Takeoff, one-third of Georgia trap legends Migos, is dead after a shooting in Texas early Tuesday morning, TMZ reports. The rapper, whose full name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was 28 years old.
Law enforcement officials and multiple witnesses say the incident occurred around 2:30 A.M. on Tuesday, per TMZ. Authorities came to the scene after reports of a man being shot at Houston bowling alley 810 Billiards & Bowling Houston. Takeoff and his uncle (and fellow Migos member) Quavo were reportedly playing dice when the shooting broke out. Takeoff was hit and pronounced dead on the scene. The pair had just released their first album as a duo, Only Built for Infinity Links, on October 7.
Police also tell TMZ that two other individuals were shot in the incident, and were transported to a local hospital in private vehicles. Quavo was uninjured— footage from the incident shows him and others gathering around Takeoff and calling for help after attempting to move him.
Best known for his work in Migos with Quavo and Quavo’s cousin Offset, Takeoff first began producing beats in middle school and started laying rhymes with his family members soon after. While Quavo initially had sports dreams, Takeoff was always focused on music. (In a July interview with GQ Hype, Quavo would go on the record to name Takeoff the best rapper in Migos.)
“I ain’t never did no sports, I just always wanted to rap,” Takeoff told The Fader in 2013. “When Quavo was out doing sports, I was in the studio, what we call the bando, making music, going hard.”
After getting tracks from their 2011 debut mixtape Jung Season into clubs with a little money and a lot of persistence, Migos began to carve out a sound. The group’s 2013 breakout single “Versace” showcased Migos’ acrobatic musicality and unforgettable ad-libs, the kind of verse that’s more reminiscent of blood harmony than a rap battle.
“You gotta have fun with a song, make somebody laugh,” Takeoff told The Fader. “You gotta have character. A hard punchline can make you laugh, but you gotta know how to say it.”
The trio really blew up after Drake remixed “Versace” and added a verse, which he performed at the 2013 iHeart Radio Music Festival. Critics praised Migos for bottling the Dirty South sound into explosive and endlessly repeatable anthems— their tracks felt fitting in stadiums and backyard barbecues alike. The trio has won the BET Award for Best Group a record four times and was nominated for two Grammys in 2018.
In recent years, some distance grew between Migos’ members, with Takeoff and Quavo continuing forward as a duo sans Offset. The trio released the conclusion to their Culture trilogy (and what would be their final album), Culture III, in 2021.
In an interview last month with Big Banks and DJ Scream’s Big Facts podcast, Takeoff expressed that regardless of uncertainty about Migos’ future, family is family.
“We don’t know all answers,” he said. “God know. So we pray a lot. And we tell him, whatever, whatever ain’t right, however you supposed to see it fit, you put it back together or however you do it. Only time will tell. We always family, now. Ain’t nothing gon’ change.”