Quavo mourns his late nephew Takeoff on the new solo track “Without You.” The heartbreaking gospel-tinged song that dropped on Wednesday night (Jan. 4) is both a somber homage and a tear-stained list of cherished memories of the Migos member who was gunned down in Houston on Nov. 1.
The accompanying video features a contemplative Quavo sitting in a leather chair in the studio, eyes closed, as he burns a blunt and runs down their good times, while wishing a time machine could bring Takeoff back for just a few more rounds.
“Tears rollin’ down my eyes/ 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 raps over the song’s skeletal beat before he runs off a list of highlights they shared together.
“Remember the days we smoked big blunts together?/ Remember the days we rocked out Coachella?/ Remember the days we ain’t have our s–t together?/ On the Nawfside, times were hard, but them days was better,” he raps on the first new track he’s dropped since Takeoff’s killing. “I wish I had a time machine/ Just so you can take a ride with me/ I miss just how you smile at me/ Unc and Phew until infinity.”
The song, with an intro from singer Vory, was co-produced by Zaytoven and Mike Dean and it finds Quavo dreaming about a time when uncle and nephew (born Kirsnik Khari Ball) will be reunited in the afterlife. “Out in the galaxy, up in the stars/ Over the universe, it’s bigger than Mars/ See you in heaven, see you in heaven/ When I see you in heaven, i’mma be with my dawg,” Quavo croons. As the tune fades an inconsolable Quavo adds, “Taaaake… I’m sorry.”
Takeoff, 28, was shot and killed at a downtown Houston bowling alley in Nov. where he and Quavo were attending an afterparty, with Takeoff named an “innocent bystander” by Houston police in what has been described as a dice game gone wrong. The suspect in the shooting, Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, has been charged with murder and a second man, Cameron Joshua, 22, was arrested and charged with the unlawful carrying of a weapon.
Following Takeoff’s death, third Migos member Offset and Quavo remained relatively tight-lipped, privately mourning their massive loss. But both rappers honored Takeoff during a three-hour memorial on Nov. 11 at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.
“Without You” is just the latest tribute to Takeoff from the Migos camp since then, following on the heels of Offset writing on Dec. 21 that he was finding it hard to find any happiness in the wake of his cousin’s death. “S— not easy fake smiling and s— tryna keep walking with my head up,” Offset captioned an onstage photo of Takeoff flashing the peace sign in the post last month.