Despite the rain in Atlanta on Friday morning (November 11), fans began gathering outside State Farm Arena as early as 9 a.m. — three hours ahead of the ceremony’s scheduled start — where a giant photo of TakeOff took up the venue’s LED display.
According to Variety, the full capacity crowd inside included former collaborators and friends including Gucci Mane, Rich The Kid, City Girls, CeeLo Green, YG, Murda Beatz, Mustard, Lil Yachty, Teyana Taylor, Russell Simmons. Cardi B, TakeOff’s cousin by marriage was also photographed ahead of the memorial service.
Members of the Quality Control Music staff were also on hand to pay their respects, including the label’s CEO Pierre “P” Thomas, who shared a photo ahead of the ceremony along with the caption, “When You Lose Someone You Love, You Gain An Angel To Look Over You As Life Goes On. #LLTakeOff.” The Instagram post also included a video of the funeral program.
As previously reported, the celebration of life was officiated by Senior Pastor Jesse Curney III, whose New Mercies Christian Church counted TakeOff and his family among its congregants. Drake was photographed addressing the crowd, while shots were captured of Justin Bieber’s performance.
Following Bieber’s performance, and Drake’s speech — during which he paraphrased Maya Angelou —the surviving members of the Migos, TakeOff’s uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, both broke their silence, delivering their first remarks since the rapper’s untimely death on November 1.
While attendees were asked to place their phones in lockers before entering State Farm Arena, footage has been leaked of Offset’s emotional speech, during which he credited his cousin with creating the flow that “changed the culture of music forever.”
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, TakeOff’s mother Titania Davenport and his siblings Ezekiel Davenport and Heaven Davenport were joined on stage by other family members as they share their memories of the “Hotel Lobby” rapper’s personal life.
Chloe Bailey, gospel singers Yolanda Adams and Byron Cage and the New Mercies Choir also contributed to the memorial service. Pastor Curney delivered the eulogy.
Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens also spoke during the nearly three hour long ceremony, where he presented TakeOff with the city’s highest honor, The Phoenix Award, which is presented to those who have made significant contributions to Atlanta. Previous recipients of the prestigious honor include Diddy and Ludacris.
Following the ceremony, a funeral procession was filmed leaving State Farm Arena and driving west through Downtown Atlanta’s tourism district. The location of TakeOff’s final resting place has not been released.
TakeOff’s obituary describes him as “an amazing talent who led and extraordinary life” and “a most gentle soul, with a peace about him alongside a wise demeanor far beyond his years. Endearing and impressive both on stage and in private life, TakeOff commanded respect wherever his path took him from musicians, family, industry and peers alike.”
It continues: “His deep bond with his Uncle Quavious Marshall known to the world as simply ‘Quavo’ carried them from childhood family members to profound musical partners in the super group Migos alongside childhood friend Kiari ‘Offset’ Cephus. Migos changed music as we know it and shifted the style of rap for almost a decade after their first viral hit.”
TakeOff, born Kirsnick Khari Ball, was shot and killed on November 1 at a Houston, Texas bowling alley. He was 28-years-old when he died.
wow the funeral for takeoff was so beautifully set up 🙁 i hope he rests easy now. pic.twitter.com/yi8YGwQDXm
— suhani⁷ 🌊 (@S0P3WRLD) November 12, 2022
Chloe sung heaven at takeoff funeral 🥺 almost had me crying (they didn’t allow any phones inside) pic.twitter.com/dpksP0tbW1
— VON 🎰🦄 (@vonmargiela) November 11, 2022