Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was reportedly killed in a home invasion in the Hollywood Hills early Wednesday morning, TMZ first reported. He was 20 years old.
Born Bashar Jackson, the up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper released his breakout single "Welcome to the Party" in April 2019. He followed that with debut mixtape Meet the Woo in July. "Welcome to the Party" put Pop Smoke on the map. With its infectious drill beat and Smoke's inviting opening line, "Baby welcome to the party," the undeniable hit earned remixes from rap heavyweights like Meek Mill, Pusha T, and A$AP Ferg, with fellow New Yorker Nicki Minaj hopping on the official remix. The song landed at No. 3 on VICE's 100 Best Songs of 2019.
His career was brief, but Pop Smoke was undoubtedly on the rise. Though he hadn't released any music until the end of 2018, by last fall, he was performing at Rolling Loud New York, and getting ready for his first international tour. After appearing on Travis Scott's JACKBOYS and releasing Meet the Woo 2 earlier this month, Pop Smoke's was on track to being Canarsie's next big star. He was said to be working on a debut album to be released some time in 2020.
Republic Records confirmed the news to NPR in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "We are devastated by the tragic loss of Pop Smoke," it reads. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends, and fans, as we mourn this loss together."