Heaven bound. This is how Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens described the soul of rapper Takeoff when he was memorialized this Friday as the rains cascaded from the sky and over the city. “A good omen,” Dickens said of the damp conditions, and a reassuring divination to the countless number of friends, family and fans who continue to mourn him. Those that knew the 28-year-old best were more than aware of Takeoff’s strong faith in God, and it was this faith that would bolster his loved ones during the funeral service.
“I don’t wanna question you, God, but I don’t get you sometimes,” Migos member and Takeoff’s cousin Offset said between tears as he took the stage. In the moments where he could barely manage to speak, the crowd shouted words of encouragement and support. He then led a prayer, and in perhaps the most vulnerable moment in which we’ve ever seen him, Offset declared, “I need to be held.”
Just last month, Takeoff and fellow Migo Quavo released their first duo album as “Unc and Phew,” Only Built for Infinity Links. A flag designed as a replica of the album cover adorned Takeoff’s casket. According to Rolling Stone, Takeoff recently responded to rumors of an apparent rift between the uncle and nephew during a podcast interview. “We don’t know all the answers. God knows,” he said. “We pray a lot, so only time will tell. Ain’t nothing got to change.”
The program was kept simple with no mention of who would take the stage to share their grief and condolences.There were no phones allowed in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena on Friday, as there was an explicit call for mourners to to remain present, and to respect the privacy of others. This is courtesy Takeoff’s family was not extended in the days following his death, as videos circulated online capturing the moments directly following the shooting.
Justin Bieber, a good friend and Migos collaborator, was among those who spoke a few words and paid tribute with a song. With a shaky voice, Bieber offered a rendition of “Ghost” from his Justice album. He was followed by Drake who recounted his days on tour with Migos in 2018, and also recalled watching the Rat Pack as a kid on TV. Drake shared that these memories of seeing Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, and Frank Sinatra made him miss performing with his “brothers.” “After all these years watching Dean Martin, I realized I want to grow old with my friends,” he shared. “We should do that more.”
Quality Control co-founder, Pierre “Pee” Thomas also spoke during the service. “I been asking God for the past 11 days. What’s the lesson in this?” he questioned aloud.
Takeoff’s mother, introduced as “Mama Take” took the stage alongside his younger brother and sister
and Quavo, who closed out the service. It was then that he gave Takeoff credit for constructing the group’s signature flow that would change the industry forever. “He never worried about titles or credits or who got the most shine,” said Quavo. And in a moment of clarity, Quavo said to Takeoff, “You’re not my nephew…Not my brother, but my angel.”