'We lost a young legend': Hip-hop mourns Migos rapper Takeoff amid manhunt for suspect
The rapper was shot and killed in Houston on Tuesday.
After the shooting death of Migos rapper Takeoff in Houston on Tuesday, the hip-hop community is again mourning the loss of an influential and popular star whose music helped define the sound of a generation for over a decade.
"We lost a young legend," "Hustlin'" rapper Rick Ross tweeted.
Drake, who toured with Migos in 2018, shared a tribute to Takeoff on Instagram, along with a photo of the two on stage.
“I got the best memories of all of us seeing the world together and bringing light to every city we touch. That’s what I’ll focus on for now. rest easy space man Take,” he wrote, along with a rocket emoji.
Takeoff, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was shot and killed early Tuesday outside the 810 Billiards & Bowling in downtown Houston following a private event, police said. He was 28. Quavo, Takeoff's uncle and one-third of Migos, who was also present at the time, was not injured.
Police urged the public to come forward with tips and said that shots were fired following an argument. There is no indication that the rapper was involved in the dispute, according to police, who said the investigation is ongoing.
Takeoff was a member of the hip-hop trio Migos, a Grammy-nominated group based in Atlanta that he formed with Quavo – the unofficial frontman of the group – and his cousin Offset.
Migos, which formed in 2008 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, gained mainstream recognition and rose to stardom in 2013 with their song "Versace."
Hip-hop DJ Megan Ryte, who is based in New York, said that many new artists in the music industry were “influenced” by the Migos sound.
“They changed the game,” Ryte told "Nightline." “They single-handedly changed hip-hop, their flow, the triplet flow … some people will refer to it as the Migos flow or even sometimes the Versace flow.”
The trio went on to collaborate with the biggest stars in the music industry and are known for hits like "Motorsport," featuring Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, and the iconic 2016 anthem, “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. Each of the rappers have also released solo albums.
Offset, who is married to hip-hop star Cardi B, left the group earlier this year. He changed his Instagram profile picture to a photo of Takeoff after he was killed.
Greg Street, an Atlanta-based hip-hop DJ who has known the group for years, said that while Takeoff was “the reserved one” in the group, he was “extremely talented” and “you can hear his influence” throughout the Migos discography.
“I think they were headed for bigger things because of their success,” Street told "Nightline." “You know, success brings more success when you're grounded, you’re rooted, you understand making moves.”
Takeoff and Quavo released a joint album last month, "Only Built for Infinity Links" and a clip of Takeoff's appearance on Revolt TV's "Drink Champs" discussing the project went viral after his death.
"Of course you were shining before, but you were dancing on this one ... it was your time," host N.O.R.E. told Takeoff in an interview that aired last month.
"It's time to pop it. It's time to give me my flowers. I don't want them when I ain't here," Takeoff said.
Takeoff's death is the latest in a string of shootings and killings of prominent rappers in recent years, as well as up-and-coming local artists who were shot and killed at a young age during attempted robberies or violence stemming from reported disagreements.
ABC News' Ashan Singh, Lisa Zobel and Stephanie Fasano contributed to this report.
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