In Memoriam: Takeoff

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While the Migos have enjoyed ups and downs in both popularity and quality over the years, the death of Takeoff is a gut punch given their cultural impact and classic hits. From their now-ubiquitous triplet flows to their ability to turn trap talk to common language, Migos became a surprising household name. Takeoff was a fan favorite and without him, mainstream hip-hop over the last half decade simply would not be the same. Here we will discuss some of his best work.

“Cross the Country”, Rich N—a Timeline

The Migos earlier mixtapes were full of some legitimately hard, diverse raps. YRN might’ve had smashes “Hannah Montana” and “Versace”, but on tapes like Rich N—-a Timeline, the three were really going in. “Cross the Country” remains the quintessential Takeoff track for how he comes right in and owns it like few do in trap. That choppy flow and command of the beat are what set Takeoff apart from the other two.

“T-Shirt”, Culture

When Culture dropped in 2017, the music world stopped; it was the moment trap became the new pop and white middle schoolers everywhere were dabbing. Even the album cover is a classic. Packed with hits, “T-Shirt” remains a standout with its iconic hook and music video. Takeoff’s work on the bridge definitely marks it as his best performance on any of Migos’ major singles. Everybody has a memory from 2017-18 to one of these songs, making for an absolutely classic trap record.

“Last Memory”, The Last Rocket

At superstar status in the wake of Culture and Culture 2, the Migos decided to take advantage of it and get the bag on their own for a year. Takeoff’s solo album The Last Rocket was undoubtedly the best of their trilogy and an underrated major release. He shines more as an MC without having to chase hits or making room for Quavo and Offset, and shows legitimate versatility. “Last Memory” has him going in over such a brooding beat, leaving you wondering how there was ever any debate over who the best Migo was.

“Bars Into Captions”, Only Built For Infinity Links

Quavo and Takeoff’s fresh collab album Only Built for Infinity Links has been a pleasant surprise. Paying homage to classics across the tape, showing great chemistry even in Offset’s absence, and sounding their hungriest in years, the track “Bars Into Captions” is an obvious standout. Sampling Outkast’s classic “So Fresh, So Clean” and actually doing it justice, you have to admit Migos are one of Atlanta’s most important acts ever.

Bonus: “Do it look like I’m left off Bad & Boujee?”

While Takeoff might not have appeared on Migos’ greatest hit, he did spawn one of their greatest moments. While this interview has justifiably been memed to death, you have to respect the trio’s response and tight-knittedness; It’s bittersweet to see the family together at their peak.

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