In a vulnerable and wide-ranging interview posted to his YouTube channel, Migos rapper Quavo revealed how burdensome and hopeful life has been since the murder of his bandmate and nephew, Takeoff, last November. Quavo’s first album since Takeoff’s death, Rocket Power, is out on August 4, and during the interview, he announced that his album will feature a few previously unreleased verses of Takeoff’s, whom he affectionately calls “Take.” But he revealed that he limited the inclusion of Takeoff’s verses because a posthumous album from the innovative MC is on the way. “I want to keep his stuff very, very, very sacred right now,” said Quavo.
Quavo’s album, Rocket Power, is named after one of Takeoff’s many nicknames and the way his memory moves him. “I’m just trying to get this fuel from above and this feeling from the sky,” he says.
He said he hopes not to dwell on the tragedy but to be proud of the lives they lived together. In the wake of his death, he has found that the music Takeoff left behind has an air of clairvoyance. “Something about Take’s verses right now is just like so ahead of his time,” said Quavo. “Every time, it’s like he just did it.”
When discussing Takeoff’s album, he predicted that it will rival the significance of posthumous releases from Pop Smoke and Tupac, saying that while Pop Smoke had a great and successful album after dying, Takeoff will be more akin to Tupac’s prolific output after death. He estimated that there may be roughly 1,000 unreleased Takeoff tracks between the roughly eight phones between them. Quavo seemed more certain that he has 150 unreleased songs in one phone alone, but others may have around 350.
Takeoff recorded a song called “Put That Shit On,” said Quavo, that he wished he would have known to put on their 2022 debut as a duo, Only Built for Infinity Links. Calling Takeoff the “silent assassin,” Quavo relented that the late rapper “saved it for a reason.”
There’s another Takeoff track called “Reveal ‘Em” that Quavo said reminds him of the masked nature of some people’s true intentions and character. He said grief has led him to isolate himself. “I can be 100 deep right now, this whole, this studio can be full easy,” he said to the unnamed interviewer. “I ain’t ready for that right now.”
Spending most of his time at home, Quavo still looks to Takeoff for company and guidance. He particularly hangs out in the basement, where he and Takeoff would scheme and dream together. Takeoff’s chair is still there, he said. He’s diligent in maintaining Takeoff belongings, like cleaning his jewelry and maintaining his cars. A stirring image of Takeoff hangs in the studio where Quavo works. “I got this plaque of Take,” Quavo explained. “Every time I record, I look over and just see his eyes looking at me.”
When asked if he looked for answers from Takeoff while making Rocket Power, Quavo divulged that numeric patterns are his signal of Takeoff communicating with him. “I shouldn’t have said that,” he said after. “That’s my only way I talk to him. I see like triple fours, triple twos, and triple threes,” he explained. “It can be on a truck.” When feeling insecure about his album, he looked up the numerology of a particular number he saw at the time (Quavo couldn’t recall it in the interview but said he had it written in his phone). “It was like, ‘when you’re unsure and feeling uncertain, just go ahead and go,’” he recalled. “I was like, damn, alright, this album is great.”
Quavo’s favorite song on his upcoming album is called “11 11,” he said. Takeoff was killed in the eleventh month, November 1 of last year. When Quavo finished recording the song and was ready for playback, the clock had struck 11:11. “I just felt like it was a sign from him.”
“This is my first time ever in life being by myself,” he added, saying he used to think even mundane tasks would be impossible alone. “That’s a tough thing to battle.” His grief has put him in dark, emotional spaces before, where he said he didn’t “give a fuck about life.”
“When you see me and see me smiling, you don’t gotta never think like I forgot about him,” he said. “I think about him all the time. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep.”
But in the months since the tragedy, Quavo has found a sense of purpose in both his faith and Takeoff’s legacy. “We were never really on demon time from the jump,” Quavo said of the Migos’ faith. “Take used to always talk about God, talk about we was blessed. We always just been like, Pro Pro Pro Jesus. Now I feel like he uses me as an instrument so we can get the message across. I just feel like I’m here for a reason and once I get my job done, we all got to go, you know? I’m just here ‘til the job is done and so I can get back with my boy.”