Long live Takeoff.
Around 20,000 family, friends, and fans gathered to honor the life and legacy of the late Migos rapper during his “Celebration of Life” at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on Friday. The service started shortly after noon and lasted several hours featuring emotional tributes from Quavo, Offset, and Drake, plus performances from Justin Bieber, Chlöe Bailey, and Yolanda Adams.
Drake, who delayed his Apollo concert out of respect for Takeoff, reflected on touring with Migos on 2018’s “Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour.” He compared their brotherhood to the famed Rat Pack and said he “loved” when Takeoff would remove his sunglasses and squint his eyes, even though his eyes were wide open.
Quavo reminisced on their inseparable bond since childhood. “You were always with me and we did everything together. Since we was kids, you’ve been by my side, looking up at me with them eyes,” he said of his nephew. “You never competed with me. We were always on the same team ’cause you hated playing against me ’cause I always played too hard or too rough.”
Offset got choked up as he delivered his emotional speech, where he reportedly apologized to Takeoff and said he wanted to focus on brotherhood and family. The group had a falling out prior to Takeoff’s death.
He also credited Takeoff for Migos’ flow that would “change the culture of music forever.” “You did that, Take. You changed that flow. That flow came from Take, the originator,” he said while fighting back tears.
Justin Bieber performed an acoustic rendition of “Ghost,” while Chlöe Bailey covered Beyoncé’s “Heaven.” It was previously reported that Alicia Keys would perform, but she did not take the stage. Other attendees included Cardi B, City Girls, Lil Yachty, Teyana Taylor, YG, Gucci Mane, and Mustard.
Takeoff also received a posthumous honor from his hometown as the Mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens, awarded him with the Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, Takeoff’s family asked that donations be made to The Rocket Foundation, which supports programs that are saving lives through community-based solutions to prevent gun violence.
Takeoff, born Kirsnick Khari Ball, was killed following a shooting outside a Houston bowling alley on Nov. 1. An investigation into his death is ongoing and police have not named a suspect.