By Corinne Dorsey, Staff Reporter
Bashar Barakah Jackson, professionally known as “Pop Smoke,” was shot and killed during a home invasion at his Hollywood Hills, California residence early Wednesday morning.
The Los Angeles Police Department responded to the emergency call around 4:20 am after masked gunmen broke into the house where Pop Smoke was residing. After being transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the rapper was pronounced dead upon his arrival. The crime has been labeled as an armed robbery of between two to six people, according to witnesses interviewed at the scene. There have been no arrests, but the LAPD Homicide Unit is conducting further investigations.
Pop Smoke died at age of 20, after releasing his sophomore mixtape, “Meet the Woo Vol. 2,” last week that debuted in the Top Ten of the Rolling Stone Albums chart.
The rapper is best known for the hit song, “Welcome to the Party,” that has an official remix with Nicki Minaj and was also remixed by Rico Nasty. According to his Instagram page, the rising New York rapper was preparing for his Meet the Woo Tour, which was set to begin March 2 in Washington DC.
Social media was filled with shocked fans and responses from celebrities including Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper and 50 Cent, as they expressed their sentiments for the unexpected loss of the young rapper.
“The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave,” Minaj wrote in the caption of a photo of the rapper hours after the announcement of his passing. “Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.”
Pop Smoke visited Howard University’s student radio station, WHBC, on Nov. 11, 2019 for an interview with radio show host and senior journalism major, T’Keyah Hayes. The New York rapper had the halls of Howard University’s School of Communication filled with excited fans in anticipation for the interview.
New Yorkers Unlimited, the Howard University New York state club, planned a vigil at the flagpole on Howard University’s yard on Wednesday night in honor of Pop Smoke. Howard students gathered to mourn and unite together in response to the late rapper’s death.
“He grew up a few blocks from me, and put Canarsie [Brooklyn] on the map. We had someone come from our hood making it and he’s gone like that,” said senior television and film major Jorden Mullings. “It’s scary because he’s our age too. It could have been one of us, could have been me. The streets don’t care, man.”