Rapper Pop Smoke killed by masked gunmen


LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot Wednesday morning at a home in the Hollywood Hills, law enforcement officials confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. He was 20.

Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was at a residence in California around 4:30 a.m. when two masked men broke into his house, law enforcement sources told TMZ.

The men allegedly fired multiple shots. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood where he was pronounced dead.

“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke,” said a rep for Republic Records, to which the rapper is signed via the imprint Victor Victor. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”

Pop Smoke apparently revealed the address to the house in a recent social media post, although it appears to have been taken down.

The rapper, best known for singles “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior,” released his first mixtape “Welcome to the Woo” last July, and has collaborated with artists including Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott.

His second mixtape ,”Meet the Woo 2,” was released this month. It debuted at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. Pop Smoke was scheduled to begin a month-long North American tour on March 2, and then perform in England in April.

In January, Pop Smoke was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport — hours before he was scheduled to perform at a concert — on a charge of transporting a stolen vehicle over state lines.

The vehicle was a black 2019 Rolls-Royce worth an estimated $375,000 that he had borrowed for a music video in California, according to an indictment and a law enforcement official; investigators told the New York Times the car was found parked outside Pop Smoke’s mother’s home in Brooklyn, with a different license plate.

The rapper, who had just arrived in New York from Paris Fashion Week, pleaded not guilty and was released on $250,000 bail the same day.

Last week he denied the charge in an interview with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez, calling the incident “foolishness.”

In October, he was one of five New York rappers that the NYPD blocked from performing at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival in Queens. Officers claimed that the rappers had been “affiliated with recent acts of violence citywide,” but did not specify any criminal behavior.

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