The rapper Takeoff, a member of the influential hip-hop trio Migos, was fatally shot at a bowling alley in Houston, Texas Tuesday, according to local media. He was 28 years old.
Houston police said they responded to a shooting overnight in which one person had died. Police confirmed to a local television station that Takeoff and fellow Migos member Quavo had been present at the scene.
A police spokesperson told AFP they were awaiting formal confirmation from the medical examiner’s office and assurance that the victim’s family had been notified before publicly discussing details of the case.
Two other people were shot and taken to area hospitals in private vehicles, police said.
Born Kirshnik Khari Ball, Takeoff was playing dice with Migos partner Quavo at around 2:30 am “when an altercation broke out and that’s when someone opened fire,” said TMZ, which first reported the news.
According to TMZ, Quavo was not hurt.
A couple of hours prior to the shooting, Takeoff had posted a selfie from what appeared to be the bowling alley.
The venue, 810 Billiards & Bowling, said they would be closed on Tuesday.
Early tributes rolled in as news that a member of one of rap’s biggest contemporary acts had died spread on social media.
“Sending love to Takeoff’s loved ones,” tweeted Congressman Jamaal Bowman. “I’m tired of seeing young Black men die.”
“Takeoff will never be forgotten. From the music he made with Migos to his own solo work, his legacy will continue for years to come. RIP,” tweeted the streaming platform Tidal.
– ‘Bad and Boujee’ –
Born in Lawrenceville, Georgia on June 18, 1994, Takeoff was best known for his membership in Migos along with Quavo, his uncle, and Offset, his cousin who is married to fellow rapper Cardi B.
“Growing up, I was trying to make it in music. I was grinding, which is just what I loved doing,” Takeoff said in a 2017 interview with The Fader. “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.”
The Atlanta-based Migos soared to prominence off their viral 2013 song “Versace,” which Drake remixed.
The trio later recorded “Walk It Talk It” with the Canadian superstar rapper.
It was 2016’s hit “Bad and Boujee” that first saw them hit number one, a song emblematic of their signature flow, a unique cadence of staccato lyrical bursts in triplet rhythm.
The smash has been streamed 1.5 billion times in the United States alone.
The trio, managed by hip-hop powerhouse Coach K, is considered widely influential in bringing contemporary Southern trap, a popular rap sub-genre, to the mainstream.
Following their debut album “Yung Rich Nation” in 2015, they debuted atop the Billboard top albums chart with their sophomore album “Culture.”
After inking a deal with Motown and Capitol Records in 2017, they followed up with “Culture II,” once again hitting the chart’s top spot.
In 2021, they completed the trilogy with “Culture III.”
The trio also played fictionalized versions of themselves on the hit Donald Glover show “Atlanta.”
Quavo and Takeoff, who have been performing as a duo, had recently released a new music video for the track “Messy.”
After playing some concerts in Europe, Takeoff returned impressed by the reception of their show abroad as the rappers’ stars continued to rise.
“They don’t speak no English, but they know every verse, every word. They spit lyric for lyric, bar for bar,” Takeoff told Rolling Stone. “I went over there, we were doing ‘Versace.’ I held up the Paris flag and the whole building went crazy, like they scored a goal, like it was a soccer game.”
“It felt real good.”
Takeoff was considered the most reserved member of the group, but his fellow rappers routinely heralded him as a singular talent.
“My thing was rapping. I knew I was gonna be who I was,” Takeoff told the music magazine. “You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t going to be who I was.”
“I knew I was going to be here.”