Hip-hop community pays tribute to Takeoff: ‘Flow unmatched. Talent undeniable’

A man with long black hair wearing a black vest and white T-shirt onstage.
Takeoff of Migos performs at the 2019 BET Experience concert in Los Angeles.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

The hip-hop community is mourning the sudden loss of Takeoff after the Migos rapper died Tuesday in a shooting outside a Houston bowling alley. He was 28.

BET, Desiigner, Lecrae and Ja Rule were among the first to respond on social media to the “Walk It Talk It” artist’s death. Chart-topping trio Migos is composed of Takeoff, cousin Offset and uncle Quavo. Quavo and Takeoff also performed as a duo under the name Unc and Phew.

As of late Wednesday morning, Quavo and Offset had not yet commented on their bandmate’s death. However, Offset changed his profile picture on Instagram to a photo of Takeoff with a white heart emoji.


According to TMZ, Takeoff and Quavo were playing dice at a private party at a bowling alley Tuesday when an altercation broke out and someone opened fire.

In Takeoff’s honor, cable channel BET shared a video of Migos performing “Straightenin’” and “Type S—” with Cardi B, who is married to Offset, at the BET Awards last year.

Rapper Takeoff of the Atlanta trio Migos died early Tuesday in a shooting outside a bowling alley in Houston. He was 28.

Nov. 1, 2022

“ONE OF THE GREATEST HIP-HOP GROUPS OF ALL-TIME!” BET tweeted. “Takeoff, your legacy will forever live on through US!

BET also uploaded a clip of Migos performing the song “Avalanche” with the caption, “Flow unmatched. Talent Undeniable. RIP to #TakeOff !”

Shortly after news of Takeoff’s death surfaced, “Panda” rapper Desiigner broke down in tears on Instagram Live and announced he was “done” with rap.

On Twitter, “Coming in Hot” rapper Lecrae wrote, “No hot takes. No profound thoughts. Just sad that another rapper, son, brother, and friend has been killed. God be with all those who feel the loss.” And “Always on Time” rapper Ja Rule tweeted, “Rip Takeoff… this s— has to STOP… sending love to friends and family.”


Among those paying tribute to Takeoff (real name Kirshnik Khari Ball) are fellow musicians Kid Cudi, Kelly Rowland, Chika, Rae Sremmurd, Lauren Jauregui, Bow Wow, Rick Ross, Keri Hilson, Rauw Alejandro, Gucci Mane, Chlöe Bailey and Halle Bailey.

“Rest in peace, Takeoff,” tweeted “Songs About You” rapper Chika. “I cannot wrap my brain around this one.”

“Rest in Peace, @1YoungTakeoff,” tweeted “Pretty Girl Rock” singer Hilson. “Healing love to your brothers, family, & friends.”

“RIP Takeoff,” tweeted “Have Mercy” singer Chlöe Bailey. “My heart is broken.”

On Instagram, Canadian hip-hop artist Drake shared a photo of himself performing with Takeoff onstage. In 2018, Migos and Drake joined forces for the Aubrey & the Three Migos tour. The rappers also collaborated on the 2021 track “Having Our Way” from Migos’ latest album, “Culture III.”

“I got the best memories of all of us seeing the world together and bringing light to every city we touch,” Drake wrote. “That’s what I’ll focus on for now ... rest easy space man.”


Another Migos collaborator, Teyana Taylor, also addressed Takeoff’s death via Instagram. The singer featured the hip-hop collective in the music video for her 2017 track, “Drippin.”

“Please tell me this is just a bad dream pleaseeeeeeee I don’t want to believe this lil bro please,” Taylor wrote.

The group’s rapid-fire ‘Migos Flow’ dramatically changed not only rap but pop music as well. Takeoff was fatally shot on Tuesday. He was 28.

Nov. 2, 2022

In response to the fatal shooting of Takeoff, drummer and record producer Questlove penned a lengthy statement reflecting on how systemic violence and racism stemming from slavery in the United States have forced Black people to suppress and process emotions in “toxic” ways.

“This has been our process since our arrival in America. Emotions were not allowed ever in our lives: if you express anger you were a threat. if you cry you an emotional a— b—. If you laugh you were sassing/getting smart/showin off — all 3 punishable,” Questlove wrote on Instagram.

“Black people invented ‘cool’ as a means of protection not to just look sexy. Cool is holding something back. Not saying too much. Being a mystery. Cool is a coping mechanism. A toxic one ... Point is our inability to express emotions is epigenetic since slavery.”

The “Summer of Soul” director said Wednesday morning that he had been journaling since he received the news of Takeoff’s death Tuesday at 5 a.m. He urged those grieving the tragedy to “allow sadness & anger in.”


“It’s a lot to process the events of the last year: watching our problematic favs snap and lose it. watching heroes from your childhood go against the very principles they came in the door with. Not making sense of people going against their own interests literally helping those aiding their downfall,” he continued.

“Please do not numb your emotions. Let it out. Please.”

The impact of Takeoff’s death reached beyond the music community. Author and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams issued a statement Tuesday lamenting the “heartbreaking news and tragic loss” of the hip-hop star, who was born and reared in Gwinnett County, Ga.

“Kirshnik Khari Ball influenced Hip Hop and our Culture beyond measure,” Abrams wrote. “My condolences are with Takeoff’s family, friends and all those who were inspired by his talent.”

“Nope” actor Keke Palmer called the situation “really terrible” and “horrible” on Instagram, where she and others posted the same photo of Takeoff wearing gold jewelry and a zebra-print robe.

“From the tragedy of the death to the tragedy of there being a video of it online. It’s all just tragic and I am so sorry to his whole family and all he touched,” Palmer wrote.

On her Instagram story, reality TV star Kylie Jenner shared the music video for Unc and Phew’s “Hotel Lobby” and wrote, “so many prayers ... God cover this family. heartbreaking. gone too soon. devastating.”


Popular Twitch streamer Hasan Piker tweeted, “the takeoff story is so sad. he was 28. shot during dice game in houston. everyone’s got a f— gun in this country holy s—.”

About a week before Takeoff was killed, Takeoff and Quavo appeared on the podcast “Drink Champs,” where Takeoff expressed a desire to be recognized for his talent while he was still alive. The “Drink Champs” clip has been widely shared on social media in the wake of the Grammy nominee’s death.

“Time to give me my flowers, you know what I mean?” Takeoff says in the video. “I don’t want ’em later on when I ain’t here. ... I want ’em right now, bro.”

See more reactions to Takeoff’s death below.

Times staff writer Nardine Saad contributed to this report.