What Takeoff's Life Was Like In The Past Year

The following article mentions killing and sexual assault. 

The music world is mourning the death of Takeoff, the Migos rapper who was killed in a shooting on November 1, 2022. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, native, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, was one third of the famed Atlanta hip-hop group, alongside his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset. The group achieved fame in 2013 with their song "Versace," and they released their debut album, "Yung Rich Nation," two years later.

You could say that it was their hit 2016 single, "Bad and Boujee" that solidified the trio as rap superstars though; it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the group a Grammy nomination. Migos followed that up with the 2017 album "Culture" and 2018's "Culture II." They completed that series with their last album as a group, "Culture III," in 2021. However, Takeoff's final album would be 2022's "Only Built for Infinity Links," which he made with just Quavo. When it came to Migos' music career and trajectory, Takeoff told Billboard, "People don't even get to do it that long, and we're blessed to keep doing it."

Sadly, Takeoff died at the age of 28 after someone opened fire at a Houston bowling alley, per TMZ. He had achieved a great deal in his short life, including in this last year alone. We have broken down what Takeoff's life looked like leading up to his tragic death.

The breakup of Migos

Less than a year before Takeoff died, Migos split up. According to Newsweek, rumors of the superstar trio's demise had begun in May 2022 when Takeoff and Quavo announced that they were releasing music under the name Unc and Phew, dropping their first song "Hotel Lobby." Yet what added fuel to the fire was apparently when Offset and wife Cardi B unfollowed Takeoff and Quavo on social media. As TMZ reported at the time, Quavo avoided a paparazzo's questions about the breakup.

By that August, Takeoff and Quavo released another song, "Us Vs. Them." However, per NME, they still performed as Migos that summer at the National Battle Of The Bands and the Summer Smash 2022 festival, just without Offset. The rumors got more intense from there, with another rap group, Travis Porter, suggesting that Migos came to an end over a woman.

In October 2022, both Takeoff and Quavo finally addressed Migos breaking up on the "Big Facts" podcast. Quavo seemingly spoke of Offset when he said, "We just came from a loyal family, sh*t that's supposed to stick together. And sometimes, when sh*t don't work out, it ain't meant to be." Takeoff apparently didn't close the door on working with his cousin again though, but put it in God's hands. He dished, "Whatever ain't right and however you supposed to see it fit, you put it back together or however you do it, we pray. So only time will tell. We always family now, that ain't gon' change."

Takeoff and Quavo became a duo

After Migos broke up, Takeoff continued to put out music with Quavo. In October 2022, they even released an entire album as a duo called, "Only Built For Infinity Links," which Takeoff had promoted on Instagram. It seemed that Takeoff's career was on an upswing because of it, considering that he and Quavo had performed on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." They also had released music videos for the songs "Nothing Changed" and "Messy," the latter coming out just hours prior to Takeoff's death.

This album appeared to be extra special to Takeoff too, because of how it came together. He said to Billboard, "We had to work hard. We went back in that bat cave. Dirty, grimy, no cut and scruffy — just ain't even worried about nothing." He continued to reflect on the process, adding, "You think you got it and then you keep painting that picture until you come up with that Picasso."

Despite no longer working with Offset, not much else had apparently changed; as revealed on the "Rap Radar" podcast, they typically recorded separately. In terms of he and Quavo though, Takeoff explained, "The chemistry has been there since day one, so we just ... easily bounce off." He also shared how he'd always sent music to Quavo in particular, sometimes over the phone before they got to the studio. "I don't want to wait till I get to him," he said.

Takeoff faced a sexual assault lawsuit

Before his death, Takeoff faced serious allegations. In August 2020, he was met with a lawsuit brought on by a woman who had accused him of sexual assault. According to the Los Angeles Times, that woman had claimed that the "Stir Fry" rapper had raped her at a party. She had reported the incident to police, but then filed a civil suit against Takeoff, with her attorney claiming she had done so to jumpstart the criminal investigation. "Not much has been done. I'm hoping that after beginning discovery in this suit, other witnesses will come forward," her lawyer, Neama Rahmani, said.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office then investigated whether or not Takeoff should be charged with a crime. Takeoff maintained his innocence throughout the investigation though, with his attorney, Drew Findling, asserting that the woman was just after money. "Takeoff is renowned for his artistic talent as well as his quiet, reserved and peaceful personality. In this instance, those known personality traits have made him a target of an obvious exploitative money grab," Findling had told TMZ.

In April 2021, it was determined that Takeoff wouldn't face charges since prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to move forward with a case. While Takeoff remained quiet about the accusations, his lawyer said to TMZ, "The allegations were patently and provably false." Though Takeoff wasn't charged with sexual assault, TMZ reported in 2021 that the civil suit hadn't been dropped.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Takeoff released some solo music

Even though Takeoff focused on making an album as a duo with Quavo in the last year, he managed to release some of his own music too. In fact, in March 2022, he put out his first solo single in over two years called "Crypto." Takeoff featured another rapper, Rich the Kid, on that track. 

Before "Crypto," Takeoff had spent some time working with other rappers as well, having made appearances on Roddy Ricch's album "Live Life Fast," per Hypebeast, and doing a song with YRN Lingo. However, it appears the most notable collaboration for Takeoff outside of Migos was working with legendary rapper Lil Wayne on songs like "I Don't Sleep." Takeoff later gushed to Billboard in 2022, "​​That's a bucket list as one of my favorite rappers. You don't think you'll get the chance to be close to him, and now I did a song with him and have a relationship with him."

Takeoff clearly kept busy on his own but hadn't released a full album of solo music since 2018, which is when he put out "The Last Rocket." However, it seemed that before his death, he was more interested in getting back to his roots with Quavo. He dished, "We feel like we owe the fans to go back in and take it back to that feeling when we didn't have the money. We're taking it back to the hungry vibe."

Migos ended their feud with Joe Budden

It appeared that Takeoff had made peace with media personality Joe Budden in the year before his death. For those who don't know, Takeoff and his former Migos bandmates had been in a feud with Budden ever since they did an awkward interview with him on the 2017 BET Awards Red Carpet. It seemed to have all started when DJ Akademiks brought up Takeoff not being featured on "Bad and Boujee" and the two went back and forth. (Years later, Quavo explained on the "Rap Radar" podcast that Takeoff's absence had to do with "timing.")

Budden, who was apparently frustrated with the interview, decided to abruptly end it. He dropped his mic and walked off camera after Akademiks told Migos they were one of his favorite groups. The cringey clip eventually went viral, especially because Migos looked like they were ready to fight Budden.

However, in October 2022, Quavo revealed on the "Drink Champs" podcast, "We've smoothed it out a little bit. We ain't got no smoke with Joe." However, he did explain why they were upset, adding, "He was sittin' up like he didn't want to interview us." As for Takeoff, he was mostly irritated by Akademiks' comment and couldn't really hear him. He recalled, "I'm the last seat on the end. He talking low, I'm like, 'Yo, what you say?' By the second time, third time—I heard him probably the second time. I just want him to repeat it again."

Takeoff dropped an NFT collection

Some fans may be surprised to learn that Takeoff was very involved with NFTs and even launched his own collection in December 2021. According to NFT Now, the project was called "Apes in Space" and featured 9,999 NFTs of that theme. The "Last Memory" rapper had announced the launch in an Instagram video and wore merchandise promoting it to one of his concerts. He had also shared photos of the NFTs on social media, before the collection completely sold out days later.

Takeoff was also apparently planning something pretty major with one of the NFTs' holders. The official Apes in Space Instagram page had shared, "One lucky owner will get to meet Takeoff in real-life and join him on a journey to space." That wasn't all though, since according to the NFT's roadmap, Takeoff had promised four VIP concert tickets to an upcoming Migos show for two NFT holders as well. However, it's unclear if there was a trip to space in the works before Takeoff's death or if the NFT holders made it to a Migos concert before the group broke up.

Yet Takeoff had big dreams for the metaverse, considering per the roadmap, he wanted to organize the biggest hip-hop festival it had ever seen, with him as the main act and other musicians performing. It seemed he was into being part of the virtual world in general because he had shared videos of his animated self on Instagram.

Takeoff wanted to keep a low profile

It's safe to say that Takeoff went out of his way to keep a low profile. Despite his former Migos bandmates, Quavo and Offset, making headlines for their romantic relationships, Takeoff wasn't interested in the limelight. He explained to Billboard, "I just chill and stay out the way...I don't like to be in the light of this s**t too much. I'm a laid-back type of person, and keep my life a mystery." He did acknowledge how social media made that difficult though, adding, "Now you got the internet, where you know a whole bunch of bulls**t. I just keep my little personal to myself."

That doesn't mean Takeoff didn't have his fair share of rumors about his high-profile relationships either. In 2017, for example, HollywoodLife reported that he was dating pop star Katy Perry since they attended a "SNL" afterparty together. However, neither ever confirmed a romance.

It seemed that Takeoff was more private this past year especially, for safety reasons. When asked about the murders of other famous rappers in 2022, he told Billboard, "Just do what it takes to make it home. You gotta make it to the crib, since you got a family to feed." He alluded to the fact that it's hard to feel protected too, adding, "Something go down, it's, 'Oh, you had security.' Something go down then it's, 'You dumb for not having security.' So at this point which one is it?" Sadly, he had every right to be concerned.