From certified-gold artist to anti-gun violence advocate, rapper Quavo’s story has glorious success and tragic heartbreak.
Born as Quavious Keyate Marshall in Athens, Georgia, Quavo attended Berkmar High School. After dropping out months before his high school graduation, he dedicated himself to the success of Migos, a rap group formed with childhood friend Kiari Kendrell Cephus (Offset) and nephew Kirsnick Khari Ball (Takeoff).
The Georgia native took the rap community by storm with fellow artists Offset and Takeoff as the trio combined an upbeat rhythm with each of their unique styles. Together, the three rappers topped the Billboard Hot 100 and 200 charts with just two albums.
Migos reached stardom with their hit song “Versace,” which Drake remixed in 2013. Quavo reached greater success with his feature on “Go Off” with Lil Uzi Vert and Travis Scott in 2017. The song became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America after it sold over 500,000 copies.
Migos then released their second studio album “Culture” in the same year, which reached number one in the U.S. Billboard 200 and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammys.
Following the release of “Culture II” in 2018, Quavo announced an upcoming solo album titled “Quavo Huncho.” The album reached the Billboard Hot 100, as the single “Workin Me” peaked at number 52.
Following the release of their fourth studio album, “Culture III,” Migos disbanded. Some believe the reason is related to rumors of Offset sleeping with Takeoff’s ex-girlfriend, rapper Saweetie.
“Whatever ain’t right and 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 always family now, that ain’t gon’ change,” Takeoff said about the disbandment.
Quavo suggested Offset’s disloyalty led to the fallout. “We stand on real deal, real-deal loyalty, and sometimes that s—t ain’t displayed,” Quavo said on the Big Facts podcast. “This got something to do with the three brothers. And s—t, it is what it is. Right now, we gon’ be the duo ‘til time tell.”
Quavo and Takeoff became a duo called Unc & Phew. They released a collaborative album called “Only for Infinity Links” without Offset in 2022.
Quavo detailed his hope for a future career with his nephew in an interview, stating he would like for them to be an official duo. Less than a month after their first album release, Takeoff was killed.
Quavo and Takeoff were leaving a party in Houston, Texas on Nov. 1, 2022, when they were shot at, resulting in Takeoff’s death.
Takeoff’s passing was felt nationally. Ten days after his murder, a “Celebration of Life” event was held in Atlanta. During a concert in Finland, rapper 50 Cent held a moment of silence for the late artist. The Atlanta Falcons football team also paid homage during a game.
The disturbing incident led Quavo to start a fight against gun violence. He met privately with Vice President Kamala Harris, spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus legislative conference, and arrived at a community intervention strategies and power in advocacy conference hand-in-hand with his sister Titania Davenport, Takeoff’s mother.
“I have to do something about it, so it won’t happen to the masses — especially in our culture,” Quavo said. “I don’t want this to happen to the next person. I want to knock down these percentages.”
Quavo and his family founded the Rocket Foundation in honor of Takeoff and contributed $2 million to community violence intervention. He hopes to develop after-school community centers as he sees an imperative need to provide youth with encouraging activities in safe areas.
During this year’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards, Quavo performed with Offset to honor their lost partner, shining an empty spotlight center stage. Quavo additionally released singles, such as “Without You,” dedicated to his late nephew.
Fueled by passion and determined to help his community, Quavo remains a defiant artist who never forgot his roots and his support system.
See Quavo perform live at this year’s Homecoming concert on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.