Music industry violence highlighted by Takeoff murder

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Karansher Sidhu, Staff Reporter

In the wee morning hours of Tuesday November 1st, 2022, Kirshnik Khari Ball, also known by his stage name of Takeoff, was fatally shot. Takeoff was a member of the hip-hop group Migos, along with his cousin Offset and uncle Quavo. According to the Houston PD, the shooting occurred at 810 Billiards and Bowling in Houston, Texas, after a fight broke out. Although unconfirmed, rumors have circulated on multiple social media platforms that the argument broke out after Quavo, a fellow member of the Migos, lost a game of dice. The ensuing shooting killed Mr. Ball, and non-fatally injured two other bystanders. Multiple memorial services have been planned, as law enforcement begins to investigate the shooting.

Quavo, a fellow member of the Migos, was present at the shooting. Quavo and Takeoff were lifelong friends, releasing their debut single “Versace” in 2013. To commemorate Takeoff’s death, Offset and Quavo hosted a memorial service at State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia. Famous artists such as Drake and Justin Bieber attended the service. The memorial, according to numerous twitter posts, celebrated the amazing work of Takeoff, and how sorely he will be missed. 

Unfortunately, this tragedy is a common trope in America, particularly American musicians. With violence in America on the rise, many point to the shooting as a wider indication of senseless violence in our culture. Some suggest that trends like these  originate from the pandemic, as violent crime has risen by 31% according to FBI statistics. In the case of Takeoff’s shooting, Texas is the 11th most dangerous state according to FBI data.

This violent trend in America isn’t just present in the context of the pandemic, but also the tragic deaths of musicians. A study by the University of Sydney in collaboration with Dianna Theadora Kenny states that over 50% of hip-op musicians’ deaths are murders. Whether it be Tupac or John Lenon, American musicians have suffered from violence in particular. The rate at which artists tragically succumb to such conditions is perhaps an indication of  a wider cultural problem. 

As we come to grips with the Takeoff’s death, we as Americans reflect on the amount of senseless violence that grips our country. Whatever the cause of such violence, many look forward to a future with less of it, and more music.