Five Suspects Have Been Arrested in Connection with the Killing of Rapper Pop Smoke

Authorities suspect it may have been a robbery gone bad, with thieves attracted by social media posts

UPDATE: JULY 9, 2020 – Five people have been arrested in connection with the February shooting of rapper Pop Smoke. The Brooklyn-based musician, otherwise known as Bashar Jackson, was killed at a Hollywood Hills home he was renting.

The LAPD has not revealed the identities of the five suspects; NPR reports that they are being described as three adult men and two teenaged boys. It is believed that the group may have been led to the rented house by a series of social media posts Pop Smoke dispatched in the days prior to his death.

“We believe that it was a robbery. Initially we didn’t really have the evidence but then we discovered some other evidence that showed this was likely a home invasion gone bad,” Captain Jonathan Tippet of the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division told the Associated Press today. “It’s our belief that [the robbery] was based on some of the social media. It’s based on the fact that he was posting his information may have contributed to him knowing where to find him.”

Since the “Dior” rapper’s death at just 20 years old, music fans–particularly fans of the Brooklyn Drill genre with which he was most closely associated–have felt a great loss to the artistic community.

His debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, was released just days ago, on July 3. Writing for The Atlantic in a review published on Tuesday, Hannah Giorgis praises the album for its “interplay between fatalism and ebullience,” describing Pop Smoke as “a preeminent voice of New York–and of a generation of Black youth.”

FEBRUARY 19, 2020 – Up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was murdered early Wednesday morning in the house he was renting in the Hollywood Hills.

The Los Angeles Times reports that police responded to the $2.5 million home on the 2000 block of Hercules Drive just before 5 a.m. in response to a call from someone on the East Coast, saying that several suspects had entered their friend’s residence and that at least one of them was wearing a black mask and carrying a gun.

Cops found the 20-year-old rapper, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, with gunshot wounds; he was later pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood.

Two to six suspects were seen fleeing the house, which another report says Smoke was renting from Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Pop Smoke’s second mixtape, Meet the Woo 2, had recently hit No. 7 on the Billboard charts and his hit “Welcome to the Party” was one of the songs of last summer. “Welcome to the Party” was featured on Smoke’s breakthrough mixtape, Meet the Woo, which has 280 million streams worldwide.

While there have been no arrests yet, Smoke’s friends in the hip-hop world have cryptically suggested he may have known his killers.

50 Cent tweeted, “No such thing as success with out jealousy, treachery comes from those who are close. R.i.P”

In an Instagram post, Nicki Minaj wrote, “The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.”

On Twitter, Pop Smoke’s fans are criticizing TMZ—which was the first outlet to report the shooting—for including graphic video of paramedics tending to Pop in its coverage. TMZ also caught heat when it reported the death of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna before police had time to inform next of kin.

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