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How Quavo Is Keeping Takeoff’s Legacy Alive With The Help of VP Kamala Harris

Last year, rapper Quavo and his family met with the Congressional Black Caucus to speak about the impact that gun violence has had on their lives. The Grammy-winning musician was still in the process of grieving the death of his fellow Migos member Takeoff, who was killed after being hit by a stray bullet in 2022, following an appearance in Houston.

Shortly after Takeoff’s death, Quavo and his family founded the Rocket Foundation, raising money for on-the-ground community initiatives working to curb gun violence. Their meeting with the CBC proved fruitful as, only a few months later, Vice President Kamala Harris joined Quavo and the Rocket Foundation in Atlanta for their inaugural summit on Tuesday, which happened to fall on what would have been Takeoff’s 30th birthday.

“I just think it’s a blessing. I think things happen for a reason, so that’s how you know this is just a great cause and it fell on the right time and VP was able to come right on the day,” Quavo tells Rolling Stone ahead of the event. “It’s a blessing man.”

Quavo credits Harris for being consistent in her support of the Rocket Foundation’s efforts at putting an end to gun violence in the Black community. “She active in the culture. She wants to be with the things that go on in the field and I commend her for that,” he says. “This is a huge problem in our community, in our culture, gun violence. And just being a victim, of course, it’s so personal to me.” At the summit, 10 recipients of The Rocket Foundation’s newly launched “Spark Grants,” were announced, with each organization receiving $20,000. The day ended with the surprise announcement that June 18th would be proclaimed Takeoff Day in the State of Georgia and the City of Atlanta.

US Vice President Kamala Harris claps as rapper Quavo speaks during a conversation at the Rocket Foundation Summit on gun violence prevention at the Carter Center on June 18, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images

Since visiting Capitol Hill last year, Quavo and the Rocket Foundation have been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help organizations around Atlanta directly. “We stepping up and helping those guys and we’re starting here in Atlanta and making Atlanta safer,” says the rapper.

As part of this week’s summit, round table discussions between local organizers and victims of gun violence and their families took place with the aim of discussing their experiences and ways in which different community efforts could offer their support. “It happens to everyone, not just me” Quavo explains. “My platform, as big as I am, I want the person that’s next to me that probably don’t have a megaphone or a microphone or a billboard or sponsors or a foundation — I want to share her story or his story as well.”

He describes the foundation as “a hammer,”  that gives him the ability to chisel away at the issue to effect change. “Right now, we putting 25 kids in a Rocket camp, a 10-week summer Rocket camp, violent intervention program to just start off with the younger generation and get they mindset on a positive type of time,” Quavo says when explaining how a lot of the programs people his age grew up with have disappeared.

“When I grew up, I went to camp, that’s where I learned how to swim, that’s where I learned how to play football, that’s where I learned how to get along with other people,” he continues. “But now I watched my basketball goal be taken down in the community, I watched my programs be not funded and just ran out of money because the parents was running it and they had no plug or no government official, nobody who just funded them every month or funding them every year regardless of the fact that we don’t have the families that make enough money to keep these programs running. So that’s what the Rocket Foundation is about.”

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During the panel meeting with the Vice President, Quavo described wanting to be that “plug” for his community, and Harris supported his effort. “I just want to keep building my personal relationship with her so whenever we address the issue, she really feels where I’m coming from and where we all coming from as a community,” Quavo says. “She got a lot on her plate as a Vice President, so just engaging with her personally is the best.” 

That all of this fell on Takeoff’s birthday seemed fitting, to say the least. Almost two years after his death, you can tell the tragedy still weighs on Quavo’s heart. “I just hope I’m making him proud,” he says. “Something got to get done about this and what more can you do other than take it to the President or take it to the Vice President? That’s the biggest we can go in our country. So I just hope I’m making him proud.”

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