An Atlanta-based rapper, Takeoff, was shot and killed in the early morning of Nov. 1 in Houston, Texas, a representative has confirmed.
Takeoff, whose legal name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was one-third of the multi-platinum hip-hop group Migos. He was killed in a shooting at a bowling alley after a fight broke out over a game of dice. It’s unclear if Takeoff was killed intentionally or by accident.
Video posted to Twitter shortly after the incident shows a group of bystanders — along with his his Uncle, Quavo, 31, who is also a member of the acclaimed rap group — gathered on a balcony outside the bowling alley surrounding Takeoff.
In the 911 call, obtained by TMZ, dispatchers can be heard saying that five shots were fired, while the initial caller said they also heard people screaming.
Law enforcement says the incident occurred around 2:30 am following an altercation during a dice game, leading to someone opening fire, shooting Takeoff either in his head or neck, along with two other victims who were transported to a nearby hospital in private vehicles.
Takeoff is the latest in a string of young rappers who have been killed this year after incidents of violence.
Shortly after news of the shooting, as social media users reacted online, Maj Toure, founder of gun safety and conflict resolution training organization Black Guns Matter, hosted a Twitter Space called “The Death of TakeOff and Black Artists” to address the shooting.
“If this is true, this is an example of the lack of avoiding conflict. Okay guys,” Toure told the audience of more than 1,000 listeners. “This is an example of why we stress this in our classes. There is absolutely no reason for me to have a conversation about grown men playing dice to the point where somebody gets heated, whoever it was or was not.”
He added, “If this is true, this is insane.”
Black Guns Matter — a reference to the organization Black Lives Matter — tours U.S. urban communities advocating conflict resolution, and teaches deescalation techniques alongside firearm training. The free classes also incorporate firearm safety training with information on gun rights.
In discussing Takeoff’s shooting, Toure said that to lessen incidents of gun violence, more of a cultural focus must be placed on highlighting people, organizations, and activities that uplift communities, such as the large number of food gardens in urban America, men building families, and people investing in their communities.
An Atlanta-based man who works at a charter school for middle school children joined the Twitter Space and said that Takeoff’s passing was already the topic of discussion for all of his students this morning.
“We actually had to sit our boys down and we’re gonna continue the discussion later on this evening, but we had to talk to them about controlling their impulse and how this happened and why this needs to stop,” said Devin Perkins of Kids to Kings.
“We’re actually planning a hiking trip this weekend, and that’s gonna be the entire topic and focus, is controlling your impulse and understanding how that’s gonna affect every aspect of your life,” he explained.
Migos first broke out internationally in 2013 with their hit “Versace.”
Since then, they have racked up four Top 10s on the Billboard Hot 100, multiple platinum releases, including “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, and won an ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2018.