Atlanta Arena: Takeoff Memorial draws family, friends and fans

On Nov. 11, 10 days after his murder, Kirsnick Khari Ball – better known as Takeoff, a co-founder of the rap trio Migos – was memorialized in a “Celebration of Life”At the State Farm Arena, Atlanta. The event was attended equally by family, friends, and colleagues in the music industry. With Migos members Quavious and Drake as guests, Justin Bieber was joined by fellow artists Drake. “Quavo”Marshall and Kiari “Offset”Cephus gave emotional speeches to 21,000 people. 

Outside the arena was a large sign that featured a photo of the rapper wearing his signature sunglasses. “Celebrating the life of Takeoff”In his honor, all lights were lit up Senior Pastor Jesse Curney III officiated the service. Yolanda Adams and Bieber were also present. The memorial was also performed by Byron Cage, New Mercies Choir, and Chloe Bailey. Ticketmaster allowed two tickets per fan to be purchased.

Mourners at Takeoff’s “Celebration of Life”They were required to keep their phones safe in Yondr bags. There was also a no-photo/video policy and media members were not allowed to attend. Takeoff’s family asked that in lieu of bringing flowers or gifts to the celebration, donations should be made to the Rocket Foundation established to support programs preventing gun violence.

Lawrenceville, GA-born Takeoff was shot and killed at age 28 on Nov. 1 in Houston at 810 Billiards & Bowling. The shooting followed an argument that involved Migos’ Quavo, Takeoff’s uncle (Migos’ third member, Offset, is a cousin to Takeoff, and attended the Atlanta memorial with his wife, Cardi B). Though Atlanta police have identified several people of interest, so far no arrests have been made in Takeoff’s murder.

Thursday, New York Post printed surreptitious photos showing Cardi B, Offset and Quavo being spotted for the first time after Takeoff’s passing, entering an SUV headed to a family. Prior to this, Migos had been in a transitional phase with Offset taking on solo projects. This left Takeoff and Quavo free to release their collaboration album. “Only Built for Infinity Links”This October Before the “Celebration,” Quavo had not made any official statement regarding his nephew’s passing, but Offset posted a tribute to Offset on InstagramYou can change his profile photo to one taken by Takeoff.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this morning that many of the service’s fan attendees came to the State Farm Arena before its doors opened at 11 a.m. on the rainy Friday, and offered words of shock, sadness and familiarity about the late rapper. Others were Snapped showing off bags of Migos’ Rap Snacks Wavy “Bar-B-Quin’ with My Honey” Chips.

Celebrants like NuFace, a culture reporter, snapped photos of cover of the magazine early in the afternoon. “Celebration”You can find the program at Vibe magazine DJ AkademiksRapper Da Brat On their respective Instagrams, they posted respectful videos taken outside State Farm Arena. Along with Mayor Andre Dickens presenting Takeoff with the Phoenix Award, the highest honor in the city of Atlanta, other notable guests in attendance were Cardi B (Offset’s wife), and fellow artists including Gucci Mane, Rich the Kid, members of City Girls, Cee-Lo Green, YG, Murda Beatz, Mustard, Lil Yachty, Teyana Taylor and hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons.

Offset and Quavo, the remaining Migos rappers were able to get the crowd crying as they spoke about Takeoff. Quavo also recalled their childhood of performing at talent shows and getting into trouble while listening to Hot Boyz. NuFace also stated that Offset was unable speak while he was on stage. This was in stark contrast to what NuFace said. “I love you brother, I’m sorry,”to his fallen nephew. Takeoff’s official obituary is as follows:

Kirsnik Khari Ball June 18, 1994-November 1, 2022

Kirsnick “Takeoff”Khari Ball, 28 years old, of Atlanta, died on November 1, 2022 after a tragic accident that took him to the end. Kirsnick, or Takeoff as his friends, family, and fans all called him, was a gentle soul with a calm demeanor and a wisdom far beyond his years. Endearing and impressive both on stage and in private life, Takeoff  commanded respect wherever his path took him from musicians, family,  industry and peers alike. 

Takeoff loved his family the most and was known to show genuine love to everyone he met. Titania’s beloved son “Treet”  Davenport and Kenneth Ball, Takeoff (or Kirsnick) was the most loving grandson of Edna Marshall and most devoted nephew and artistic collaborator of Quavious “Quavo” Marshall. He is survived by his siblings, Heaven Davenport and Ezekiel Davenport, aunt Kashara Reed, and many cousins.   

He was an amazing talent who led an extraordinary life; from being a kid growing up in Gwinnett County making music in his Grandma’s basement to performing worldwide on arena tours with hundreds of thousands of screaming fans paying witness to his lyrical prowess in any given year.  He was a popular critic darling, often praising him for being a great rapper and lyricist of our times. The world was able to see his deep relationship with his Uncle Quavious Marsh. “Quavo ”They were taken from their childhood families to musical partners in the supergroup Migos with childhood friend Kiari “Offset” Cephus.  Migos made music a whole new way. They changed the sound of rap almost a decade ago after their first viral hit.  

Takeoff’s contribution to the culture through Migos and beyond with his own solo album and recent critically heralded album with Quavo is a part of music history with chart topping hits, rave reviews, television moments, Billboard chart #1s, and billions of streams of music. Takeoff and crew went from internet viral up & comers in the basement to chart topping artists donning the cover of Rolling Stone and Grammy nominations. 

Takeoff was born in Atlanta in Georgia. A sweet school day anecdote was winning the fourth grade spelling contest! He was determined to become a rapper. It was his ultimate goal, and he accomplished it in an incredible way. He loved music, rapping and all things space. He also enjoyed watching TV and films.  It was very simple on a human level: Takeoff smiling meant that you thought everything would be okay. Deep thinker, Takeoff was often reflected in his lyrics and in conversations. Takeoff’s biggest passion in life was music, and all he ever wanted to do was leave a mark and have a legacy that lasted for decades as he once told Complex magazine during an interview for a cover story.

His Mom Treet used the Hip Hop she loved to play to him and he would go to the speakers to start to move to the beat. He was a keen rapper from a young age, his favorite artists being Lil Wayne and Cash Money.  His curiosity and love of rappers was immense and he’d keep up on every artist coming out from the underground to big stars, always grinding through Youtube looking at everyone’s videos. Takeoff was a fan of any artist with a video.  He was an avid fan of Hip Hop music and continued to study it until his death, even though he was considered a master. 

Notable moments in his short but massively seminal career:  over 17 billion streams, two albums debuted at #1 on Billboard Charts and remained in Top 10 for 21 weeks, global hit “Bad and Boujee”#1 in the world for breaking records, Drake’s global arena tour, and two performances on Saturday Night Live (aka SNL) with Drake. A hilarious Carpool Karaoke featuring James Corden was viewed more than 61 million times. He also graced the cover of Rolling Stone, as well as headlined festivals around the globe. His group, Migos, continues to have a profound impact. Takeoff, who was dying at the age of 62, began writing and recording together with Quavo for their joint album. “Only Built For Infinity Links”The campaign was met with critical acclaim, and it was kicked off on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. The campaign was only beginning. Plans to promote the music worldwide were already in place. 

There are few words and sentiments that can express the love many had for him, his impact on this world, and the immense amount of gratitude he has received. Takeoff wanted the world to see the beauty in his creations and encourage each other to support the work of others.  He’s now up with there with the stars he loved so much and remains in all our ethers on a daily basis living on through his music and the love he brought to so many.

You can also make a donation to The Rocket Foundation in lieu of flowers.

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