Hip-hop mourns Migos rapper Takeoff as police search for suspect
Following the shooting death of rapper Migos Takeoff in Houston on Tuesday, the hip-hop community is once again mourning the loss of an influential and popular star whose music helped define the sound of a generation for more than a decade.
“We have lost a young legend,” tweeted “Hustlin'” rapper Rick Ross.
Drake, who toured with Migos in 2018, shared a tribute to Takeoff on Instagram, along with a photo of the two on stage.
“I have the fondest memories of all of us seeing the world together and bringing light to every city we touch. That’s what I’m going to focus on for now. rest easy, man of the space, take,” he wrote, along with a rocket emoji.
Takeoff, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was shot and killed early Tuesday outside 810 Billiards & Bowling in downtown Houston following a private event, police said. He was 28 years old. Quavo, Takeoff’s uncle and one-third Migos, also present at the time, was uninjured.
Police urged the public to give advice and said shots were fired following an argument. There is no indication the rapper was involved in the dispute, according to police, who said the investigation is ongoing.
Takeoff was a member of the hip-hop trio Migos, an Atlanta-based Grammy-nominated group he formed with Quavo – the group’s unofficial frontman – and his cousin Offset.
Migos, which formed in 2008 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, gained mainstream recognition and shot to fame in 2013 with their song “Versace.”
New York-based hip-hop DJ Megan Ryte says many new artists in the music industry are “influenced” by the Migos sound.
“They changed the game,” Ryte told “Nightline.” “They single-handedly changed hip-hop, their flow, the triplet flow…some will call it the Migos flow or sometimes even the Versace flow.”
The trio went on to collaborate with the biggest stars in the music industry and are known for hits like “Motorsport,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, and the iconic 2016 anthem, “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. Each of the rappers has also released solo albums.
Offset, who is married to hip-hop star Cardi B, left the group earlier this year. He changed his Instagram profile picture to a photo of Takeoff after he was killed.
Greg Street, an Atlanta-based hip-hop DJ who has known the group for years, said that while Takeoff was “the reserved” of the group, he was “extremely talented” and “you can hear his influence” through the Migos. . discography.
“I think they were headed for bigger things because of their success,” Street told “Nightline.” “You know, success brings more success when you’re grounded, you’re grounded, you understand making moves.”
Takeoff and Quavo released a joint album last month, “Only Built for Infinity Links,” and a clip of Takeoff appearing on Revolt TV’s “Drink Champs” discussing the project went viral following his death.
“Of course you were shining before, but you were dancing to this one…it was your moment,” host NORE told Takeoff in an interview that aired last month.
“Time to pop it. Time to give me my flowers. I don’t want them when I’m not around,” Takeoff said.
Takeoff’s death is the latest in a string of shootings and murders of prominent rappers in recent years, as well as up-and-coming local artists who were shot at a young age during attempted robberies or violence stemming from disagreements reported.
ABC News’ Ashan Singh, Lisa Zobel and Stephanie Fasano contributed to this report.
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