really influenced the culture,” Davis said, adding that the band “had a huge impact on the rap’s cadence, delivery, flow”. She added of Takeoff: “He has always been a force in the music and a force in the band. He’s like the silent assassin, the lyric. Fans will sometimes say he’s the strongest of the bunch. He’s the most reserved and laid back, but musically he really shines.

Along with the outpouring of sadness from artists like Sza, CiaraKeke Palmer, Chloe Bailey and others, some artists and rappers blame hip-hop and rap culture for Takeoff’s death. Actor Lakeith Lee Stanfield denounced the “dangerous toxicity” of gangster rap music in an Instagram post, writing, “If you’re for gangster rap, you can’t also be for Black.” Rapper Desiigner, announced in a tearful Instagram Live video that he quit rapping in the wake of Takeoff’s death, asking, “Why are we doing this? Why are we doing this?”

Such convictions are common after high-profile shootings. But Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey, an associate professor of political science at Georgia State University who specializes in hip-hop culture, said gun violence is not a “hip-hop problem.”

“It’s not hip-hop that’s too violent. It’s something that’s experienced in society, from mass shootings to police killings to individual killings in neighborhoods,” Bonnette-Bailey said in an interview. “People want to point to the lyrics to say, ‘Well, these rappers are talking about violence, so that shows they’re violent. But this is not true. Hip-hop is an art form.


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