After weeks of public silence, rappers Quavo and Offset paid tribute to their Migos band mate Takeoff, who was killed Nov.1 in a shooting outside a Houston bowling alley.
Offset on Tuesday wrote a tribute on Instagram and said posting about Takeoff's death "still doesn't feel like reality," largely echoing his emotional remarks at his band mate's funeral at State Farm Arena in Atlanta last Friday.
"Dear Take," he began the post. "The pain you have left me with is unbearable. My heart is shattered and I have so many things to say, but I can't find the right words. I've been going to sleep and waking up hoping that all of this is a dream, but it's reality, and reality feels like a nightmare."
"Every time you would see me, you didnt give me a dap you gave me a hug. I wish I could hug you one last time. Laugh one last time. Smoke one one last time. Perform one last time," he continued. "I know someone with a soul like yours is in heaven now. I hope you can see how much we love and miss you. You have left a hole in my heart that will never be filled. Give me strength, give your brothers strength, give your family strength."
Concluding the post, Offset wrote: "Even though I know you will always be with us, throw me a lil sign or a beautiful dream. I love you forever, 4L and after."
The Grammy-nominated Atlanta-based hip-hop trio Migos consisted of Takeoff — real name Kirshnik Khari Ball — his uncle Quavo, 31, and his cousin Offset, 30. The chart-topping hip-hop trio is known for hits such as "Walk It Talk It," "Stir Fry" and "Bad and Boujee." Takeoff, whose star was on the rise before the shooting, had been characterized as the "peaceful" and "chill" member of the act.
According to TMZ, Takeoff and Quavo were playing dice at a private party at a bowling alley on Nov. 1 when an altercation broke out and someone opened fire. Police said that two other people were also injured and taken to hospitals in private vehicles.
The Harris County medical examiner ruled the death of Takeoff a homicide days after the shooting. The "T-Shirt" rapper, died of “penetrating gunshot wounds of head and torso into arm,” according to a preliminary autopsy report reviewed by The Times. (The report is not yet completed.)
Quavo, who also performed with Takeoff as the duo Unc & Phew, posted his lengthy tribute to his nephew on Saturday, reflecting on their time together as children and as adults, highlighting Takeoff's demeanor, humor, triplet flow and even his lack of punctuality that was dubbed "Takeoff Time."
"You never competed with me, we were always on the same team," he wrote.
Quavo said that as kids they dreamed of being professional WWE wrestlers before they thought about pursuing hip-hop and noted that Takeoff was "super quiet though."
"Quietest in the room, always been like that!!!" he wrote. "Nothing ever really bothered Take and he didn't bother anybody. He was the most unbothered person in the world. He never got mad, he never raised his voice, and when he did he silenced the room because what Take said was law and he wasn't changing his mind fa na, not even Unc could.
"This whole time I've been trying to figure out what you really are to me because nephew wasn't it. We hated that word 'nephew' or when they said 'Unc and Phew' cuz we always knew we were way closer than that and it made me feel old too," Quavo continued. "But I knew you weren't my brother cuz you are my sister's son, so I couldn't say brother. Now I finally get it... you are OUR angel watching me and watching us this whole time in living form making sure EVERYONE FELT UR LOVE AND HUGS while u were here and u made our dreams come true.
"You will continue to send your blessings down from HEAVEN and I will continue to keep your name alive as long as I live," he vowed.
Quavo and Offset were among many musicians who mourned the loss of Takeoff on social media and at his Atlanta funeral.
The arena was transformed into a church for the three-hour sendoff and featured performances from Justin Bieber, Chlöe Bailey and Yolanda Adams, a poem by Drake, and speeches from Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and the founders of Migos’ label, Quality Control Music, CNN reported.
Rapper and record executive Gucci Mane on Tuesday released a musical tribute titled "Letter to Takeoff" as a sendoff to the Migos rapper and a number of fallen hip-hop stars, including XXXTentacion and PnB Rock.
Other recording artists who paid tribute to Takeoff include Kid Cudi, Ja Rule, Desiigner, Chika, Rae Sremmurd, Rick Ross, Keri Hilson, Rauw Alejandro and Halle Bailey.
“Time to give me my flowers, you know what I mean?” Takeoff said in a recent podcast episode of "Drink Champs," which went viral in the wake of his death. “I don’t want ’em later on when I ain’t here. ... I want ’em right now, bro.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.