Fans gather outside State Farm Arena on Nov. 11 for Takeoff’s memorial service (Photo by Natrice Miller)

The death of Atlanta rapper Takeoff felt almost like losing a family member, fans said. On Friday, many of those still mourning the Migos member lined up early to pay their respects and condemn the gun violence that took his life.

Braving the rain, those who were able to score free tickets arrived well ahead of the noon Celebration of Life service at State Farm Arena. Meanwhile, the investigation into the deadly shooting continued in Houston, where Takeoff was gunned down outside a bowling alley. He was 28.

Qiana Gordon’s three kids grew up listening to the Migos and her teenage daughter had spoken to the Takeoff a few times. Born Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff was remembered for his kindness and humble approach to fans.

”It’s just tragic, it’s really really tragic,” Gordon said, “It looks like it’s only about the rappers, but in general we gotta stop all the violence. The loss of his life was unnecessary.”

Her 16-year-old daughter Lyana Morrison said she spoke to Takeoff a few times after running into him at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. She described him as quiet and kind.

”They just need to stop all the killing because life is really getting too short to keep losing people,” Morrison said.

Elizabeth Salter said she was at a loss for words after hearing of Takeoff’s death and is tired of the gun violence.

”I was in shock at first,” the 31-year-old said. “You know how you see things and you don’t believe it at first.”

David Dunbar, who grew up listening to Takeoff and the Migos, said he found out the news from Salter.

”Through the music, I got to know (the Migos). I don’t personally know them, but I got to know them,” Dunbar said. “They are like family.”

Free tickets to the service were only available for Georgia residents and were quickly all claimed earlier this week. No media was allowed inside for the service, where Justin Bieber is scheduled to perform, according to TMZ.

Although Daijae Warren was born and raised in Detroit, she said she felt obligated to attend the funeral of her favorite Migos member. She’s lived in Atlanta for the past two years and said he left an indelible mark on the city.

”Even though I’m from Detroit, Atlanta is like my second home, and I just know, them being from here, this was like a big loss for the city,” the 26-year-old said. “I’m glad to be here and see the community come together and pay their respects.”

Takeoff’s career emerged after he convinced his uncle Quavo to rap, which resulted in the pair performing under the moniker Polo Club. They were later joined by Quavo’s cousin Offset to form a trio, changing their group name to Migos. The Gwinnett County natives released their debut mixtape “Juug Season” in 2011. They were later signed to Atlanta-based label Quality Control Music. Since then, Migos dropped a collection of mixtapes that introduced listeners to their fresh triplet flow, piercing adlibs and melodic chants that redefined 2010s rap.

Fans wait to get inside the memorial service for Takeoff at State Farm Arena. (Photo by DeAsia Page)

The act’s infectious sound garnered mainstream appeal in 2013 with the release of “Versace,” which was boosted by a Drake-assisted remix. Migos propelled into superstardom after the release of their 2016 hit “Bad and Boujee.” The single, from their Grammy-nominated album “Culture,” is the group’s sole No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

While Quavo eased into the role of the group’s charismatic spokesman and Offset’s relationship with Cardi B dominated headlines, Takeoff was Migos’ most muted member. But he was widely considered as the best rapper in the group, as his lyrical proficiency anchored their sound. He released a solo album, “The Last Rocket,” in 2018.

Takeoff was the “mysterious one,” said Atlanta producer Drumma Boy, who worked with Migos on their 2015 single “Look at My Dab.” “He was quiet, off on his own and peaceful, but you knew he was always thinking about something. He was the thinker of the group.”

In lieu of gifts, Takeoff’s family is requesting that people make donations to The Rocket Foundation, which aims to help programs develop solutions to gun violence.

Caroline Carrasco Garcia Silva is an Atlanta Now reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.