The youngest member of the Grammy-nominated rap group Migos, Kirsnik Khari Ball, artistically known as Takeoff, was fatally shot in Houston, Texas at only 28 years old.
According to the Houston Police Department, Takeoff and his uncle Quavo, also a former member of Migos, were allegedly at a private party in Billiards & Bowling, a bowling alley located in downtown Houston, at the time of the incident.
Houston authorities have not revealed the cause of the shooting, but commentators speculate that shots were fired “over a game of dice.”
Takeoff and Quavo had just released their first project as a duo, “Only Built For Infinity Links,” under the name Unc & Phew. The tragic news of Takeoff’s passing has been very hard on members of the hip-hop music industry and fans.
Leannete Garcia, a junior majoring in microbiology and immunology said, “It was very saddening to see yet another Black artist die over trivial issues.”
As a group, the Migos have had a huge influence on rap music. Since their breakthrough in 2013 with the classic “Versace,” they have been considered as the best rap trio in the industry. Takeoff’s unique flow and lyricism stood out in every song. His verses needed no introduction, and in terms of execution, he always delivered.
Back in 2018, Takeoff released a solo album called “The Last Rocket.” This project showcased his versatility and individuality on another level, showing fans that while he had been overlooked before compared to Quavo and Offset, he could be successful as a solo artist.
This devastating, unexpected death hit the UM community hard. Students had a lot to say about the rapper’s passing.
“I think his death was uncalled for. I think it’s time we raise awareness among violence surrounding rap culture,” said senior microbiology major Marianella Grajales.
Kate Anarfi, a sophomore majoring in nursing, echoed Grajales’ views, highlighting the impact of Takeoff’s death on the U.S. Black community.
“It saddened me to see another Black figure leave this world in such a tragic way. The Black community is already struggling as it is trying to navigate our way through a country that is constantly acting as an oppressor. The last thing we needed was for another Black figure we look up to dying.”
Hip-hop has lost a truly talented artist, and rap music will never be the same without the legendary Takeoff.