Family, friends, and fans came out Friday afternoon (Nov. 11) to say a heartfelt goodbye to one-third of the Migos, Takeoff. In a ceremony fit for a king, “Celebration Of Life for Takeoff” was held in the late MCs’ hometown of Atlanta, GA at the State Farm Arena.
The venue, which is best known as the home of the Atlanta Hawks, has been a haven for Migos members Takeoff, Offset, and Quavo as they had become fixtures at Hawks games and of course, ripped plenty of stages there for concerts.
Migos music filled State Farm Arena on Friday around 1 PM. But as the lights went low, the sobering reality that the group will never be whole against in. We’ll never see the game-changing group perform their myriad of hits as a trio again. Takeoff was murdered in Houston ten days ago, shattering and staggering the hip-hop and black communities.
Takeoff’s platinum casket was stationed in front of the stage where it looked like a couple of thousand white flowers lay on top of it and across the stage.
Stars started filing in at noon, about an hour before the ceremony commenced. Cee-Lo Green, Zaytoven, Da Brat, The City Girls, Gucci Mane and his wife Keyshia Ka’Oir came through an entrance that led to floor seats.
A little later, Offset and Cardi B came in, and both came in wearing all black as mostly all the celebrity friends of Takeoff did. Understandably, Cardi was visibly distraught as she tried to comfort her husband. Offset walked in beside her. He looked mentally exhausted and heartbroken as he just shook his head. YG entered the arena a little behind the couple.
Takeoff’s mom came into State Farm holding her brother Quavo’s hand. The siblings drew on each other from strength and walked with an assortment of about 25 friends and family including the heads of Migos’ record label Quality Control (QC), Coach K, and P. When Coach and P took to the stage during the ceremony, the duo gave fond remembrances of the superstar rapper.
P talked about how during the past 10 days he had been reading old text messages between him and Takeoff going back several years.
He focused on one dated June 2021. “We blessed bruh, I wanna see everybody win,” Takeoff expressed in the text. We been through the storm and came out clean.”
P described how energy and calmness distinguished Takeoff. Coach gave a great story of meeting Migos for the first time, hearing their music, and promising to take them to the top. He said Takeoff was the type to always greet you with love and constantly speak of “keeping God first.” He described Takeoff as “the wisest of the group” and having a “pure heart.”
Tears began to flow when Offset came on the stage later on to speak. “Take, I’m sorry. I’m sorry” Set sobbed. Half the arena got glassy-eyed from his heartfelt show of emotion. Quavo stood up there with him and the two hugged. It’s as the first time we had seen the two together in public for months as Offset had been estranged from the Migos.
The group even canceled several high-profile shows such as this past Summer’s Governor’s Ball in New York during their differences. Obviously, any disputes they have had were put to the side and they have been supporting each other through such a horrific tragedy. Offset said he would give anything for the three Migos to be able to perform together again, to just be around each other again. Then he led the audience in a prayer.
When it was time for Quavo to speak, he talked about him and Takeoff not just growing up together but being inseparable their entire lives. He credited Takeoff for being the first one to want to be a professional rapper and encouraged him to follow suit. He also gave Takeoff the credit for devising Migos’ popular, often emulated triplet rap flow. After describing Takeoff as the “funniest person in the world” and “the most unbothered person” in the world, he said, “you were our angel.”
Chloe Bailey and Yolanda Adams were among the high-powered performers to grace the stage for Takeoff, however, it was Justin Bieber’s slowed and stripped-down rendition of “Ghost” that was a real tearjerker Friday afternoon.
Bieber has not performed in public for months since he was stricken with Ramsey Hunts Syndrome. In September he canceled his world tour. His lyrics hit home hard. “If I can’t be close to you./ I’ll settle for the ghost of you,” he somberly sang, sitting on a stool. “I miss you more than life./ And if you can’t be next to me Your memory is ecstasy/I miss you more than life.”
Drake came on next and said a hybrid of speech and poem. He talked about his close friendship with The Migo for a decade and fondly remembered touring with them. Drake told of Takeoff epitomized “True zen” and was “forever calm” and “forever balanced.” His emotion started to swell as he held back tears as well.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens spoke toward the end of the program. Saying that part of the reason Takeoff was so talented was that his birth year, 1994, was just an important year for music as superstars such as Nas, Biggie, and Outkast all debuted that year. The Mayor proclaimed good music was in Takeoff’s blood. He described the iconic master of ceremonies as “humble,” “thoughtful” and “grateful.” The Mayor also noted that Takeoff would be the recipient of the highest honor award by the city, The Phoenix Award. The Award is given to people deemed not just be heroic, but people who represent ATL in a divine manner and shed positive light on the city.