Takeoff is celebrated and mourned at Friday memorial in Atlanta
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Fans gathered Friday to remember slain rapper Takeoff, a member of the hip-hop mega-group Migos, in a rainy downtown Atlanta near where the 28-year-old grew up.

State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, was hosting a memorial service to celebrate the rapper’s life and music, and a massive sign outside the arena was lit up with his image.

Takeoff, born Kirsnick Khari Ball, was shot and killed earlier last week outside a Houston bowling alley. A woman and another man were also wounded in the shooting. No arrests have been made at this time.

As an artist who can say he changed the way music sounded, fans have shown up online and in-person to pay homage to Takeoff’s well-respected legacy.

The Last Rocket – TAKEOFF! Marker on paper, 18” x 12”, 2022.

R.I.P. Takeoff. Art really my only therapy, and this how I been coping the last two days. ??? pic.twitter.com/fnUj4HohK3

— … (@kvrizv) November 2, 2022

According to ABC News, Jenifer Loving, 22, stood in line with her infant son, Mateo, for more than an hour before doors opened to fans. She said Takeoff’s death was heartbreaking because he was so young.

Migos’ music represented the creativity and culture of the Black community, she said, and she worried the group would be too saddened to make new music — at least for a while.

Rip #takeoff ?
Art ? by me https://t.co/mCKkjTe3WF pic.twitter.com/1v6kv2NYlU

— Darealicon (@Darealicon1) November 5, 2022

“It’s just something that you can play anywhere, and everybody will just come out and come around and dance,” she said. “It’s how it brings people together. It’s how it makes the whole room just fill up with positivity.”

Eric Hood, an Atlanta firefighter, said he was shocked when he heard about Takeoff’s death because of the three members of Migos, he was considered the most laid back.

Migos’ music was an “escape” for many people, he said, and he was hopeful the event would leave his family and the rest of the group with lasting memories of him.

My tribute art to takeoff … rip .. gone to soon???….#TakeOff #TakeOff #RIPTakeoff #yrnTakeOff #migostakeoff pic.twitter.com/4ChpWKsW93

— 9teen (@xenn1400) November 2, 2022

“I pray for them,” he said. “I hope they continue to be uplifting, positive, influential members in the society and keep pushing forward.”

Free tickets to the memorial service were available to Georgia residents, but State Farm Arena said well before Friday that the event had reached capacity and fans without tickets should not come downtown.

According to the stadium’s website, “media will not be allowed entry to cover the event.” Additionally, all fans entering the event will be required to check phones at the door as there is a strict no-photos policy.  The venue did not release a program for the event.

RIP Takeoff
May God comfort family and friends? pic.twitter.com/DFHYKMZCj4

— FVC STUDIO (@art_pittok0) November 1, 2022

The Grammy Award-nominated trio Migos also included Takeoff’s uncle Quavo and cousin Offset. All three were largely raised by Takeoff’s mother in an Atlanta suburb.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the day after the shooting that Takeoff was “well respected,” and there was “no reason to believe he was involved in anything criminal at the time.”

#LLTAKEOFF RIP Takeoff my fav Migo. Did some art in memory ?? pic.twitter.com/k1FzC0rWl1

— Bomster Foo (@BomsterJabs) November 2, 2022

Migos’ record label, Quality Control, mourned Takeoff’s death in a statement posted on Instagram that attributed it to “senseless violence and a stray bullet.” Police have said nothing about the gunshot being stray.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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