At Takeoff’s Atlanta memorial, Offset says his cousin ‘changed the culture of music’

A lighted billboard outside an Atlanta arena shows a picture of the late rapper Takeoff at his memorial service
Slain rapper Takeoff was honored by family, friends and thousands of fans at a celebration of life Friday in Atlanta.
(Sudhin Thanawala / Associated Press)

Thousands gathered Friday in Atlanta to honor slain Migos rapper Takeoff in a celebration of life that featured speeches from his mother, brother and sister, among others, and performances by pop stars Justin Bieber and Chloe Bailey and gospel artists Yolanda Adams and Byron Cage.

“His mother was up there, and I could see the tears in her,” Atlanta resident Jeffrey Wilson told the Associated Press. “I felt the kinship myself, like I knew him personally.”

Rapper Drake spoke about good times he had with the members of Migos — Quavo and Offset, in addition to Takeoff — while they toured together in 2018, TMZ reported.


Offset (in a moment captured on video by someone who managed to sneak a cellphone into the event) said that his 28-year-old cousin had “changed the culture of music.” Then he got emotional as he asked God for help.

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

“Lord, give us the strength ... give us some strength, the family, everybody, give us some strength,” he said, his head held down as he spoke into a microphone. “I don’t want to question you, but I don’t get it. I don’t get you sometimes. And I believe in you, Father.”

The ceremony included musical performances, scripture readings, prayers, personal reflections and a poem, according to a program posted to one attendee’s Instagram Stories. Organizers did not allow media inside, but several fans leaving the event confirmed Bieber’s and Drake’s presence and mentioned that Quavo and Offset spoke.

BET, Desiigner, Lecrae and Ja Rule are among those mourning the loss of Takeoff after the Migos rapper died Tuesday in a Houston shooting.

Nov. 2, 2022

The three Migos rappers were largely raised by Takeoff’s mother in an Atlanta suburb.

Fans who managed to get their hands on tickets, available only to residents of Georgia, lined up in the rain outside State Farm Arena before the funeral, which began at noon local time and lasted roughly three hours, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The arena, which seats 21,000 people, was about three-quarters full, the paper said.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens spoke during the service and gave Takeoff the Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor, the AJC reported.

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

Migos’ music is “just something that you can play anywhere, and everybody will just come out and come around and dance,” 22-year-old fan Jenifer Loving told the Associated Press as she waited in line Friday with her infant son.


“It’s how it brings people together. It’s how it makes the whole room just fill up with positivity,” Loving said.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Lyana Morrison, who said she had spoken to Takeoff a couple of times after running into him at the Atlanta airport, told the AJC that the rapper was quiet and kind.

‘It is with broken hearts and deep sadness that we mourn the loss of our beloved brother ... Takeoff,’ said Migos’ record label Quality Control Music.

Nov. 2, 2022

”They just need to stop all the killing because life is really getting too short to keep losing people,” she told the paper.

Takeoff, born Kirsnick Khari Ball, was fatally shot Nov. 1 outside a Houston bowling alley during a private party also attended by Quavo and Offset. Two others were wounded in the shooting, but no arrests have been made.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.