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On Thursday afternoon (March 5), fans of Pop Smoke gathered on the streets of Brooklyn’s Canarsie neighborhood, watching as the rapper took one final ride through his hood.

Canarsie is typically a quiet area, secluded, optimal for many of the Black and Hispanic residents who’ve made a home for themselves away from the brashness of more renowned neighborhoods like Flatbush and Bed-Stuy, while staying within the borough. Thursday was unlike anything young Brooklyn natives have seen. Not in Canarsie anyway.

If you’re old enough to remember when Biggie passed away: fans flooded the streets, kids cut school to walk the length of the procession, the mood was solemn. Until someone started to blast tracks from Bed Stuy’s favorite MC and the whole energy changed. Still respectful but celebratory.

It was the same vibe for Pop Smoke, born Bashar Baraka Jackson. Police were heavy in their visibility, but there were no incidents, thankfully. Fans and friends of Pop Smoke swarmed the funeral route. The barricades in front of his mural stood firm as throngs of people pressed against them, “Woo!,” they shouted, as he passed them by.

Pop’s black casket was enclosed in glass marked “POP SMOKE” — Off-White style — and placed inside of a horse drawn carriage. The carriage traveled down Flatlands, one of Canarsie’s main avenues, followed by his family in a Sprinter van and 50 Cent’s wrapped Lamborghini — his way of sending his love in spirit.

People curiously stood on the front stoops of their homes, peering out over the hordes of people who had gathered. Some stood on cars alongside the route. Then someone put Pop on the speakers. A wave of new energy moved through the crowd as they recited lyrics from “Dior” and more.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Mama Smoke 💫💫💫💫 • • • #rippopsmoke #popsmoke #brooklyn

A post shared by 👣 Bless Mommy 👣 (@sha.maraa_) on Mar 5, 2020 at 2:35pm PST

 

Smoke’s mother popped out of the van for a few moments to greet friends and neighbors. Every time she showed her face, the crowd screamed out, “Ma!” Even one of the officers on-duty squeezed in to grab a hug from her.

If nothing else, the community is close-knit, especially now that they’ve had to share this tragic experience, saying farewell to one of their most beloved native sons far too soon.

Pop Smoke was shot and killed when four men broke into his Hollywood Hills home last month. Police have said that his murder may have been a targeted hit. The investigation is ongoing.

His family released this statement in February:

“The family of Bashar ‘Pop Smoke’ Jackson would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone for your support. Every prayer, call, and act of kindness is deeply appreciated as we mourn the loss of our son, brother, and friend.”

 

 

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