Takeoff, one-third of the hugely influential Atlanta rap group Migos, died Tuesday of a shooting in Houston at the age of 28, a representative confirmed to The Associated Press. One person was shot and killed and two others were wounded early Tuesday morning at a private party attended by members of Migos, Houston police said.
Police responded to reports of shots fired at 810 Billiards & Bowling shortly after 2:30 a.m., where dozens of people had gathered on a balcony outside the third-floor bowling alley, police said. When officers arrived they found one person dead.
Security guards in the area heard gunshots but did not see who fired them, Wilkens said. Two other people were injured and were taken to the hospital in a private vehicle, police said. Rapper PNB Rock Shot Dead in Los Angeles Restaurant
Takeoff (born Kirshnik Khari Ball) was part of the Grammy-nominated Migos, known for the 2010 mega-hits “Verses” and “Bad and Boozy.” The group also includes members of Takeoff’s family: Quavo, 31, (his uncle, born Quavis Keith Marshall) and Offset, 30, (Quavo’s cousin, born Kyary Kendrell Cephas).
Born on June 18, 1994 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Takeoff grew up with his soon-to-be collaborators, Quavo and Offset. “I always wanted to rap,” Takeoff recalled of their upbringing in a 2013 Fader interview. “When Quavo was out at sports, I was in the studio, what we call the bando, making music, going hard.”
Migos exploded in the early 2010s thanks to the mixtape breakout song “Verses,” which went viral. Their debut studio album, “Young Rich Nation,” was released in 2015 and featured Chris Brown and Young Thug. In addition to several other mixtape albums, Migos released three more studio albums: “Culture” (2017), which included the lead single “Bad and Boozy”, which spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted. They have two Grammy nominations, “Culture II” (2018) and “Culture III” (2021).
Takeoff had earlier posted a picture of himself in a bowling alley on Instagram. Crime scene photos shared on social media show a man wearing similar clothing lying on the ground.
It has not been confirmed that Quavo was injured in the incident. Two others were taken to the hospital in a private vehicle, police said. Tributes poured in for the takeoff on social media.
“Legend forever, I can’t believe it,” Lil Pump wrote on Instagram; While Ja Rule posted an emoji of a dove and sent “love to friends and family.”
Music executive Cole Bennett tweeted that “nothing makes sense anymore. Nothing”; And Juice Wayne posted a verse about Takeoff, saying “it will never be understood”,
“Takeoff was probably the most troubled rapper ever,” added actress Masika Kalisha. “Don’t let him bother anyone and stay out of the way.”
Takeoff’s appearance on that single caused a minor controversy among fans – but he brushed it off, claiming he was simply unavailable for the recording sessions.
Fueled by its success, the band’s second album, Culture, debuted at number one in the US. The same year, the group collaborated with Calvin Harris on Slide – their only UK Top 10 hit.
Their follow-up album, Culture II, featured production from Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, as well as guest spots from Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, Cardi B and Drake. Another US number one, it produced the platinum hits Motorsport, Stir Fry, Walk It Talk It and Narcos.
Around the same time, Offset began dating Cardi B, with whom he now has two children, Culture and Wave.
Takeoff, who was the band’s youngest member, released a solo album, The Last Rocket, in 2018 before Migos reunited to record Culture III in 2021. However, the band split earlier this year after disagreements with Offset.
“We stand on loyalty to the real deal, and sometimes that doesn’t show up,” Quavo told the Big Facts podcast earlier this year. “It has nothing to do with labels, no papers, no QC, nothing. It has to do with the three brothers.”
Takeoff and Quavo continue as a duo, releasing an album Only Built for Infinity Links, which reached number seven on the US charts last month. Shortly before Takeoff’s death, the duo released a Halloween-themed video for their single Messi.