Takeoff of rap group Migos was fatally shot on November 1, 2022. The rapper’s tragic death took place at a private party at a bowling alley in Houston, Texas, where his former fellow group member, Quavo, was also in attendance, according to KPRC Houston. The third Migos rapper, Offset, paid tribute to Takeoff by using his photo as his new Instagram profile picture. Although the details of the shooting that took Takeoff’s life are still unfolding, the rapper’s record label released a statement addressing the tragedy. "It is with broken hearts and deep sadness that we mourn the loss of our beloved brother Kirsnick Khari Ball, known to the world as Takeoff," Quality Control Music wrote in an Instagram post. "Senseless violence and a stray bullet has taken another life from this world and we are devastated."
Officials have not identified Takeoff’s killer as of this writing, so Houston Police Chief Troy Finner urged those with information to come forward (via CBS News). "I ask you one thing and I want this to resonate with everybody: What if it was your brother? What if it was your son? You’d want somebody to step up, so please step up," he pleaded "Get the information to us so we can bring some closure to this family who’s hurting right now."
The fact that the suspect escaped the crime scene unidentified might make Takeoff’s death that much more painful for his grieving fans and loved ones. There are actually quite a few details about the rapper’s life and career that make his untimely death even more heartbreaking.
Offset and Quavo lost a family member
Some Migos fans might already know that the group members are related. Quavo is Takeoff’s uncle, while Offset is Quavo’s cousin. Takeoff’s death may have been even more difficult for his fellow group members to digest given the nature of their relationship. They weren’t just co-workers — they were family. The rappers were also raised alongside one another in their hometown of Gwinnett County, an Atlanta, Georgia, suburb, according to Rolling Stone. Quavo’s mother, Edna Marshall, looked after the group in her home. "She was the father figure," Offset said of Marshall, per Rolling Stone. Quavo added that although they weren’t always the most considerate guests, she never complained about hosting the group.
Quavo also opened up to Fader about growing up alongside Takeoff and their brotherly relationship. "We moved from Athens to Gwinnett when Takeoff was in elementary and I was in middle school," the rapper said in the 2013 interview. "His momma took care of everything, and us. We always stayed in the same house. We share everything. He’s basically like a brother." Takeoff added, "I don’t look at him as my uncle, but more as my brother. But we always have clowned on each other. He is my uncle, so I gotta clown on him. You gotta be funny."
Takeoff and Migos were targets of a shooting in the past
Sadly, Migos were involved in a number of shootings prior to Takeoff’s death. In March 2014, the group was shot at while traveling in a van in Miami, Florida, according to Miami’s WPLG Local 10 News. Migos were visiting the city for a performance, but the concert was canceled after they were targeted. Trooper Joe Sanchez revealed (via WPLG Local 10 News), "There was an exchange of gunfire between both vehicles which resulted in one person struck in the leg and transported to the trauma center this morning." TMZ shared that reports revealed Migos’ bodyguard was the person shot and taken to the hospital, but the rap group’s manager claimed no one in their van was hurt.
You may be wondering about the events that led to this shooting. Well, Sanchez shared this theory (via WPLG Local 10 News), "There might have been an altercation at the venue where they were going to perform and maybe that led to this, but right now it’s an ongoing investigation." It seems that the public was never informed of why exactly the shooting took place, but Takeoff did tweet, "Tried To Hit Me Up In Traffic??…. But I Had To Work My Magic." Perhaps there was an ongoing conflict between Migos and the shooters. Regardless, many fans were likely not surprised to find out that Takeoff was killed due to this same kind of violence.
Migos were involved in a rivalry that led to a shooting
Just months after the 2014 Miami, Florida shooting took place, Migos were involved in a similar incident. This time, they were targeted by Cory Marzette, a member of rival rap group 2G, per Gwinnett Daily Post. Marzette and another unidentified suspect shot into the crowd at a party held to celebrate Migos. Police spokesperson Jake Smith revealed (via Gwinnett Daily Post) that investigators had their eyes on Marzatte’s rap group after the incident. "We don’t really know how many people are in 2G, and they may be as much criminal street gang as rap group." Migos member Offset, who also attended the party, reportedly failed to cooperate with investigators.
Marzette was not arrested at the time of the incident, but authorities did attempt to make an arrest later after they found him at an apartment complex, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The suspect died by suicide by the time police entered his home, according to an incident report (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
Takeoff was arrested on drug and firearm possession charges in 2015
Takeoff and his fellow Migos group members were hit with a number of charges after a performance at Georgia Southern University was cut short by authorities, per TMZ. Police arrested the rappers after they were found to be carrying narcotics and a loaded gun on school property. Quavo and Takeoff’s bail was set at $10,000, while Offset was denied bail because of his criminal history. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, Offset spent nearly eight months in jail before finally being released.
The rapper detailed his experience behind bars while speaking with the news station following his release. "It was like a slap in the face and I understand where it came from or why I had to do it," he said. "[It was] something I had to go through with me and God, though." Offset went on to share how his time in jail led to quite a bit of self-reflection. "I have to carry myself in different ways," the rapper revealed. "I can’t be the old person I was. I can’t react to certain situations like I used to. And also, I got different consequences from most people around me because of my past." Unfortunately for Offset, this wasn’t the last time he got in trouble with law enforcement.
Offset didn’t repair his relationship with Takeoff prior to his death
Migos made waves in the Hip Hop community when they announced they were parting ways in 2022. Fans began to speculate possible beef among group members even before their breakup because Offset and his wife, Cardi B, unfollowed Takeoff and Offset the day they revealed they would be releasing music as a duo, per BET. During an interview for Revolt’s "Big Facts," Takeoff and Offset spoke about Migos’ break up. "We just came from a loyal family. We’re supposed to stick together, and sometimes s**t don’t work out. It ain’t meant to be." Takeoff said. Offset went on to share, "We don’t know all the answers. God knows we pray a lot. We tell [God] whatever ain’t right, however you supposed to see it fit, you put it back together or however you do it. We pray, so only time will tell. We’re always family, ain’t nothing gone change."
Although the duo didn’t share exactly why Migos went their separate ways, they did go on to emphasize the importance of loyalty. It seems that this might hint at why the rappers were at odds with Offset. Sadly, it appears that the trio wasn’t able to squash their beef prior to Takeoff’s death. However, Offset did pay tribute to the late rapper with his Instagram profile picture, so the tragedy may have led him to rethink things.
Graphic videos of the rapper’s death circulated online
Takeoff’s tragic death was documented by a number of partygoers who filmed the incident with their cell phones. These videos later began circulating online, and sadly, social media users quickly made the shooting a spectacle, per Insider. TMZ in particular came under fire for sharing graphic videos and audio of the incident. This was among the content that was later spread online. In one of the audio clips, Quavo can be heard crying out in pain after witnessing his nephew’s death, according to Rolling Stone.
Musicians took to Twitter to call out TMZ for sharing the gruesome content. Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon wrote, "TMZ posted Takeoff’s dead body when reporting his murder. Would they do the same for a white country artist? Or would they be more respectful? Where does the impulse to film and post a lifeless dead Black body come from? Maybe this is why Black death has become so normalized." Trauma-informed psychotherapist Lizandra Leigertwood chimed in on the internet’s obsession with sharing the graphic videos. "It’s quite disgusting that being circulated, because it’s a horrific thing for a family to experience and a traumatic thing for people to bear witness to," she told USA Today.
Takeoff wanted to receive his ‘flowers’ before he did
Just two weeks before his death, Takeoff sat down with Revolt’s "Drink Champs" for what would end up being his final interview. This interview began circulating after the rapper’s death because he made an eerie yet heartbreaking statement. Interviewer N.O.R.E praised Takeoff for his performance on the album "Only Built for Infinity Links," which he and Offset released as a duo after Migos split. N.O.R.E went on to suggest that this was Takeoff’s opportunity to shine — he was known for being the quiet, low-key Migos member. The late rapper then responded: "For sure. Enough is enough. I’m chill, I’m-laid back, but it’s time to pop it, you know what I mean? It’s time to give me my flowers. I don’t want them later on when I ain’t here."
Although Takeoff wasn’t the most flashy Migos member, he left behind quite a legacy. The rapper and his fellow groupmates were the first artists to be signed to record label Quality Control Music, per NPR. This label went on to sign prominent rap artists like Lil Baby, the City Girls, and Lil Yachty — just to name a few. The album he released as a duo with Quavo, "Only Built for Infinity Links," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart. While Takeoff’s career came to an abrupt and tragic end, he made his mark in the world of hip-hop and beyond.