Devastated Fans Will be Honoring Takeoff’s Legacy Forever

Rita Russo


November 9, 2022

The rap community lost another beloved artist on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022. Kirshnik Khari Ball,
known as Takeoff, was shot and killed in Houston. He was only 28 years old.

I was shocked and devastated when I woke up to my phone being bombarded with texts from
friends and family telling me the news.

From when I first started getting into rap music, Takeoff has been a huge part of my life — one
of the first rap songs I ever listened to was “Versace” by Migos and Drake when I was in eighth
grade. I'll never forget the day Culture dropped in 2017, and my friends and I snuck on
headphones during class so we could listen together.

Migos’s "Culture" albums bonded generations of rap fans, and changed the core culture of rap
music forever. The trio’s adlibs and flows are iconic, setting them apart from other artists.
Takeoff’s verses on classic Migos songs such as “Handsome and Wealthy,” “Narcos” and
“Slippery” showcase his flow and unique voice within the group. He has gained recognition and
respect for his distinctly deep and raspy voice. Takeoff’s verses display quiet but clear
confidence in his rap game and perfectly represent his personality, as of the three members, he is
known to be the most down-to-earth and laid back. He has also gained attention for switching up
his flow in songs in ways that make you look at your friend and say, “Did you hear that? This
guy’s insane.”

Takeoff said in an interview with The Fader, “People think that you're gonna come out, be a one
hit wonder, and finished. You gotta prove em wrong.” Takeoff went on to prove that he is the
farthest from a one hit wonder. Takeoff’s solo albums “The Last Rocket” and “Only Built For
Infinity Links” are reflective and authentic. Offset, his cousin and second Migos member,
described him saying, “He analyze a lot, that's why I think his raps be so strong ... He's just

“Only Built For Infinity Links” is a duo album with Quavo, who is also his uncle and third
Migos member, and was just released on Sept. 7, 2022. The fact that we’ll never feel the hype
over playing a new song by Migos as a trio is heartbreaking. We’ll be honoring Takeoff’s legacy

Takeoff is the second rap artist to be shot and killed in the last two months — Rakim Allen,
known as PNB Rock, was murdered on Sept. 12, 2022. Over the last two years, over 15 rap
artists have died from being shot. Some of the most popular rappers within the fanbase like Pop

Smoke, King Von, Nipsey Hussle, Young Dolph and Drakeo the Ruler have been shot and killed.
CNN even released an article that stated gun violence has been the cause of death of at least one
rapper every year since 2018.

Takeoff was reportedly killed over a dice game, where tensions mounted after Quavo had lost.
When a fight broke out, a stray bullet hit Takeoff in the head fired by an unknown shooter.

“It just sucks seeing all of these artists die so closely to each other ... and all so young ... just
makes me sick,” said senior finance major and Migos fan Jake Ferbrache.

It goes without saying that gun violence in intertwined with rap culture. Gun violence is one of
the most common themes rapped about; some popular songs with it as its main theme include:
The Race by Tay-K, Glock in my Lap by 21 Savage and Rubbin’ off the Paint by YBN Nahmir.

Rappers famously talk about murdering their “opps” and rivals, and common verses talk about
drive bys and hiring hit men. 21 Savage famously raps, “Wet ya mama house, wet ya grandma
house/ keep shooting until somebody die/ so many shots the neighbor look at the calendar/
thought it was fourth of July” in his single “No Heart.” Verses like this can be found in countless
rap songs, yet the rap community’s normalization and acceptance of violence and murder takes
its toll time and time again.

“[I] hate to see him gone so soon, at some point we need to realize violence isn’t the answer,”
said senior business management major and rap fan Keegan McClain.

These murders leave families and friends in despair and a loving fanbase heartbroken. Finding
out an artist that changed your life and helped shape you as a person has been killed is beyond
depressing. Every time an artist I cherish is killed, I lose more faith in the overall stability of the
rap community and the ability of record labels to keep their artists safe. It’s incredibly
disappointing to know you’ll never feel the excitement of finding out your favorite artist just
dropped music again.

Takeoff will be forever missed, and his legacy will continue to be honored by his fellow artists,
friends and fans. My music taste was shaped by Takeoff and Migos, and for that I’m thankful.
Rap music defined my coming of age, leading me to connect with lifelong friends and has given
me some of the best memories of my life. If you ever ask me what I’m listening to, a likely
answer will be that I’m blasting “T-Shirt.”

List of links:
- Takeoff death https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/01/entertainment/takeoff-migos-dead
- Takeoff releasing album Takeoff Death, Net Worth - Bio, Music Career, Albums

- PNB death Everything We Know About PnB Rock's Murder So Far
- X death The Unexpected Death of Rapper XXXTentacion: How Exactly Did He Die?
- Juice death
- Pop smoke death:
- King von death:
- Drakeo the ruler:
- CNN https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/13/us/rapper-deaths-gun-violence-reaj
- Shoota about guns https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/playboicarti-shoota-ft-lil-uzi-vert/
- Glock in my lap about guns
- The race https://www.songmeaningsandfacts.com/the-race-by-tay-k/
- https://latestrap.com/list-of-artists-signed-to-empire-who-died-tragically/
- https://raptology.com/list-of-murdered-hip-hop-musicians/
- Rubbin off the paint https://www.songfacts.com/facts/ybn-nahmir/rubbin-off-the-paint
- Mental health
- Anxiety depression https://www.complex.com/music/rappers-music-therapy/
- RL https://www.rollingloud.com/
- Nipsey hussle
- https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63470684
- https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/migos-rapper-takeoff-remembered-as-lowkey-an-atlan
- Tik tok
- https://www.thefader.com/2017/01/23/migos-interview-culture
- https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/arts/music/takeoff-migos-atlanta-rap.html?auth=lin

- https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/migos-versace-songs-that-defined-the-deca

Rita Russo

Rita Russo is a junior at Loyola Marymount University studying psychology, philosophy and English. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing, playing guitar, skiing, reading tarot cards and hiking. Rita plans on pursuing a career involving writing and editing.