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Tribute to the Three-Headed Monster and The Last Rocket 🚀
Taking a moment to reflect on the innovative mastery of Takeoff and the Migos
Weighing heavily on my mind for the past two weeks, after the tragic passing of the beloved artist Takeoff, is the unforgettable legacy that he crafted as a member of the brilliantly talented hip hop group the Migos.
Kirsnick Khari Ball (known to us as Takeoff) has mentioned in various interviews how deeply he admired music since childhood and sought it’s creation as his mission as early as the age of 12. This ultimately ignited the musical phenomenon, the “three-headed monster” that is the Migos — undeniable trailblazers that have shaped the sound of the rap genre for the past few years (arguably, ever since “Versace” dropped). Quite frankly, we would not know the Migos as they are today if it wasn’t for Takeoff’s aspiration and utter determination to share stories through rap.
I can’t remember the exact moment I heard the Migos for the first time (maybe on the radio or on YouTube), but I’ll never forget the moment I walked into a middle school dance on a Friday night, felt the darkness of the gym surround me, colorful lights of every hue dancing around the room, and a captivating bass-infused voice bursting through the speakers:
“If you know me know this ain’t my feng shui / certified everywhere, ain’t gotta print my resume (Takeoff!) / Talkin’ crazy, I pull up andale / R.I.P. to Nate Dogg, I had to Regulate.”
I’m not being dramatic when I say that I’m not sure what hip hop, in its entirety, would sound like today without the Migos. Dominating the genre for almost a decade — from “Handsome & Wealthy” and “Hannah Montana,” to “Stir Fry” and “Pure Water,” their discography is filled with a signature triplet flow and ear-catching adlibs (“MOMMA!”). And, regardless of the song, I was always eager to hear how Takeoff decided to conquer his verse. The depth and fluidity of his voice alone instantly immerses you into the world of the song. His lyrics and cadence fueled the flight.
Over the years, the trio has solidified themselves as sonic superstars and have crafted a style that will continue to spark inspiration and awe within the minds of generations to come.
While listening to some of their classics these past couple of weeks (with Avalanche on repeat), I’ve been taking moments to re-watch interviews and footage of the Migos talking, performing, and basking in the joy of their brotherhood. Including compilation videos, their Confessions interview segment (which is hilarious — the Migos have always cracked me up), them rapping Mama Llama Red Pajama, their Tiny Desk Home Concert and one of my favorite videos of all time — their Carpool Karaoke episode. I also watched their most recent Drink Champs interview where Takeoff appears as vibrant and vocal as ever at the table with Quavo as they discuss music and their newest album, as a duo, Only Built For Infinity Links. Many of these videos give us a glimpse of Takeoff displaying his reserved personality, humility, unwavering faith in God, and kindhearted charisma.
The Migos have helped shape the soundscape of my adolescence — literally making hits from when I was in middle school, to high school, up till college. In a way, it feels like they’ve always been around and would always be around. To hear of Takeoff’s passing was jarring, surreal, and an absolute devastation.
In addition to him being such a notable and revered figure in hip hop, Takeoff was a part of many people’s lives as a son, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, and a friend — the memory of his humanity will live forever.
And, his impact? Alongside being revered as such a genuine-spirited human being and game-changing rapper, Takeoff and his fellow group members have solidified their standing as innovators whose legacy will withstand the tests of time.
I am praying for and sending immense love and light to his mother, siblings, Quavo, Offset, his extended family and friends, and every person that his spirit has graced.
Thank you Takeoff, dearly, for all that you have shared with us. For the hearts you have touched, the ears you have gifted, and for soaring brightly as the rocket you will always be. 🚀💫🙏🏿