Rapper Pop Smoke killed in Los Angeles home invasion, record label says

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The rapper Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Jackson, in Brooklyn, Aug 11, 2019. PHOTO: NYTIMES

LOS ANGELES (NYTIMES) - Pop Smoke, a Brooklyn-raised rapper who rose to fame with hit songs like Dior and Welcome To The Party, died after he was shot in a home invasion early on Wednesday morning (Feb 19) in Los Angeles, his record label said.

The rapper, whose real name is Bashar Jackson, was confirmed dead by the label, Republic Records. He was 20.

"We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke," the company said in a statement. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together."

Police said a man in his 20s was shot by an unknown number of suspects who entered the home just after 4am on Wednesday. He was transported to a hospital and announced dead several hours later, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department said.

No one was arrested at the scene, said Captain Steve Lurie of the Los Angeles Police. He said at least one of the suspects was wearing a mask, and that the motive for the break-in was unclear.

Pop Smoke, the child of Panamanian and Jamaican parents, emerged last year as the first breakout star of Brooklyn's growing drill scene with his hit Welcome To The Party, which became the ubiquitous hip-hop song of the summer. A gravel-voiced rapper with a bark-like delivery, he quickly honed a signature approach that recalled the rougher New York rap of the 1990s.

His fame was rising quickly. Last July he released his first album, Meet The Woo, and in the months since, he collaborated with Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Quavo and others. His second album, Meet The Woo 2, was released this month.

He had also encountered problems: He was arrested last month on charges of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines. And even as he was on the path to becoming the biggest New York rap success story in recent memory, the New York Police Department prevented him from performing at the Rolling Loud festival in Queens last October, citing safety concerns.

Nicki Minaj, who appeared on a remix of Welcome To The Party," posted a photo of the rapper to Instagram with the caption, "The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop."

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