Death of Influential Rapper Takeoff Saddens Hip Hop Community

Constantin Knab and Benny Ross

In the early morning of Tuesday, November 1st, rapper Takeoff was shot and killed. The shooting occurred after a party at a Houston bowling alley, and is thought to have been provoked by an argument over a dice game that Takeoff had nothing to do with. Police say that Takeoff was not the intended target. At least two suspects fired shots, but no one has been taken into custody yet. 

Takeoff, born Kirshnik Khari Ball, rose to prominence with Atlanta rap group Migos in which he performed alongside his family members Quavo and Offset. In the early 2010s, the group popularized the widely imitated triplet flow with songs like “Versace” and “Bad and Boujee.” The flow, in which three syllables are rapped over one beat, was so influential in the rap industry that Snoop Dogg once expressed annoyance that “everyone is trying to rap the same style.” 

The rapper’s passing has both saddened and angered many fans.

Although Takeoff did not have the same celebrity as Quavo and Offset, this was partly his own doing. He was seen as the most lowkey member of the group who shared little about his personal life, and rarely got as energetic as Quavo or Offset during performances. However, his prowess on the mic was undeniable and he developed the reputation of being an underrated fan favorite.  

In the aftermath of the shooting, videos of the moments leading up to the incident were widely circulated on social media, causing many to try to identify the perpetrators. The police have also appealed to the public for any leads, but so far there is no news of any progress on the case. 

The rapper’s passing has both saddened and angered many fans. When asked about his thoughts on the shooting, Abenezer Seifu ’24 told the Register Forum, “Takeoff had no involvement in the shooting. What happened wasn’t right.” These sentiments are shared amongst other CRLS students with Daniel Capuia ’24 stating, “This situation could’ve been avoided if he had brought security to protect him; it shouldn’t have happened.” James Wreh ’24 expressed his shock and sorrow at the death, telling the Register Forum, “RIP Takeoff, the fact that he was killed over just a simple dice game is just baffling. He was such a good person and artist; it’s sad to see him go that way.”

There has been a massive outpouring of support for Takeoff online, with celebrities and fans alike expressing their mourning and condolences. In the Atlanta area, many fans left flowers on a small memorial at the site of the shooting, and Takeoff’s family organized a candlelight vigil on November 4th. A celebration of life was held at State Farm Arena on November 11th and was open to all Georgia residents.