Takeoff, part of Atlanta trio Migos, dead after shooting at age 28

Takeoff from Migos performs during the annual Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Saturday, June 15, 2019.
Robb Cohen Photography & Video /RobbsPhotos.com

Takeoff from Migos performs during the annual Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Robb Cohen Photography & Video /RobbsPhotos.com

Kirsnick Khari Ball, known professionally as Takeoff of the hip-hop trio Migos, died early Tuesday morning after being shot in Houston.

According to the Associated Press, Takeoff was outside of a bowling alley when he was killed following a private party inside.

Takeoff, 28, was the nephew of fellow Migos member Quavious Keytae Marshall, 31, who goes by Quavo and became the de facto lead man.

According to a recently released book by New York Times reporter Joe Coscarelli “Rap City: An Atlanta Story,” Quavo and Takeoff grew up more like brothers, raised mostly by Quavo’s mother Edna. Originally from Athens, the pair moved to Lawrenceville when Takeoff was in elementary school.

Takeoff encouraged Quavo to rap but ceded the spotlight to Quavo. They started as a duo called Polo Club and would perform at the local skating rink. They released their first mixtape when Takeoff was in middle school. Coscarelli described them as “a next-generation tougher version of Kris Kross with actual blood between them.”

Then they hooked in Offset (Kiari Kendrell Cephus), now 30. Migos was formed around 2011, creating the mixtape “Jung Season.” Popular Atlanta rap artist Gucci Mane took the group under his wing and record label Quality Control Music, run by Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas, signed them in 2013 as their first musical act.

In his book, Coscarelli noted that Takeoff was the “group’s most dexterous technical MC.”

The group had early advocates including Drake, who insisted they appear on Hot 107.9′s Birthday Bash in 2013. Drake also contributed on their early hit “Versace.”

The trio quickly developed a reputation for delivering an infectious triplet-heavy flow that seamlessly weaved trap beats and bars that primarily consisted of one syllable.

In early 2015, at a concert at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, the trio was arrested for minor drug charges. Takeoff would pay a fine for a misdemeanor marijuana charge. Their first album “Yung Rich Nation” that year peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard album charts.

In 2016, the group released the single “Bad and Boujee,” which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart. Donald Glover gave the tune props at the Golden Globes in early 2017, calling it “the best song ever.” A week later, Migos performed on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show, the group’s national debut on TV. The song received a Grammy nomination. The group’s first album, “Culture,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

Though Takeoff was the most reserved in the group, his domineering lyrical capability and aggressive flows shined across every Migos track. In 2018, he released his solo album “The Last Rocket.”

In 2020, Takeoff was accused of rape by a woman who said she was assaulted at a house party in Encino, California, according to a lawsuit. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office later declined to prosecute the case due to lack of evidence, according to Pitchfork.

In May, Takeoff and Quavo announced they had formed a duo Unc & Phew without Offset and dropped their first album “Only Built for Infinity Links” in October. The duo released the video for their single “Messy” on Oct. 31 while Offset was off doing his own solo work.