What Really Happened to Pop Smoke?

By Lillie Dina Brown for Cr8tions Magazine March 2020 Issue

Was rapper Pop Smoke's death, a set up or an invasion gone wrong?

Pop Smoke, AKA Bashar Barakah Jackson, was born July 20th 1999 and was inexplicably killed in Los Angeles, due to a gunshot wound to the torso, just this past week on February 19th. With top hits such as “Welcome to the Party,” “Dior” and the undenied hit and collaboration with recording artist Travis Scott “Gatti,” Pop was easily paving his way as Brooklyn’s newest crowned. His newest project, Meet The Woo 2, was released February 7th and landed him his first top 10 debut on the Billboard 200, after his mentioned back-to-back singles dominated New York. With such a dense catalog accumulated in a brief period, it is difficult not to imagine what Pop Smoke had in store for the music world before his murder. Fans are not only stunned and devastated by the news of the Brooklyn’s native passing, but also outrage at the unsolved details of his murder. 

Just this past Thursday night, TMZ reported that the tragic death appeared to be a “targeted hit... not a robbery.” But on Friday afternoon, LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tippet, head of the Robbery-Homicide Division, disputed their assessment in a phone call with The Daily Beast. “That was not entirely accurate,” Capt. Tippet stated, but was also quoted as to had said that he quote, on quote “not comfortable calling it a robbery right now.”
The invasion occurred early Wednesday morning, while the rapper was staying at a rental home in the Hollywood Hills. At 4:29 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department received a radio call about an “assault with deadly weapon” involving a then-unknown number of suspects at a home on Hercules Drive. When law enforcement arrived, they found Jackson gravely wounded and transported him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Mid-City West. He died from his injuries 45 minutes later. Friday morning, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s officer declared the death a homicide by gunshot wound to the torso. The rapper was just 20 years old.

So, who killed Pop Smoke and was it gang related?

Per the Times, Los Angeles investigators are considering the possibility that Pop Smoke’s death was gang related. Officials have tied him to the Crips, and they suspect that the assailants may have been gang affiliated.
What about the surveillance footage?
According to those witnesses, four men went around to the back of house but only three returned to the front. The fourth suspect exited through the front door, presumably having entered through the back door. Multiple shots were heard inside the home. The man did not take anything with him from the home, according to those who saw the footage, which may mean the attack was not a robbery.

Was Pop Smoke set up like some fans speculate?

Fans were quick to accuse Mike Dee, who posted the photo with the address in the background, of setting Pop Smoke up. After deleting everything off of his Instagram page, Dee mourned his friend and cleared his name. “CANT NOTHING EXPRESS THE PAIN IM FEELING ….I JUST LOST MY FUCKING BROTHER, MY HEART MY DAWGZ 💙 YOU GUYS HAVE NO TYPE OF SENSE OR SYMPATHY!” he wrote underneath a photo of them as children. “YALL DONT KNO WHATS GOING ON YALL COME ON HERE PLAYING INVESTIGATOR AND BASHING ME ON THE INTERNET, I WOULD NEVER IN MY LIFE SET MY BROTHER UP, WE ATE TOGETHER , BROKE BREAD TOGETHER THIS REALLY MY MOTHER CHILD.”