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Takeoff fans gather for Atlanta celebration of slain rapper

Fans gathered to remember slain rapper Takeoff, a member of hip-hop trio Migos, in Atlanta, near where the 28-year-old grew up.

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

Takeoff, born Kirsnick Khari Ball, was fatally shot earlier this month outside a Houston bowling alley. A woman and another man were also injured in the shooting. No arrests were made.

Police outside 1201 San Jacinto after the shooting (Annie Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Jenifer Loving, 22, stood in line with her toddler son, Mateo, for over an hour before the doors opened for 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 was too saddened to make new music — at least for a while.

“It’s just something you can play anywhere, and everyone will come and dance,” she said.

“That’s how it brings people together. That’s how the whole room fills with positivity.

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

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

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

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

The venue has not released a schedule for the event.

The Grammy-nominated Migos trio also included Takeoff’s uncle Quavo and cousin Offset.

Houston Shooting-Migos
Takeoff, Quavo and Offset (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

All three were largely raised by Takeoff’s mother in an Atlanta suburb.

Migos broke out nearly a decade ago with the 2013 hit Versace, which soared to even greater heights in popularity thanks to a Drake remix.

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

Migos label Quality Control mourned Takeoff’s death in a statement posted to Instagram attributing it to “senseless violence and a stray bullet.”

Police said nothing about the stray shot.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, her family asked people to donate to the Rocket Foundation, which was created in Takeoff’s honor and aims to prevent gun violence, according to its website.