Pop Smoke shot and killed at 20
Pop Smoke, arguably the biggest new rapper in New York, was shot and killed this morning at age 20 in what TMZ reports appeared to be a home invasion robbery. TMZ writes:
The rapper was at a home in the Hollywood Hills at around 4:30 AM when 2 men wearing hoodies and masks broke into a house ... this according to law enforcement sources. We're told the 2 men fired multiple shots, striking and critically wounding Pop Smoke. The men were seen fleeing on foot.
Pop Smoke was rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood where he was pronounced dead.
The suspects have not been caught and as far as we know they have not been identified. It's unclear if Pop Smoke knew the shooters. One man was placed in handcuffs but cops determined he was not involved and was released.
TMZ also adds in an update that the home "is owned by Teddi Mellencamp's husband, Edwin Arroyave, who owns several homes in Los Angeles. It's possible Pop Smoke was renting the property."
Update: Pop Smoke's label Republic Records issued the following statement, "We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together."
Pop Smoke's rise began after "Welcome to the Party" off his 2019 mixtape Meet the Woo became one of the summer's biggest breakout songs (and was quickly remixed by Nicki Minaj and Rico Nasty), and he's been unstoppable since and released the followup mixtape Meet the Woo 2 this month (which features appearances by Quavo, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Lil Tjay, and more). He also appeared on Travis Scott's recent JACKBOYS compilation.
Pop Smoke had also recently been arrested for allegedly transporting a stolen vehicle, and last year he was one of five rappers who were dropped from Rolling Loud NYC at the request of the NYPD because they "have been affiliated with recent acts of violence citywide."
Pop Smoke is sadly and obviously not the first rapper to die from gun violence, but we can't help but feel like talented and rising rappers are dying young more than ever lately. Pop Smoke's tragic death comes not long after Juice WRLD, Lil Peep, Mac Miller, and XXXTENTACION's lives were also cut shockingly short. This also comes less than a year after Nipsey Hussle's murder in the same town.
Tributes have started pouring in from Nicki Minaj, Questlove, 50 Cent, Quavo, Young M.A, Swae Lee, Pete Rock, Freddie Gibbs, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, El-P, Nas, Chance the Rapper, and more. See them below.
Rest in peace, Pop. This is shocking and a huge tragedy. He really was just getting started.