Authorities confirmed the death of rapper Takeoff – Kirshnik Khari Ball – in Houston Tuesday, hours after celebrities, musicians and members of the hip-hop community began mourning him.
Takeoff, 28, who was a member of the highly influential Atlanta rap trio Migos, died early Tuesday after being shot following a private party, said Troy Finner, chief of police at the Houston Police Department, at an afternoon press briefing.
Police said several individuals at the event – which took place at a bowling alley – fled the scene, and police are seeking additional information regarding the shooting. No arrests have been announced.
Finner said at least two people discharged firearms and that the two other people who were struck have injuries that are not life-threatening. They were taken to hospitals in private vehicles.
“Let me just ask … that anyone who has information on the shooter or shooters to provide that information to HPD and let us solve this situation,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at the conference. “Let us bring justice to this family.”
Numerous Black rappers have been killed in recent years, including Nipsey Hussle, Young Dolph and PnB Rock.
Turner said Takeoff’s death is indicative of the concerning phenomenon of armed violence among young men of color.
“It’s not just in the hip-hop community, and I just don’t want to demonize this group, but it’s across the board with this demographic,” Turner said.
Finner said that while the hip-hop community sometimes “gets a bad name,” change needs to come within the industry.
“I’m calling up on everybody, every hip-hop artist in Houston and around the nation: We’ve got to police ourselves,” Finner said. ” (There are) so many talented individuals, men and women in that community who I love and I respect, and we all need to stand together and make sure nobody tears down that industry.”
Born June 18, 1994, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Takeoff grew up with his soon-to-be collaborators, Quavo and Offset. “I just always wanted to rap,” Takeoff recalled of their upbringing in a 2013 Fader interview. “When Quavo was out doing sports, I was in the studio, what we call the bando, making music, going hard.”
Migos exploded in the early 2010s thanks to mixtape breakout song “Versace,” which went viral. Their debut studio album, “Yung Rich Nation,” was released in 2015 and featured Chris Brown and Yung Thug. In addition to several more mixtape albums, Migos went on to release three more studio albums: “Culture” (2017), which featured lead single “Bad and Boujee” that would spend three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and nabbed them two Grammy nominations, “Culture II” (2018) and “Culture III” (2021).
“We’re not letting up, because it’s our time. We’re going to take advantage of it,” Offset told USA TODAY in 2017. “You don’t see a lot of people having longevity, because they’re coming in fast. My grandma used to tell me, ‘You don’t want to hit fast, because you might leave as fast as you came in.'”
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Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff; The Associated Press