Tragic story of rapper Pop Smoke who died when he was just 20

Darcy Rafter July 20, 2022
Tragic story of rapper Pop Smoke who died when he was just 20
Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images


Pop Smoke would have celebrated his 23rd birthday today, but his life was tragically cut short when he was murdered on February 19, 2020 at just 20 years old.

The rapper was a popular US drill artist, with his second mixtape, Meet the Woo 2, debuting at number 7 on the Billboard 200. The mix was released on February 7, just two weeks before his death.

Then in July 2020, Pop Smoke’s debut album Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Sadly, he wasn’t alive to witness the outstanding achievement…

Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Tragic story of rapper Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke was born on July 20, 1999, to a Jamaican mother and Panamanian father. He grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn with his parents and older brother named Obasi.

He attended nine different schools for various reasons. One of which was because he got expelled in eighth grade for bringing a gun to school. He was then put on house arrest for two years, according to The Independent.

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Pop Smoke’s life tragically cut short at 20

Pop Smoke, whose real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson, was staying in a rented house in Los Angeles when burglars broke in and shot him.

According to the LAPD, Pop Smoke was murdered at 4.29 am by suspects who were wearing masks. The rapper was taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the torso as the cause of his death, according to TMZ.

Two adults named Corey Walker and Keandre Rodgers and two minors who were aged 15 and 17 at the time were charged with robbery and murder in July 2020 as per TMZ.

Walker, who is on trial for his alleged involvement has pleaded not guilty but if convicted, he could face the death penalty, according to Metro.  On July 6 2021, Walker appeared in court for re-arraignment (amendments have been made to the charges).

However, he was unable to enter a new plea due to a system fault that prevented prosecutors from filing paperwork confirming their decision to remove the possibility of him facing the death penalty, per the New York Daily News.

Walker’s new plea date was postponed to August 2021, but there have since been no reports on scheduled trials or a plea deal; aside from Walker being denied bail.

It is also reported that the three other suspects are still awaiting trial.

Pop Smoke’s address may have been revealed

Following Pop Smoke’s death, many celebrities spoke out about rappers’ safety. With many telling followers to be more careful about sharing their wealth on social media.

This is because the home invaders are thought to have seen Pop Smoke’s address on social media after he shared a series of images that revealed his location.

Pop Smoke’s pal, Mike Dee, also posted images where the rental home’s address could be seen, according to The Mirror. In the snap, Mike and Pop Smoke were posing with a white Range Rover and the last few digits of the home address in the corner of the photo, with the tag “Beverly Hills, California.”

Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Pop Smoke’s death sparked gun violence discussion

Pop Smoke’s parents, Audrey and Greg Jackson shared memories of their son and discussed gun violence during a public announcement: “On February 19th, at 4:00 AM, a gun was used to take my son from me. You know him as Pop Smoke, we called him ‘Shar.’

“Because of gun violence, I’ll never see my son run up the front of our steps, taking them two at a time; he won’t ever take my hands again and dance with me; he won’t come into my room and muscle pose in the mirror. Gun violence destroys families. It must stop.”

Pop Smoke has previously been linked to gangs and was asked by NYC police to give details on Brooklyn’s 823 Crips which the rapper refused, according to New York Post .

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Darcy is an experienced journalist working on GRV Media’s audience team across The Focus, Reality Titbit, and HITC. Darcy studied Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University and whilst there she completed a work internship with GRV Media. After gaining a first-class BA (Hons) degree, Darcy joined the team full-time. Since then she has become a social media specialist and her expertise lies in tracking trends. With five years of experience in media, she is particularly passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. When she’s not writing about The Kardashians, she’s binge-watching it!