Takeoff, a member of the rap trio Migos, was killed Tuesday morning at a bowling alley in downtown Houston. Takeoff, who was 28, was pronounced dead on the scene. Two other victims were shot and taken to the hospital.
The news of Takeoff’s tragic death has saddened many and has been especially unsettling for the hip-hop community. His death adds another name to the growing list of rappers lost to gun violence. According to CNN, gun violence has killed at least one rapper a year since 2018.
Gun violence shouldn’t be normalized, but it can be argued that these types of occurrences have become commonplace in America. From the Biggie and Tupac era to today, it seems like gun violence is only becoming more and more prevalent in hip-hop — an industry that is predominantly Black and brown.
“Too many young men of color are killing each other,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted. “Resolving their disputes by pulling their guns and shooting one another regardless of fame or fortune. Crazy. And in a few second a life is gone, families and friends are left grieving. STOP!”
Takeoff was born Kirshnik Khari Ball in 1994. He, along with his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, formed Migos in 2008. The group gained notoriety with their first hit, “Versace,” in 2013 and grew more popular in 2016 when their song “Bad and Boujee” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
In addition to his work with the Migos, Takeoff released a solo album in 2018, The Last Rocket, which hit number four on the U.S. charts. Takeoff and Quavo had recently announced they’d be performing under the moniker “Unc & Phew,” and had just released an album titled, Only Built for Infinity Links.
Takeoff joins a grave list of hip-hop stars killed by gunfire. Here are seven other well-known/rising rappers killed by gun violence in 2022:
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Some other rappers shot and killed in 2022 not listed below include: Young Slo-Be (Disean Victor), Earl Swavey, Rollie Bands (Ari Williams), FBG Cash (Tristian Hamilton), Archie Eversole (Arthur Lee “Archie” Eversole), Lil Devin (Devin Swain), Wavy Navy Pooh (Shandler Beaubien), and Goonew (Markelle Morrow)
PnB Rock (Rakim Hasheem Allen)
Philadelphia-based rapper PnB Rock was shot and killed on Sept. 12, 2022, in an attempted robbery at Roscoe’s Chicken ’N Waffles in South Los Angeles. He was eating with his girlfriend when a man approached him demanding jewelry and other valuables before getting into a struggle with the rapper and opening fire.
PnB Rock rose to prominence following his 2016 song, “Selfish,” which peaked at number 51 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. After releasing his first full-length album in 2017, titled Catch These Vibes, he was recognized as part of the 2017 XXL Freshman class, further growing his influence and popularity. He released his final song, “Luv Me Again,” just two days before he was fatally shot.
Half Ounce (Latauriisha O’Brien)
Inglewood-based rapper Half Ounce was fatally shot in Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2022. The lyricist was walking with a friend in Koreatown when a gunman approached them in a vehicle and began firing. Half Ounce was on the phone with his pregnant wife when he was attacked. The couple was expecting their fourth child.
Half Ounce had recently dropped a single, “GANGBANGIN,” in May and had another song, “Drop The Ball,” set to drop a couple of weeks before his murder. Half Ounce’s last studio album, Rhythm & Gunz, came out in August 2022. It was his fourth album after 2019’s There Goes Da Naybahood, 2018’s Blood Money, and 2017’s Nayba.Hood.Politics.
Kee Riches (Kian Nellum)
Compton-based rapper Kee Riches was shot and killed in Compton on Sept. 24, 2022. Sources say that cops responded to a call about a gunshot victim and found Riches and another man severely injured. Both eventually passed away from their gunshot wounds.
Kee Riches started rapping as a teenager and quickly created a name for himself in the local hip-hop circuit. He also started a successful clothing brand and record label called Get Rich. Riches was a huge advocate for his community and was often compared to LA-based rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed by gun violence in 2019.
Trouble (Mariel Semonte Orr)
Atlanta-based rapper Trouble was shot and killed in a home invasion incident near Atlanta on June 5, 2022. Trouble was visiting a woman at her residence when a man involved in a domestic dispute with the woman breached the apartment and opened fire, hitting Trouble in the chest.
Trouble had collaborated with several heavy hitters throughout his career, including Drake, The Weeknd, Young Thug, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz. The rapper was known for songs such as “Ain’t My Fault” and his 2011 hit “Bussin” from his debut mixtape.
Snootie Wild (LePreston Porter)
Memphis-based rapper Snootie Wild died of gunshot wounds to his head and neck on Feb. 26, 2022, in Houston, Texas. Snootie was found unconscious in a ditch with gunshot wounds and was rushed to the hospital. A day later the 36-year-old rapper died of his injuries.
Snootie Wild released his first big hit, “Yayo,” in 2013, which earned him a gold plaque. That same year, he signed to Yo Gotti’s CMG label. His last release on CMG, “Ain’t No Stopping Me,” came out in 2015. Before his death, Snootie was planning a comeback with his new single “Respect.”
TDott Woo (Tahjay Dobson)
Brooklyn-based rapper TDott Woo passed away after being shot in Brooklyn on Feb. 1, 2022. The rising rapper and talented dancer was shot in the head and knee during a drive-by shooting, just hours after signing his first recording contract.
The 22-year-old rapper was friends with Pop Smoke, who was shot and killed in 2020 during a home invasion. TDott was known for his dance moves and appeared in Pop Smoke’s video for his 2019 song “Welcome to the Party.” TDott had signed a deal with Million Dollar Music just hours before his death. The label described him as a “rising star” and said, “he rose to prominence for his ‘Woo Walk’ from a community whose drill music has and continues to electrify the world.”
JayDaYoungan (Javorius Tykies Scott)
Louisiana-based rapper JayDaYoungan was killed on July 27, 2022, in Louisiana. He and his father were sitting outside their home when a truck pulled up and three armed gunmen opened fire. They both tried running inside but two additional gunmen came from the side of the house and continued shooting. JayDaYoungan’s father shot back in self-defense and survived the attack, but his son was shot several times and died at the hospital.
JayDaYoungan began his rapping career at the age of 18 and was best known for his singles “Elimination,” “Opps” and “23 Island.” He released 14 projects, including the album Baby23 in June 2020. He put out his most recent EP, All Is Well, in March 2022.