As a fan of hip-hop first and foremost, waking up to the news of Takeoff’s passing this week was upsetting. Waking up to news like this for the hip-hop culture shouldn’t be normal. Waking up to news like this for black people shouldn’t be normal either. There aren’t a ton of OGs in hip-hop because many tragically pass before they even reach an age that we can consider them “old”. I’m not here to give you a revolutionary statement but hip-hop as a culture definitely needs to find a way to address this. Too many artists are dying very young and you never quite appreciate the impact of what they’ve done until they’re gone. Takeoff is no exception.
People like to poke fun at him being left off Bad & Boujee but if you really think about things, without Takeoff none of this happens. Without Takeoff staying solid and promoting Migos music while Quavo and Offset were away, these guys don’t get their big break. Without Takeoff, Migos doesn’t literally shift the culture. Whether you’re a fan of “mumble rap” or not, facts are facts. A whole wave of young artists took that Migos sound and ran with it. Takeoff’s rap cadence is something that will always be looked at as original and innovative in hip-hop and should be celebrated as such.
In honour of Takeoff, here’s a small list of songs that had some of my favourite Takeoff verses and highlight his imprint on hip-hop. May he rest in power.