Rapper Quavo has channeled his grief for late nephew and collaborator Takeoff into new music, two months after the latter died in a fatal Houston shooting in November at age 28.
"Can't tell you how many times I cried / Days ain't the same without you / I [don't] know if I'm the same without you," Quavo sings in his latest song, "Without You," which dropped Wednesday.
Over a slow beat, Quavo reminisces about the time he spent with Takeoff, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball. The music video shows black-and-white footage of Takeoff smoking and bobbing his head to music. Quavo recalls the "hard times" with his nephew, as well as Migos playing Coachella in 2018. While cherishing those memories, Quavo also says he wants to turn back time.
"I wish I had a time machine, just so you could take a ride with me," Quavo sings.
Takeoff, who formed Migos with uncles Quavo and Offset, died Nov. 1 in a shooting that broke out after an altercation at 810 Billiards & Bowling in Houston. Police said that the hip-hop star was dead on arrival and that two other people were also injured and taken to hospitals in private vehicles.
In December, Houston police arrested Patrick Xavier Clark, 33 and charged him in the slaying. Another man, Cameron Joshua, 33, was arrested Nov. 22 on weapons charges in connection with the shooting death.
Clark was released from Harris County jail on Tuesday on a $1-million bond, according to legal documents obtained by The Times. He is scheduled to appear in court again March 9.
In his song, Quavo notes that celebrations around birthdays and Christmas just aren't the same without his nephew, saying his death has greatly affected loved ones.
"It's hard to see Mama Love without you," he sings.
The song concludes with Quavo echoing his wishes to bring Takeoff on a time machine. But unlike the first mention, Quavo adds, "I know it don't work that way."
"I'll see you again some day," he says. "Take (I'm sorry)."
Weeks after his death, Takeoff was laid to rest in Atlanta. Fans, family and collaborators gathered Nov. 11 for a celebration of life that featured performances by Justin Bieber and Chloë Bailey.
During the ceremony, Offset praised Takeoff for changing "the culture of music."
“Lord, give us the strength ... give us some strength, the family, everybody, give us some strength,” Offset said. “I don’t want to question you, but I don’t get it. I don’t get you sometimes. And I believe in you, Father.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.