Pop Smoke was shot and killed Wednesday morning in what appears to be a home invasion robbery.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that the 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper was at a home in the Hollywood Hills at around 4:30 a.m. when two men wearing hoodies and masks broke into the house and fired multiple shots, striking and critically injuring Pop Smoke. The men were seen fleeing on foot.
Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Jackson, was rushed by ambulance to nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
His record label, Republic Records, confirmed his death. “We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke,” said his rep Joseph Carozza. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”
The suspects are still at large and have not been identified. It’s unclear if Pop Smoke knew the shooters. One man was placed in handcuffs but was released after cops determined he was not involved. Pop Smoke was renting the house from Teddi Mellencamp, a star on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and her husband, Edwin Arroyave. There was reportedly a party or gathering at the residence prior to the shooting.
Pop Smoke appears to have been using social media right up until the time of the incident. His last tweet was four shooting star emojis in response to a Triller video. In his last Instagram post, he is pictured in the driver’s seat of a Range Rover, which is parked in the driveway of the home where he was shot, while his friend holds up several stacks of cash.
Last year, Pop Smoke scored a breakout hit with “Welcome to the Party” off his debut mixtape Meet the Woo, which spawned a remix with Nicki Minaj. Earlier this month, he released the follow-up, Meet the Woo 2, which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.
The hip-hop community is mourning his death including 50 Cent, Ludacris, Kehlani, Chance the Rapper, and Minaj, who honored her late friend and collaborator. “The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop,” wrote Minaj, while 50 added: “R.I.P to my man Pop Smoke, No sympathy for winners. God bless him.”