One-third of influential Atlanta-based hip-hop group Migos, Takeoff died at the age of 28. The musician, born Kirshnik Khari Ball, was killed outside a bowling alley on Tuesday, around 2:30 AM reportedly over a game of dice. He was with fellow bandmate Quavo, also his uncle, when an altercation broke out and someone opened fire, as reported by TMZ.
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More than 40 people were present at the private party. The incident injured two others who are recovering, authorities confirmed. The police have made no arrests.
Tributes for Takeoff flooded in from celebrities and fans alike soon after the news broke. Takeoff was part of hip-hop trio Migos, with Quavo and Off-set, his cousin, since its conception 2008. Migos rose to mainstream popularity with their 2013 hit ‘Versace’, remixed by Drake. Fans of the genre consider the trio instrumental in bringing their Atlantan trap music roots to the rap mainstream. They popularised the now well-known style of rap called the ‘Migos flow’. The group split earlier this year, but scored several international hits including ‘Bad and Boujee’, ‘Versace’, and ‘Walk It Talk It’.
Takeoff’s tragic death is only a new addition to a string of violent deaths among the hip-hop community since its inception. The unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., or Biggie Smalls, in the 90s left the world shaken, and nobody expected to witness similar high-profile cases again. But two decades later, the violence continues. Community violence is a central theme in the genre of Hip-hop, and many rappers over the decades, mostly young, have fallen victim to brutal violence within their communities, with minimal efforts from authorities to solve the cases. According to a report by CNN, gun violence has killed at least 1 rapper every year since 2018. Since the 1987 death of Scott La Rock of Boogie Down Productions, more than 91 rappers have been killed in various instances of shootouts, drive-bys, and more. Most of these cases remain unsolved.