Rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed Wednesday morning in what could have been a home invasion. The up-and-comer was reportedly at home in Hollywood Hills around 4:30 a.m. when two masked men broke into a house, law enforcement sources told TMZ. The outlet reports that the two men fired multiple shots, striking and critically wounding Pop Smoke, and fled on foot.
Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood where he was pronounced dead. He was 20 years old.
TMZ reports that no suspects have been apprehended or identified. One man was reportedly placed in handcuffs but was released after police determined he was not involved. It's unclear if Pop Smoke knew the shooters.
Pop Smoke is perhaps best known for his song "Welcome to the Party" off his July 2019 album Meet the Woo. Nicki Minaj did a remix of the song a few months after it blew up. He also collaborated with Travis Scott for the song "Gatti."
Just days before his death, Pop Smoke released a new mixtape, Meet the Woo Vol. 2, which Pitchfork gave a 7.3 rating and declared it full of "gritty drill music you can clench your jaw to."
Upon its release, the album managed to crack the Billboard top 10, coming in at No. 7 and clocking a total of 36,000 album-equivalent units.
HotNewHipHop.com wrote Monday that the top ten chart placement "remains a big win for Pop Smoke, and we can only hope he continues to keep the streak alive — lord knows that an artist can little afford any breathing room these days, and it wouldn't the surprising to see him back in the booth before long, barking a barrage of baritone bars into existence."
On social media, many of Pop Smoke's friends and admirers mourned the loss of the young rapper. French rapper Ateyaba also brought up the murders of rappers Nipsey Hussle and XXXTentacion, tweeting, "RIP Pop Smoke RIP Nipsey RIP XXX I'll come and slap the s— outta y'all dumb n— entertaining this war."
"rip Pop Smoke dawg that's so whack," one Twitter user wrote.
"RIP POP SMOKE you were the highlight of our party," another said, posting a video of one of the rapper's concerts.
"Rip Pop Smoke. He was not even allowed to reach his full potentials and he had just released his album this month. This is so sad," someone else wrote with a broken heart emoji.