Remembering Takeoff’s Legacy in the hip-hop world
Spencer Yu, Staff Writer
Violence against rappers has been a troubling trend that has popped up recently with six rappers having been killed in 2022 alone. The most recent case involved rapper PnB Rock just under two months ago. With so many fatalities this year, hip-hop fans were hoping there wouldn’t be another. However, on Nov. 1 just past 2 a.m. an altercation took place outside 810 Billiards and Bowling in Houston, Texas, that led to the passing of a beloved personality in the hip-hop community — Takeoff of the American group Migos.
It is rumoured that an argument had broken out over a dice game and that in the ensuing fight, shots were fired striking and killing Takeoff (Kirshnik Khari Ball). His groupmates Quavo (Quavious Keyate Marshall) and Offset (Kiari Kendrell Cephus) were present, however, they are uninjured. Ball’s death was confirmed shortly after and he leaves behind not only friends and loved ones but one of the most beloved music groups of the last decade. The late Migos member was only 28.
Ball was described as being not only the youngest member of Migos but also the ‘chill’ one of the group. Ball had been making beats and rhythms since the second grade but he began to professionally make music in 2008 when he joined the rap group Polo Club which later became Migos. The group has spawned many hit songs such as “Versace” and “Bad and Boujee” alongside many hit records with their Culture trilogy. Ball and Marshall recently put out a collaborative album titled Only Built for Infinity Links just a few weeks prior to Ball’s passing. However, I believe that the group’s greatest contribution to music as a whole is their popularisation of the “Migos flow.”
Though the Migos flow has dominated the rap scene for years and years now, you can trace its roots all the way back to classical music with songs like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata using the same musical idea. The triplet flow is what happens when you divide a beat into three notes. Though it has been a music concept that has been around for well over a century now, it has never reached this level of dominance within any music genre. That was until 2015 when Migos released their breakout hit Versace. The song was such a hit that even people who didn’t listen to rap music knew the hook which just went like “Versace Versace Versace.” The song was so popular that famous Toronto-based rapper Drake got on the remix and from there, the triplet flow was unstoppable.
It seemed like every rapper post “Versace” would use that flow and it has become so entrenched within hip-hop that everybody was able to distinguish the triplet flow when they heard it. Though it has been criticized by rappers such as Snoop Dogg who said “Everybody trying to rap the same style,” it is undeniable that the Migos flow dominated the latter half of the 2010’s.
The death of Ball cast a shadow on the entire hip-hop scene and since his passing, many notable celebrities have sent their condolences to Ball’s friends and family. Though Ball leaves behind two group members and countless fans, he has had a part in one of the biggest hip-hop trends of the last decade and will certainly never be forgotten.