Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke is dead. The rising drill star behind last year’s Meet the Woo mixtape is believed to have been tragically murdered in a home invasion robbery early Wednesday, February 19, according to TMZ. He was 20 years old.
The “Welcome To The Party” newcomer was reportedly staying at a home in Hollywood Hills where a break-in occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. According to reports by TMZ and NBC, two armed men entered the residence and “fired multiple shots.” Pop Smoke was critically wounded. The young rapper was then rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, where he was ultimately pronounced dead.
Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson to a Jamaican mother and Panamanian father, made waves with his debut Meet the Woo project last year. The well-received mixtape included “Welcome to the Party,” a bonafide summer banger that went on to see remixes from the likes of Nicki Minaj and Skepta.
Hot off the success, Pop Smoke had all intentions to keep the momentum going: The bright young rapper released a collab-filled follow up, Meet the Woo Vol. 2, early this year (with a deluxe edition that just dropped this month). It promised his place in the burgeoning Brooklyn drill scene; a promise now cut short.
Pop Smoke was also scheduled to head out on his official Meet the Woo Tour next month, kicking off in Washington D.C. on March 2. Last weekend, the rapper was also slated to perform a hometown show at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, but NYPD interference hampered those plans.
But Pop Smoke said it best: “I’m not a gang leader, I’m not a gang banger,” he told XXL Mag for their Winter 2019 issue. “I’m none of that. I’m a dog, the woo. That’s it. An artist.” Rest in peace to a great one, at that.