20-Year-Old Rapper Pop Smoke Killed During Hollywood Home Invasion

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.
The global hip hop community is mourning yet another loss after learning of the death of newbie rapper Pop Smoke (real name Bashar Barakah Jackson). 
Early this morning, news broke that the Brooklyn native was shot and killed in a deadly home robbery. Jackson, who had been staying in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills at the time, was gunned down after a group of armed men in black masks broke into the house. The Los Angeles Police Department was notified of the break-in around four in the morning, but by the time he was transported to a nearby hospital, Jackson was already pronounced dead. 
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Jackson’s death has shocked rap stars and fans alike. A recent newcomer to the music industry, the 20-year-old’s star had just begun to rise. In 2019, his debut song “Welcome to the Party” swept clubs around the country and even sparked the interest of rap icon Nicki Minaj; the New Yorkers would later collaborate on the song’s official remix. Jackson was also featured on the 2019 album JACKBOYS, a project formed by Travis Scott and the mix of artists from his label Cactus Jack.
Just days before his death, Jackson released his second mixtape Meet the Woo 2, which was met with overwhelming success — the project debuted in the Top Ten of the Rolling Stone albums chart. 
His discography, though short, made an impact on hip hop culture, a credit to his signature  gravelly sound and unique lyrics. “I never wrote [down] anything,” he told Rolling Stone just last week. “It’s all up my head. Everything that I be writing, everything that I be saying, when it comes to these types of songs, just be so natural. Just how I be feeling. However, some songs I do write, and you’ll know the ones that I write, ’cause you’ll feel it...I used to write poetry and all that crazy shit. Spoken word.”
After hearing of his sudden passing Jackson’s music peers are remembering him fondly.
Minaj, one of the rapper's earliest collaborators, also expressed her heartfelt condolences. "The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave," she captioned an Instagram photo of Jackson on Instagram. "Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop."
Authorities suspect that the rapper had been specifically targeted by his assailants, especially after a video that hit the internet in the days before Jackson's death had partially revealed the address of the home he was staying in. The four robbers escaped the scene of the crime, but the LAPD is still actively looking into their identities and motives for the shooting.

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