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Migos Rapper Takeoff’s Legacy

Takeoff, who was one-third of the rap group, Migos, died earlier this week after being shot in Houston, Texas.

Earlier Tuesday, Hip-hop Fans Were Devastated That Rapper Kirschnik Kali Ball, Known As Takeoff And Better Known For His Work With Migos, Was Shot Dead After An Altercation At A Bowling Alley In Houston.

In this issue of Closer Look, Black’s Jocelyn Wilson, assistant professor of hip-hop studies and digital humanities in her media studies cohort at Georgia Tech, spoke about the legacy left by the beloved artist.
She “had some of the best Abu-libs on the takeoff…I think the (Migos) call-and-response sequence elevated that kind of element in black music, especially rap music,” said Wilson. “We haven’t heard much about his private life.
When he spoke, he seemed to have a sense of humor. He had a wit that I found very humorous.” rice field.
The Migos legacy – Takeoff's death marks a tragic end to hip-hop's most  prolific group - The Mail & Guardian

Wilson Also Noted The Shocking Death Toll From Gun Violence Among Rappers Within The Hip-hop Community, Especially Among Male Rappers Of Color.

“You need conversations that you don’t think are happening,” Wilson said. “There needs to be a debate within hip-hop as to why black men overwhelmingly continue to kill each other and kill rappers… Something is going on and it always stems from gun use. We need to talk about how it’s impacting the communities it comes from.”

At the 2017 BET Awards, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff — members of Atlanta rap trio Migos — were reflecting on their success in a red-carpet interview with rapper Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks.

But the exchange went sideways when Akademiks casually asked Takeoff about his lack of a feature on “Bad and Boujee,” the ubiquitous lead single from the group’s second studio album, “Culture.”

Takeoff’s initial absence on the track, the first Migos song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, had been a source of internet memes. “I feel like it’s just like a running joke with you left off of ‘Bad and Boujee,’ ” Akademiks prompted.

“I ain’t left off ‘Bad and Boujee,’ ” Takeoff responded in his confident Southern drawl. “You think I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee.’ ” Akademiks awkwardly asked Takeoff to repeat what he had said, several times, before Takeoff — looking every bit the star in white shades and a silk floral button-down left open to expose his chain-draped chest — ultimately shut down the question once and for all: “Do it look like I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee?’ ”

The point was underscored when Migos performed the chart-topping song as part of a medley, with Takeoff — the group’s youngest member — gamely providing backup vocals and hype in lieu of a featured verse.

Migos rapper Kirshnik Khari Ball, known as Takeoff, was fatally shot in Houston on Oct. 31 at a private party at a bowling alley. He was 28. (Video: Allie Caren/The Washington Post)

Takeoff, who was fatally shot in Houston early Tuesday, was never as visible a presence as Quavo, the trio’s charismatic frontman, or Offset, one flashy half of a hip-hop power couple as the husband of Cardi B. But Takeoff was integral to Migos, which ushered in a new era of rap with their signature flow — full of crisply delivered triplets that begged to be on repeat — not least because he first tapped Quavo, his uncle, to rap on tracks with him.

Recommended:Takeoff Dating History Explored As Migos Rapper Dies Aged 28

Migos Rapper Takeoff Fatally Shot In Houston

“Migos achieve restraint through the percussive power of their consonants. They have an acute awareness of the places of articulation in their respective mouths, and they play them like drums,” Washington Post pop music critic Chris Richards wrote in a rave review of “Culture” in 2017.

Tributes flow in after Migos rapper Takeoff shot dead in a brawl in Houston  | MEAWW

Thomas was particularly impressed by Takeoff’s flow, which he first heard after rapper Gucci Mane, a mentor to Migos, urged him to listen to one of the group’s songs.

“I was like, ‘Yo, that dude there — it’s crazy the way he was spitting,’ ” Thomas told “Rap Radar.” “It reminded me of Bone Thugs, like how they used to be rapping back in the day.”

“He’s the youngest of the group and he’s going to grow into his own,” Thomas added.

RecommendedLooking Back at Takeoff’s Transformative Career

By All Accounts, Takeoff, Born Kirshnik Khari Ball, Was Doing Just That Before He Was Killed At 28.

He made his solo debut with “The Last Rocket” in 2018, prompting Pitchfork to declare him the trio’s best rapper — a distinction Quavo co-signed in a GQ profile earlier this year. Migos released their fourth album, “Culture III,” in 2021, rounding out a series of albums from a once-in-a-generation act. In an interview with Billboard early last month, Takeoff called the series “legendary.”

Amid rumors the group had permanently disbanded, Takeoff and Quavo launched a new effort this year under the moniker Unc & Phew. The duo’s first album, “Only Built for Infinity Links,” was released in October to enthusiastic reviews. The video for their latest single “Messy,” which features Quavo and Takeoff trading verses about their meteoric come-up, dropped on Monday.