Takeoff Dead: Migos Rapper Shot in Houston at Age 28 – Rolling Stone

    Takeoff, a member of the rap trio Migos alongside Quavo and Offset, died Tuesday morning, Nov. 1 after he was shot in Houston. Rolling Stone has confirmed the death of the rapper, whose real name was Kirsnik Khari Ball. He was 28.

    According to TMZ, Ball was shot at a bowling alley around 2:30 am. He was with Quavo — who was unharmed in the shooting — at the time of his death. Two other people on the premises were shot and taken to hospital, Houston Police confirmed.

    Takeoff began rapping with Quavo and Offset (his uncle and cousin, respectively) in 2008 under the name Polo Club. They eventually changed their moniker to Migos, releasing a debut mixtape, Juug Season in 2011. Developing a signature flow of short bursts of words in triplet rhythm, the group cracked the mainstream in 2013 with their first proper hit, “Versace.” In 2016, they became arguably the biggest rap group in the world thanks to their Number One smash, “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.

    While most of Takeoff’s discography was with Migos, he released a solo album in 2018 titled The Last Rocket. More recently, Takeoff and Quavo separated from Offset and were releasing music as a duo. In October, they released their newest album, Only Built For Infinity Links.

    While Takeoff was known among his cohorts as “outspoken” with an uncanny ability to build a rap verse, he was publicly the more reserved of the three rappers in Migos.

    “He is outspoken with the people he fuck with, he love, but he quiet to everyone else,” Offset told Rolling Stone in 2018. “He analyze a lot, that’s why I think his raps be so strong. Takeoff got some strong shit. He’s just powerful.”

    Ball was born June 18, 1994, and grew up in the Atlanta suburbs of Gwinnett County. He spent much of his childhood with Quavo and Offset, the three of them even living together for many years in the same small house with Quavo’s mother. A fan of professional wrestling from a young age, Ball once convinced the other two to help him turn the backyard trampoline into a makeshift ring. 

    The trio were all music fans, listening to everything from old funk and soul records their aunt kept around, while also ingesting hip-hop greats from Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. to T.I. and Goodie Mob. It was Ball who spearheaded the trio’s earliest music-making efforts, downloading beats from SoundClick and making demos while Quavo and Offset were off playing sports. When the other two were done, they’d all get together and finish up the tracks. 

    Eventually, the group’s music caught the attention of Atlanta great Gucci Mane, who introduced Migos to Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas, the founders of the label Quality Control. As Thomas recalled in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, “The music was crazy, but what made me really wanna go hard for them is that they packed all their clothes and moved into the studio — literally lived there, sleeping on reclining chairs and making music all day.”

    After dropping Juug Season in 2011 and No Label in 2012, MIgos made their mark on the broader hip-hop world in 2013 with the release of “Versace” and their third mixtape (and first for QC) Y.R.N. Produced by Zaytoven, “Versace” was a perfect distillation of the Migos style — verses packed with clever triplet rhymes and a hook that turned the titular fashion brand into a mantra meant to stir up mosh pit mayhem.

    In a July 2013 interview with The Fader — not long after Drake gave Migos his official stamp of approval with a remix of “Versace” — Takeoff explained how humor and energy were key components of the Migos formula: “You gotta have fun with a song, make somebody laugh. You gotta have character. A hard punchline can make you laugh, but you gotta know how to say it… You might just punch somebody listening to the music. It’s got so much energy.”

    Migos continued apace over the next couple years, releasing several more mixtapes, a proper debut album (2015’s Young Rich Nation), and scoring some Top 20 hip-hop hits with tracks like “Fright Night,” “Handsome and Wealthy,” and “Look at My Dab.” But the group’s crowning moment didn’t come until 2016, when they partnered with producer Metro Boomin and Lil Uzi Vert for “Bad and Boujee.” Takeoff, however, famously didn’t rap on “Bad and Boujee,” essentially ceding his verse to Lil Uzi Vert on the five-and-a-half minute song.

    But the MC didn’t exactly take kindly to the harsher implication that he was “left off” the track, or some of the jokes that came with it. When DJ Akademiks asked about it during an infamous interview at the 2017 BET Awards, Takeoff retorted, “I ain’t left off ‘Bad and Boujee,’ you think I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee.’ … Do it look like I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee?’” Immediately after, co-host Joe Budden said they had to end the interview, dropped his mic, and left, leading to a brief scuffle. 

    “Bad and Boujee” wasn’t an immediate hit upon its release in October 2016, but a steady stream of viral buzz propelled its rise and it finally reached he top of the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2017. That same month, Migos released their second album, Culture, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200, and spawned two additional successful singles, “T-Shirt” and “Slippery.”

    This story is developing…

    This content was originally published here.

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