DJ Khaled paid tribute to the late Takeoff during his performance at the Soundstorm Festival in Saudi Arabia.
Takeoff, real name Kirsnick Khari Ball, was shot and killed at a bowling alley in Houston, Texas in the early hours of November 1. He was 28 years old.
Pausing his show at the festival on Friday (December 2), Khaled said to his audience: “We’re gonna pay a tribute to my brother. I’m sending my love to the Migos. Can you see? Rest in peace to my brother, Takeoff. Put your hands to the sky, your lighters to the sky… Takeoff, we love you brother. You showed me so much love. You’re one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life.
“Every time I talked to you, you said that you loved me. I hit you back, and I said I loved you. And I’ll never forget my last text with Takeoff. Long live forever Takeoff. He said, ‘Khaled, I’m so happy to call you my brother.’ Well I’m here to tell you – and I already told you this, but I’m telling you right now in Saudi Arabia – I’m so happy to call you my brother, Takeoff. Hands to the sky.”
You can view Khaled’s tribute below.
According to Billboard, Khaled went on to perform several of Migos’ biggest tracks – including ‘Fight Night’ and ‘Versace’ – before telling the crowd that the titular trio (of which Takeoff was a member alongside Quavo and Offset) would have made a surprise appearance during the set, had Takeoff not been killed.
“It was going to be my surprise guest,” he reportedly said at one point. “They’re still here. Make some noise for my brother, Takeoff. Takeoff is here right now. We love you. We appreciate you. I’m doing this for hip-hop. I represent hip-hop across the world.”
Khaled had worked with Takeoff five times before, three times with Migos – on the title track of the latter’s 2017 album ‘Culture’, then ‘Major Bag Alert’ and ‘Iced Out My Arms’ from Khaled’s 2017 album ‘Grateful’, and finally ‘We Going Crazy’ from last year’s ‘Khaled Khaled’ album – and once under his own name, on ‘Party’ from this year’s ‘God Did’ album.
The same day Khaled performed at Soundstorm, a 33-year-old man named Patrick Clark was arrested for his alleged involvement in Takeoff’s murder. Houston Police said in a press conference that Clark faces a murder charge for the death of the late rapper.
Among the many others who have paid tribute to Takeoff include his Migos bandmates Offset and Quavo, as well as his brother, YRN Lingo, Gucci Mane, Drake and 50 Cent.