Pop-Smoke
Pop Smoke | Biography

Quick Information

  • Full Name Bashar Barakah Jackson
  • Nickname Pop Smoke
  • Occupation Singer, Rapper, Musician
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace Brooklyn, New York, USA
  • Birth Date July 20, 1999
  • Death Date February 19, 2020
  • Age At Death 20 Years
American Rapper Who Was Strongly Associated to the Brooklyn Drill

Pop Smoke | Biography

Known For His Posthumous Album ‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’

On 19 February 2020, Pop Smoke was killed after being shot twice. As per The New York Times article, Smoke returned late to his rented house in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. After he came home, four men wearing hoodies broke into the house and shot him dead. One of the two shots landed on his chest. He was sent to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.


Pop Smoke was an American singer, rapper, and songwriter associated with hip-hop and drill genres of music. In just two years, he released one studio album, 19 music videos, and 23 singles. 

Who is Pop Smoke?

Growing up in the Canarsie neighborhood in Brooklyn, Pop Smoke started dealing drugs and was connected to a weapons charge before stepping into the realm of music. He also became the fourth hip-hop musician, to have a number one album on the charts posthumously. After his death, he also won the ‘BET Hip Hop Awards’ under the Best New Hip-Hop Artist category on 27 October 2020.

Early life & Education

Born on 20 July 1999, Pop Smoke’s real name is Bashar Barakah Jackson. The stage name Pop Smoke came from the names that his grandmother and his childhood friends gave him. His grandmother called him ‘Poppa’ while his friends used to call him ‘Smocco Guwop.’ He got his stage moniker, Pop Smoke, from those two nicknames. He was born to a Panamanian father, Greg Jackson, and a Jamaican mother, Audrey Jackson. He grew up with his sibling, Obasi Jackson.      

While growing up, he attended nine different schools before facing house arrest for carrying a gun to the school. The house arrest was for two years, and he was also ordered to wear an ankle tag during that time frame. He was also involved in dealing drugs. The money he gathered from selling the drugs fetched him a BMW 5 Series when he was just 16 years old. 

Although Smoke had a troubled childhood, music was his getaway. He used to play African drums in his local church. While growing up, 808 Melo’s percussive sounds inspired him. 808 Melo was from Ilford, East London, and he used to play London drill. Smoke had no experience in that genre, but he wanted to learn from him. So he connected himself with the artist through YouTube, and they began collaborating.

The Short Journey in The Music Industry

Smoke initially started his career in music in 2018 by remixing popular New York drill tracks. As per a 2018 article in XXL magazine, Smoke tagged along with rapper Jay Gwuapo to the studio. Gwuapo became too high and passed out after spending some time in the studio. Smoke then entered the studio and recorded his debut tune, ‘MPR’ (Panic Part 3 Remix). Everybody was surprised about how he could be so smooth and comfortable around the bleak and lurching beats of East London. He followed up with another track, ‘Flexin’ in the drill genre. Both of the music belonged to 808Melo; they started collaborating. 

Smoke’s ‘Welcome to the Party,’ released in 2019, was his breakout hit. This song got him the title of an outstanding artist to watch by 1Xtra on the station’s Hot For 2020 list. The station went further ahead and praised his work, saying that Smoke “possessed the air and cadence of a rapper who has been in the game for a decade or two longer than his actual age.”

Smoke’s posthumous album ‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’ was executively produced by 50 Cent. The latter had co-signed Smoke for the album, which featured 50 Cent’s classic debut album’s song ‘Many Men.’ After the release of the album in July 2020, it topped the Billboard 200 chart. As guest performers, the album also featured other rap stars like Lil Baby, Future, Roddy Ricch, DaBaby, Quavo, and Swae Lee. In addition, the R&B-inspired song, ‘What You Know Bout Love,’ from that album became a Top 10 song for the year 2020 on TikTok. The album was also a runaway success, with several of its songs being international top-10 singles.

Death 

On 19 February 2020, Smoke was killed after being shot twice. As per The New York Times article, Smoke returned late to his rented house in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. After he came home, four men wearing hoodies broke into the house and shot him dead. One of the two shots landed on his chest. He was sent to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to the Associated Press, authorities believed the defendants learned of Pop Smoke’s whereabouts when his social media posts revealed the property he was renting.

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