Takeoff, one of the three members of the US hip-hop band Migos, has been killed in a shooting in Houston, Texas, according to reports. Law enforcement sources later confirmed the death of the 28-year-old musician. Takeoff, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 1994. He formed Migos in 2008 with his uncle Quavo (Quavious Keyate Marshall) and his cousin Offset (Kiari Kendrell Cephus).
The rapper, 28, was shot and killed at a downtown Houston bowling alley, where he was with Quavo, at around 2.30am on Tuesday. According to local media reports, around 40 to 50 people were in the bowling alley when the shooting took place. Takeoff was pronounced dead at the scene, while Quavo was uninjured. Two other people sustained gunshot wounds and were taken to hospital.
Takeoff is the latest in a string of rappers who have been killed in the past year in the United States. On September 12, Rakim Hasheem Allen, known by his artistic name of PnB Rock, died after being shot during a robbery at a Los Angeles restaurant. The attacker had gone to the premises after learning on Instagram that the musician and his girlfriend were there and that both were wearing jewelry. In November 2021, rapper Young Dolph was shot and killed outside a cookie shop in Memphis, Tennessee. The 36-year-old musician was hit by 22 bullets fired by two assailants when he was leaving the store.
Takeoff’s group, which was originally called Polo Club, changed their name to Migos and emerged out of the Atlanta rap scene. Migos embarked on an extraordinary popular, media and commercial rise, refining and updating their sound to create a hugely influential amalgam of ideas that have left a lasting legacy within the genre. The group’s single Versace, released in 2013, was their first major hit and attracted the attention of Drake, who remixed the song. The subsequent release of Y.R.N., which was ranked as the third-best mixtape of 2013 by Rolling Stone, cemented their status.