HipHopWired Featured Video
Pop Smoke Listening Party

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Pop Smoke should be enjoying the fruits of his labor in 2021 after creating a seismic shift in the game by way of his take on the popular Drill sound. Sadly, the artist born Bashar Jackson was slain a year ago today (Feb. 19) but his legacy will live on through his music and adoring fans who are celebrating his legacy.

Bashar Barakah Jackson was born July 20, 1999, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in the Caransie section of the borough. While in high school, the future Hip-Hop star had hoop dreams but was forced to give up the sport due to an underlying health condition.

Rapping was something of a happy accident as he literally began his career at the age of 17 after following behind a colleague of his who fell asleep during a recording session. Catching the bug, Pop Smoke poured his all into rapping and developed his signature style before landing with British Drill producer 808Melo for his breakout single, “Welcome To The Party.”

Pop’s rapid ascent wasn’t an accident as he clearly had what it took as an artist which was why Steven Victor signed him to the Victor Victor Worldwide imprint. And while much has been made of Pop’s Crip gang ties, several people close to him stated that he hoped that young people looking up to him would leave that lifestyle behind and find other routes to success and credibility.

Pop Smoke was shot during what appeared to be a botched robbery attempt in the Hollywood Hills. The assailants, two of whom were under the age of 18, were arrested and charged but the incident came just as the rapper was hitting his stride. He was just 20 years old.

Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, the rapper’s posthumous debut, was released in the summer of 2020 to much fanfare and acclaim, displaying why so many were betting on Pop Smoke as the next big star out of New York.

We’ve looked through Twitter and highlighted some tweets from fans who are clearly missing the artist much as others in the world are.

Rest Powerfully in Peace, Pop Smoke.

Photo: Getty