Takeoff, the third member of Migos alongside the rappers Quavo and Offset, has died, TMZ reports. The 28-year-old rapper, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was fatally shot at a bowling alley in Houston where he and Quavo were playing dice around 2.30am; Takeoff was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other people on the premises were shot and taken to hospital. Quavo was unharmed.
On Twitter, friends and admirers paid tribute to the late rapper. “I remember Takeoff being a very down to earth, cool dude,” wrote boxer Chris Eubank Jr. “Can’t believe I’m having to say this again about another young black star being killed for no reason, something really has to change in the industry.”
“Rest in peace to Takeoff, I just spoke to him too,” wrote Twitch streamer Adin Ross. “I’m in shock right now, I can’t believe it. I pray to god it’s fake. This shit just ain’t fair bro wtf.”
Takeoff was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 1994. He began rapping with Quavo and Offset, his uncle and cousin, respectively, in 2008 under the collective name Polo Club. In 2011, the trio released Juug Season, their debut mixtape as Migos. “Growing up, I was trying to make it in music. I was grinding, which is just what I loved doing,” Takeoff told The Fader in 2017. “Just making something and creating for me … I was getting my own pleasure out of it, because it’s what I liked doing. I’d wait for Quavo to get back from football practice and I’d play my songs for him.”
In 2013, Migos released Versace, their first mainstream hit. The song was notable for popularising the triplet flow – Migos’ signature rapid-fire cadence – within modern rap, and was eventually remixed by Toronto rapper Drake, who would go on to have a long-running association with all three members of the group.
Migos are best known for their 2016 Lil Uzi Vert collaboration Bad and Boujee, which peaked at No 1 in the US, as well as Top 10 hits MotorSport, with Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, and Walk It Talk It, with Drake. As a solo artist, Takeoff released one album – 2018’s The Last Rocket, which debuted at No 4 in the US – and one record as a duo, last month’s Only Built for Infinity Links, with Quavo.
More to follow.