Artist’s Spotlight: Pop Smoke

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Bashar Barakah Jackson, also known as Pop Smoke, was a Brooklyn, New York native born July 20, 1999. Earlier in his life, he got entangled in the drug life which enabled him to buy himself a BMW 5 Series automobile at only 16-years-old. In 2018, Jackson got involved in the music industry by attending other artist’s studio sessions and remixing popular songs.

His industry name came from his Panamanian grandmother who called him Poppa and his childhood friends calling him Smoke, which were both combined to give him Pop Smoke.

In April 2019, Pop Smoke released his leading single “Welcome to the Party” from his debut mixtape ‘Meet the Woo’ that would later be released in July 2019. Artists like Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Calboy and Lil Tjay were featured artists on the album. His song with Travis Scoot, “Gatti”, became his first Billboard Hot 100 charting song, which peaked at #69 just a week after it was released. Unfortunately his success was short lived.

Pop Smoke died on February 19, 2020 as a result of a home invasion. According to authorities, four hooded men entered the home wearing ski masks and carrying handguns, robbed and murdered him. Just hours before the invasion, Pop Smoke was seen taking pictures with a friend outside of the house he would later be killed in.

The news of his death stunned the world. Fans, friends, and family made it evident with thousands of posts sharing their condolences and feelings about the rapper’s death.

Pop Smoke’s last work of art was his ‘Meet the Woo 2’ mixtape that had been released in early February 2020. The rapper celebrated the mixtape hitting #7 on the Billboard 200 the day before his death.

Jasmine Stevenson is a Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Vicksburg, Mississippi. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2019-2020 school year.

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