New York Rapper Pop Smoke Dead At Age 20

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– Pop Smoke
Pop Smoke performs at Rolling Loud Los Angeles on December 15, 2019. The rapper died Wednesday at age 20.

New York rapper Pop Smoke, born Bashar Jackson, was was shot dead in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to reports from TMZ, The Hollywood Reporter and Rolling Stone. He was 20 years old.

According to TMZ’s report, the shooting occurred during a home invasion of the Hollywood Hills residence where Pop Smoke was staying, and he was pronounced dead at West Hollywood’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Wednesday morning.

A leader of the subgenre known as Brooklyn drill rap, Pop Smoke was slated to headline an event titled BK Drip at the borough’s Kings Theatre on Sunday, along with other prominent scene names including Fivio Foreign and Sheff G; shortly before the show, a note was posted on the venue’s doors stating that because of “unforeseen circumstances” he would not be performing. The concert came on the heels of the release of Pop Smoke’s second mixtape, Meet The Woo 2, which debuted at No. 7 on Billboard‘s albums chart earlier this month.

Pop Smoke made headlines in October 2019, when he was among the small group of artists playing hip-hop festival Rolling Loud’s Queens iteration that the New York Police Department requested be pulled from the lineup, hours before the show, due to safety concerns.

“The NYPD hand-picked a few rappers that we had to take off the lineup, because they thought those artists were dangerous or something, which they were not,” Rolling Loud co-founder Tariq Cherif said at Pollstar Live! earlier this month.

Cherif speculated more broadly about the growing group of rising hip-hop artists who have died prematurely in recent years from drug overdoses, such as Lil Peep and Juice WRLD, or violence, including XXXTentacion and now Pop Smoke.

“Unfortunately, our festival has lost five artists that died, a few of them that I think would’ve grown to have been headliners,” he said.

Several major hip-hop voices paid tribute to Pop Smoke immediately.

“The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave,” Nicki Minaj wrote on Instagram. “Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.”

“R.I.P to my man Pop Smoke,” 50 Cent tweeted. “No sympathy for winners. God bless him.”

“Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young,” Chance the Rapper tweeted. “God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh.”