The hip-hop community is in shambles following the shocking and tragic death of rapper Takeoff of the rap supergroup Migos. Takeoff, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was reportedly shot during an altercation at a Houston bowling alley in the early morning of November 1. His death has sent shockwaves around the Internet with fans and the music industry flooding social media with profound sorrow.
Migos made an indelible mark across the entertainment landscape. From their unique southern cadence that guided a new sound of music to their influence on hip-hop fashion, the Migos shaped hip-hop for nearly a decade.
Ushering in a new generation of braggadocious rappers through a lifestyle they personified with their flamboyant and expensive, Migos redefined hip-hop culture, giving birth to “drip.” Like influential musical acts before them, they bridged hip-hop to high fashion — making brands like Versace hot in the Black community.
Migos have walked the MET Gala carpet, and Offset graced fashion runways in Paris. As a group, they have influenced fans to be unapologetic with their style. Here’s a look at their influence on fashion.
Jumping on the zany Zaytoven-produced track in 2013, Migos kicked in the door on mainstream hip-hop with their hit song Versace and signature sound. Drake co-signed the group with a verse on the remix that sent the song to the Billboard charts. Not only was it a bop that introduced the Migo’s iconic adlibs and melodic rap flow to a wider audience, but the infectious tune also popularized the Versace fashion brand in hip-hop and the Black community. The group thanked Donatella Versace for using the song during a runway show in 2013, but Migos and Versace never collaborated on any partnership.
While discussing Migos’ fashion influence, Quavo and Takeoff discussed making Versace trendy. “We real trendsetters. They started wearing Versace, they started doing the flow – now everybody dabbing,” Quavo said in a 2016 interview with VladTV.
According to Quavo the legacy brand did reach out, but “wasn’t talking bout what we want to hear.” In 2018, the Migos wore Versace to the MET Gala in 2017 and 2018. Quavo and Takeoff posed for a picture (above) with Donatella Versace and 2 Chainz in their looks.
Bad & Bougie
Migos defined a group of women with one infectious phrase — bad and boujee. It was this generation’s “ghetto fabulous.” And Black women embraced it as the term of endearment. Bad & Boujee placed a spotlight on women at the top of their game and became a female empowerment record with immense style. It also gave Migos their first number-one debut. The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. The visuals were a massive success, also breaking sought-after vixen/rapper Rubi Rose.
According to the director Daps, the Bad and Boujee video was a juxtaposition between dressing and living a certain lifestyle. “The contrast between these ladies dressed in high fashion but having them in regular environments grasped me. Then it was about adding in little elements after that — the doves, the noodles, Ace of Spades, silk shirts on a dirt bike,” he told Kiss FM Kenya.
The single cover art featured an image of former Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star Tommie Lee sexily dressed and draped in diamonds while eating Ramen Noodles. Takeoff was famously left off Bad and Boujee, which Quavo clarified was due to poor timing.
Rapper and actor Donald Glover contributed to the success of Bad and Boujee when he name-dropped the song during his acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, also dubbing Migos “the Black Beatles.”
“I really wanna thank the Migos, not for being in the show, but for making ‘Bad and Boujee,’” Glover said. “Like that’s the best song ever.”
The Icy Lifestyle
Big chains. Bigs rings. Big watches. The Migos embodied wealth through expensive jewels and their lavish lyrics. In 2017, the trio walked the Met Gala red carpet in all-black Versace looks that provided the cleanest palette to showcase their jewelry. The look made it to one of Vogue.com’s standout moments. “the result was one of the most high-voltage moments of the evening,” writer Alex Frank wrote.
Migos understood their jewels to be symbols of success. In their Youtube docuseries Ice Cold, the group explores hip-hop’s obsession with expensive jewelry as a marker of success. “It talks about the American Dream,” Quavo explained to HypeBeast when discussing the project. “Especially coming from inner cities, projects, nothing. When you’re looking up to the wrong influences. Kind of, like, showing where we came from and showing that it’s hard, but you put jewels on to talk about the trophies and it makes you feel like somebody,” said Quavo.
It was also rare to see Migos without their signature sunglasses. On or off the red carpet, Migos also popularized the accessory as a daily item.
A super fashion duo was born when Offset and Cardi B became an item. Offset, who always displayed his personal style sense, hit new heights when he made his NYFW debut in Jeremy Scott’s Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show.
“It was great to do show people that I can do something outside of rap,” Offset told Vogue at the time. “I’d love the opportunity to do it again.” He went on to walk in the late Virgil Abloh’s Off-White show later that year. This year, Offset walked in Demna Gvasalia’s spring 2022 Balenciaga show in Paris.
Rapper Quavo used his “Icy” lifestyle to slide in the DM’s of his former mate Saweetie. Quavo famously sent her a snowflake emoji. The private message captured her attention because she responded with a bowl of noodles. All of which led to the famous line, “u so icy Ima glacier boy.”
Takeoff’s death is devastating. He is remembered on social media by everyone who knew him, as the most talented rapper of the former trio. Takeoff and Quavo formed Unc and Phew without Offset, who embarked on a solo career after the group separated earlier this year. It is speculated their breakup was over money or over a woman (as alluded to by group Travis Porter).
Takeoff demanded he be given his flowers before it is too late, in a viral clip from his October Drink Champs interview promoting the project Only Built for Infinity Links with Quavo under their new moniker.
“It’s time to give me my flowers, you know what I mean?, Takeoff said. “I don’t want them later on when I ain’t here.”