Takeoff's former Migos collaborators, Quavo and Offset, on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the "T-Shirt" rapper's death.
Takeoff — whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball — was shot outside a Houston bowling alley on Nov. 1, 2022, and died at the scene. He was 28.
Quavo, Takeoff's close-in-age uncle, was present at the shooting, which law enforcement said broke out over a lucrative dice game. On Wednesday, the Migos rapper paid tribute to his nephew on Instagram, posting a black-and-white photo of the rising hip-hop star.
"Can’t forget it won’t Forget It NEVER Forget it 🚀♾️ I Remember!" he wrote.
Offset also memorialized the Atlanta-based artist with a video mashup set to Takeoff's 2018 single "Last Memory." The song hailed from Takeoff's only solo album, "The Rocket," and was mixed with a track by British R&B duo Floetry.
"The times we spent is priceless," Offset wrote in the caption. "what we built in this game they never wanted to give us our flowers we influenced the world … I Love you Take you still here with us I just know you are!!!! Migo 4Life!!!!!!"
Houston law-enforcement officials said that Takeoff was not involved in the dice game or altercation and that he was not armed at the bowling alley when the shooting broke out. They also described him as an innocent bystander, and his label said that he caught a stray bullet in the melee. The day after the shooting, the Harris County medical examiner ruled Takeoff's death a homicide, finding that he died of “penetrating gunshot wounds of head and torso into arm."
Patrick Xavier Clark, a Houston-area DJ and nightclub promoter, was later arrested and, in May, was indicted and charged by a grand jury in the fatal shooting.
Clark, who has maintained his innocence, was put on house arrest in January and appeared in court last week, according to Rolling Stone. He claimed he did not fire the bullets that struck Takeoff, and his lawyer, Letitia Quinones-Hollins, also said he was acting in self defense. She told the magazine that investigators' reconstruction of the shooting based on video and ballistic evidence would not hold up in trial.
“There was someone else who started the shooting, it was not Patrick Clark," Quinones-Hollins said. "He was in the same position that Takeoff was in, he was trying to get out of there alive as well. He didn’t have anything to do with the argument that occurred. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when people started firing weapons.”
Clark's next court date is set for Jan. 23. His attorney said the case probably won't go to trial until the latter half of next year.
Credited with changing the sound of hip-hop, Takeoff rose to fame as part of Migos with the songs "Versace," "MotorSport" and "Walk It Talk It" while collaborating with other hip-hop stars, including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Offset's wife, rapper Cardi B. The Atlanta-based trio's other hits include "Bad & Boujee” and the booming trap hits “Handsome and Wealthy” and “Hannah Montana.”
In January, Quavo channeled his grief for his nephew into music, releasing the tribute song "Without You." The following month, he paid his respects to the slain rapper on the national stage by performing the song at the 2023 Grammy Awards while holding up his Migos chain.
Weeks later, he appeared to declare the end of Migos in the song and music video for “Greatness,” rhyming: "Take did that / So don’t ask about the group / He gone, we gone / Young n—, it can’t come back."
The group previously disbanded due to an issue between Offset (real name Kiari Kendrell Cephus) and Quavo (real name Quavious Keyate Marshall) that the latter said was centered on “loyalty.” Quavo and Takeoff re-branded as the rap duo Unc & Phew.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.