Rapper Pop Smoke died on Wednesday morning at around 4 am according to reports from TMZ, he was shot and killed by a group of masked men in a Hollywood Hills Mansion belonging to “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Star” Teddi Mellencamp and her husband, Edwin Arroyave, according to property records, which he rented from a third party real estate company.
The Brooklyn MC born “Bashar Barakah Jackson” July 20, 1999. was only 20 years of age, not even yet eligible to purchase his own alcohol in the United States, he was from a Panamanian and Jamaican descent and was one of the bright spots in the Hip-hop industry as of recent times, a rap star on the brink of the biggest year in his short-lived career, at a time where everyone sounded same Pop Smoke was carving a niche in the rap game and creating a sound that would be hard to replicate in years to come.
In some respect his lifestyle was similar to most rappers, stay fly, gang bang and make music but with a criminal record of him under house arrest for 2 years following a gun charge and claims of being kicked out of eighth grade for bringing a firearm to class, Pop Smoke had almost met the criteria for being a gangster rapper but the young man was also showing discretion in the direction where he was headed, he was just navigating himself from the street life into a pop star lifestyle and probably needed more skillful guidance on how to move.
His breakout hit “Welcome to the Party” and choice of producer 808Melobeats clearly depicts the grime influence in his raps, and other hits like “Dior” and “PTSD” showed how appealing his sound was to a larger audience.
His demeanor and presence can be likened to 50cent’s and so was his flow with a little touch of Busta Rhymes it was hard not to liken the artist to an earlier era of hip-hop in New York, but to be honest pop smoke was on his own lane and was difficult to subject to a particular classification.
It would be a disservice to his uniqueness not to recognize his gothic voice and tensed delivery’s correlation with modern hip-hop Sound.
His raspy deep voice defied his age number as many found it difficult that he had just passed the teenage benchmark for less than 2 years.
His meteoric rise was reminiscent of Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel and the trajectory of his career was on an upward curve with no impending obstacle on the horizon the sky was the limit
New York and the Hip Hop scene are no strangers to losing legends before their time, he most notably in his new track Christopher Walking identified himself as the King of the New York one of the most highly revered crown in hip-hop synonymous with the Notorious BIG ( the black Frank White),
and in a rather strange coincidence, he was pronounced dead in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, same hospital that the Notorious BIG was pronounced dead on March 9, 1997.
Both rappers where Brooklyn natives, while BIG was from Bed-Stuy Pop, hailed from Canarsie
Although Pop Smoke artistry had not yet attained its projected potential, his vulnerability on the mic and sometimes offbeat lines made the admiration for his realness and rawness unavoidable.
After earning a record deal with Republic Records following the success of his Meet the Woo tape, Pop Smoke easily erased the one-hit-wonder doubts on the mind of critics with a remarkable follow up “Meet the Woo 2” which debuted on Number 7 of the Billboard 200 chart, it would be strange if the Album doesn’t hit number 1 following the rapper’s demise as people tend to appreciate what is no longer available.
While many rappers like Meek Mill, 50cent, Quavo, Travis Scott and many other rappers had wrapped their hands around his young shoulders with Quavo notably mentioning his willingness to learn in an Instagram post with a metaphor of a sponge that was willing to absorb, there was no doubt on how great the rapper would have been and what a successful career was ahead of him.
Pop Smoke was already gearing up for a tour next month to expand his music, with most venues already sold out was testament of his widespread acceptance in the United States which is not very common as you may be popping in one part of the US but still be lagging in other areas, Pop Smoke was a general sensation, not just a regional success.
We cannot forget his sassy signature dance moves which were also responsible for a substantial number of his fanbase, the smoove little stepping and the carefree attitude with which he moved would warm the hearts of those who don’t even like his music towards his persona.
In a period less than a year where rappers like Mac Miller , Lil Peep , XXXtentacion, Nipsey Hustle, and Juice World have lost their lives leaving a void in the rap that could have altered the direction of current hip hop as we know it,
2020 is already kicking off in the worst way, with not enough time spent mourning Kobe Bryant an Influential figure to both the World of Sports and Hip hip, Snoop Dogg said it best when he said he has to start mourning all over again.
The Pop Smoke tragedy is a reminder that nothing is promised and we should make the best use of the time we have in this unpredictable life, Pop Smoke had some unreleased Materials which would be enough to create a posthumous project but the presence of this young trendsetter would be forever missed and actually nobody sounded like him.
Pop Smoke was no Nipsey Hussle but he really had something special, his energy in his music could only be matched with the Charisma with which he carried himself, he would forever be idolised as a pioneer of the New York drill scene which future is currently uncertain as they just lost their mascot and the most unique poster boy for a genre just about to take off.