Rapper Takeoff, one-third of the rap trio Migos, was shot to death in Houston on Nov. 1. By police accounts, Takeoff, whose real name is Kirsnick Khari Ball, was an innocent bystander when he was shot outside of a bowling alley after having attended a private birthday party.
Twenty-eight-year-old Takeoff, who formed the mega successful Migos with family members Offset and Quavo in 2008, was also celebrating the success of his latest project done with Quavo. Performing under the moniker Unc & Phew, Takeoff and Quavo recently released their first album, “Only Built for Infinity Links,” in September. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard rap charts.
Just hours before he was killed, Takeoff tweeted the video of the single “Messy” off the project.
Advice From 50
And now veteran rap artist 50 Cent has doled out some advice to Quavo on how to position the “Only Built for Infinity Links” album to ensure Takeoff’s legacy.
“This is really how it goes @quavohuncho you have to position this Album correctly for Take Offs Legacy, go make a couple changes and address everything all artist make the best music out of painful moments. R.I.P to pop smoke R.I.P to TakeOff #bransoncognac #lecheminduroi,” 50 posted on Instagram along with a video clip from the latest episode of Rich Kleiman’s “Out of Office” podcast in which music executive Steven Victor spoke about 50’s involvement in Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.” It was released in early July 2020. New York-based Pop Smoke was killed on Feb. 19, 2020, during a home robbery while visiting Los Angeles.
According to Victor, VP of A&R at Universal Music, Pop Smoke’s album might not have come out if it was not for 50.
“So when [Pop Smoke] passed, 50 kept trying to get in touch with me. So I finally went to go see him,” recalled Victor, who is also the founder and CEO of Victor Victor Worldwide.
Victor continued, “I couldn’t listen to [Pop Smoke’s] music, and 50 was like, ‘Yo. You’re being selfish. You can’t let your emotions or you being in this depressed state stop you from executing the plans you guys had. Three weeks ago, you guys were in my office talkin’ about taking over the world. He passed away, but who’s going to keep his legacy goin’? Who’s gonna make sure his music comes out so he can take care of his family?’ He’s like, ‘That’s on you. I get you’re sad and all that s–t, but this ain’t the time for that.’ ”
Morbidly or not, oftentimes, an artist’s popularity rises after their death. Takeoff’s Instagram gained nearly a million followers after news of his death.
An artist’s album sales increase an average of 54.1 percent following his or her death, found a 2014 study entitled “Death-Related Publicity as Informational Advertising: Evidence from the Music Industry.”
“A lot of it is curiosity sparked by news coverage of the artist’s death,” Mara Schwartz Kuge, founder and president of Superior Music Corp., told CNBC in 201.7 “People who may have had a passing familiarity with the artist might see the headlines and decide to give them another listen.”
Takeoff reportedly left behind an estate worth $26 million.