February 19th marked a year since the death of hip-hop star Pop Smoke. The Brooklyn born rapper was on the come up, thanks to an infection combination of Brooklyn hip-hop mixed with UK drill. His hit singles “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior” in 2019 all but insured that 2020 would be his year. Unfortunately while prepping for his debut album, Pop Smoke was fatally gunned down in a home invasion while visiting Los Angeles. Over a year later, those responsible for his murder have been taken into custody. It appears their families want to reach out to the family of Pop Smoke to make amends.
Pop Smoke was born Bashar Barakah Jackson in July 1999. His mother Audrey Jackson is school teacher in Brooklyn. In a Genius interview, he explained that his artist name, Pop Smoke, is a combination of Poppa (a name given to him by his Panamanian grandmother) and Smocco Guwop (a nickname from childhood friends). He began his music career in 2018 when visiting a Brooklyn recording studio with friend and fellow rapper Jay Gwuapo. After Gwuapo got high on drugs and fell asleep, Pop Smoke went into the booth to try rapping for the first time. He used a beat he got from 808Melo’s YouTube channel and recorded a track titled “Mpr (Panic Part 3 Remix)”. Shortly afterwards he released single “Flexin'”. Pop Smoke befriended producer Rico Beats, who was acquainted with record executive Steven Victor, which helped kick off his career.
Pop Smoke went on to have a meteoric rise on 2019 with his debut scheduled for 2020. 50 Cent signed on the executive produce the set. Unfortunately the debut was a post-humorous one, as Pop was murdered before its release.
Teenage Christopher Walker was arrested for the murder a few weeks back. Its now being reported that his parents, obviously distraught by his involvement, would like to meet with Pop Smoke’s family in an attempt to bring some healing. Walker’s attorney told news outlets “The Walker family has asked me to contact the victim’s family so that they might speak privately. I hope to reach out to the family soon.” He mentioned that due to the circumstances, Pop’s family may not be ready. He went on to say “They might need time. I will also understand if the family is not inclined to have that conversation. Everything we have done and said has been done and said while keeping in mind the great respect we have for the victim and the victim’s family.”
Pop’s mother told New York Daily News: “This is new information to me. I’ll have to learn more. I’m working on a lesson plan right now. That is my focus. I really can’t say.”