Migos rapper Takeoff fatally shot in Houston, his rep tells the AP



Rapper Takeoff, one third of the group Migos, was killed in a shooting at a private party early Tuesday in Houston, his representative confirmed to the Associated Press.

Houston police said they would not be identifying the person killed in the shooting “until his family is notified & ID verified by Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.” Police said the victim was a Black male in his 20s. The shooting took place at a bowling alley just after 2:30 a.m., the AP reported.

A reporter for Fox 26 in Houston shared a clip of a news conference, with a spokesperson confirming police “were informed” that members of the hip-hop trio Migos — Takeoff and Quavo — were at the scene. It is not known whether Offset, the third member of the group, was at the private gathering. All three members of Migos are related; Takeoff, 28, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, is the nephew of Quavo, 31, born Quavious Keyate Marshall. Offset, 30, whose name is Kiari Kendrell Cephus, is Quavo’s cousin.

The police department tweeted that its officers responded to a shooting in downtown Houston and that one victim was found dead. It later added that two other victims were “taken in private vehicles to hospitals.”

An executive with Migos’s record label declined to comment. A publicist representing the group did not immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post.

The three Atlanta rappers broke out in 2013 with their debut single “Versace,” which Post critic Chris Richards at the time deemed “the real song of the summer” (despite the charts suggesting otherwise). Other notable rappers, including Drake, Meek Mill and Soulja Boy, seized onto the sheer catchiness of “Versace,” recording their own versions of the song. Richards described it as “some sort of playground.”

“After hearing these guys enunciate the name of the Italian fashion house 158 times within 3 minutes 7 seconds,” he wrote, “it becomes apparent that this three-syllable word — with its intoxicating combination of fricative consonants — is surprisingly fun to say out loud, over and over and over.”

Migos will not be measured by their rhymes. They’ll be measured by their consonants.

After releasing their debut album, “Yung Rich Nation,” in 2015, Migos experienced another surge in popularity with the 2016 single “Bad and Boujee,” which features Lil Uzi Vert and landed them a Grammy nomination. While accepting a Golden Globe for his series “Atlanta,” comedian Donald Glover, who raps as Childish Gambino, thanked Migos “not for being in the show, but for making ‘Bad and Boujee’ — that’s the best song ever.”

Quavo has referred to Takeoff as the strongest rapper of the group. In a GQ interview from July, Quavo reminisced about when he and Takeoff began making music together as kids. They used Windows Movie Maker to record their verses, a rather unsophisticated technique, which Quavo said meant that “if you messed up, you had to start over.” Takeoff earned his nickname after it became clear he possessed the ability to “just launch into his verses and record everything in a single, pristine take,” according to the magazine.

Though unconfirmed, rumors circulated earlier this year that Migos had broken up. Last month, Quavo and Takeoff released their debut album as a duo: “Only Built for Infinity Links,” on which Offset does not appear.

In an October interview with Complex, Quavo attributed some of Migos’ success to their familial bonds: “With us, it was really family that kept us going,” he said. Takeoff added that it can be “kind of hard to go find two people that’s family, too, like Unc and Phew,” referencing the nicknames he and Quavo adopted with the release of their new album.

Speaking to Complex, Quavo once again praised Takeoff’s rapping abilities.

“On a lot of the Migos records, he would anchor the song. Now on a lot of these records, he comes in and is popping off,” Quavo said before likening their dynamic to the Atlanta Hawks basketball team: “We setting up alley-oops like Trae Young and John Collins! It’s just the oop and dunk, easy.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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