Pop Smoke, Quick-Rising Brooklyn Rapper, Dies at 20 and the Music Group Mourns


Pop Smoke, a fast-rising Brooklyn rapper who hit the highest 10 on the Billboard 200 for this primary time simply this week, was killed early Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, his document label confirmed.

“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together,” Republic Data wrote in an announcement.

Though the Los Angeles Police Division didn’t particularly verify his dying, a spokesperson mentioned officers have been known as to a house within the Hollywood Hills after receiving a name reporting a house invasion. After they arrived six minutes later, they found a person between the age of 20 and 30 had been shot. The person was then taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Middle, the place he was later pronounced lifeless. No suspects have been arrested on the scene.

The 20-year-old rapper, born Basher Barakah Jackson, was born in Brooklyn and raised in Canarsie. He got here to prominence final summer season due to the track “Welcome to the Party,” which rapidly grew to become a raucous anthem in Brooklyn and past. The track, with its frenetic tempo and aggressive multisyllabic assault, was emblematic of the burgeoning Brooklyn drill rap motion, a subgenre within the midst of birthing a number of rising stars.

As “Welcome to the Party” gained momentum, a number of remixes have been launched by outstanding artists, together with Nicki Minaj, and Skepta. In December, TIME named the unique model one of the best songs of 2019.

However Pop Smoke wasn’t only a one-hit surprise: different songs like “Dior” and “GATTI” with Travis Scott racked up thousands and thousands of streams over the past 12 months. On every track, he wielded his immediately recognizable rapping fashion: gravelly, resonant and melodic, with syllables flying out in clipped bursts of manic vitality. And this month, Pop Smoke launched a follow-up mixtape on Republic Data, Meet the Woo 2, that featured Quavo and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie. The album, buoyed by large streaming numbers, zoomed to quantity 7 on the Billboard 200.

But the rapper’s quick rise was not with out controversy. The police appeared to observe him wherever he went: In 2019, the New York Occasions reported that Pop Smoke needed to put on an ankle bracelet as a part of a diversion program related to a weapons cost, which was ultimately dismissed. In October, the NYPD demanded that he be faraway from the lineup of the hip-hop competition Rolling Loud in Queens on account of “public safety concerns.” In January, he was arrested at Kennedy International Airport and charged with transporting a stolen automobile throughout state strains; he pleaded not responsible and was launched on bail.

Throughout a listening to within the case in Brooklyn final month, a federal prosecutor mentioned the federal government believed Pop Smoke to be a member of a avenue gang affiliated with the Crips, the Los Angeles Times reported. In his 2020 track “Armed N Dangerous,” Pop Smoke rapped, “Everybody know I’m Crip.”

Pop Smoke had been slated to begin a tour in two weeks. In a New York Times interview final September, Pop Smoke mentioned he wished to make music for younger individuals who “got to carry their guns to school because it ain’t safe, but they still got to make sure they get they diploma ’cause they mom could be happy. I do it for them.”

His dying comes within the wake of the deaths of a number of different younger rappers over the previous couple of years from drug overdoses or violence, together with Mac Miller, XXXTentacion, Juice WRLD, Nipsey Hussle and Lil Peep. “Prayers up, yet again,” the rapper and podcast host Joe Budden wrote on Twitter.

Many different musicians paid their respects on social media.


Contact us at editors@time.com.


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