Pop Smoke, a rap newcomer who released his first two mixtapes just last year and earlier this month, was shot and killed early Wednesday in an apparent home invasion robbery in Hollywood Hills, according to reports by the entertainment news website TMZ.
The fledgling artist, whose real name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was 20 years old.
Several people who were still in the house after the shooting were detained and then released, according to The Associated Press.
Smoke was renting the home, which is owned by Edwin Arroyave, the husband of Teddi Mellencamp of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
In an Instagram post Wednesday morning, Mellencamp said, “we were informed by a 3rd party leasing and management company overseeing a rental home we own in Los Angeles that a shooting had taken place at the property. Foremost, we would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this tragic loss of life.”
Commentary circulating on social media Wednesday revealed Smoke had publicly shared his address in an Instagram video only hours before the shooting.
The Twitter account for The Academy Music Business, an advocacy group for independent artists, warned other rappers against publicizing their whereabouts on social media.
Smoke's record label issued a statement Wednesday, calling his death a tragic loss.
“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke,” Republic Records said in a statement. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”
Smoke’s short-lived music career began less than a year ago with the debut of his July 2019 solo effort called “Meet the Woo.” The lead single from the album, “Welcome to the Party” was an instant hit. Months later, the popular “gangsta anthem” was picked up and remixed by rapper Nicki Minaj.
Smoke’s second musical effort, “Meet the Woo 2,” debuted earlier this month and features tracks with Quavo from Migos and the rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie. The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, AP reported.
Smoke also recorded a song with rapper Travis Scott, which appears on a separate 2019 compilation album called JackBoys.
Pop Smoke had been facing charges of transportation of a stolen vehicle over state lines.
On January 17, he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after a Rolls Royce he borrowed in California for a music video turned up at his mother's house in Brooklyn with fake license plates, according to reports.
Smoke pleaded not guilty, and was released on $250,000 bail on the same day.
Jackson was born July 20, 1999 in Brooklyn.
According to reports, he got his start in 2018 on the New York drill music scene, hanging out at recording studios and learning the ropes from other established artists. He started out by remixing popular music and went on to find major success creating his own sound.
The death comes about 11 months after rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in Los Angeles, and on a day when the man charged with killing him, Eric R. Holder, appeared in court for a hearing. Holder, who has pleaded not guilty, is expected to go to trial by April.
In July, up-and-coming Philadelphia rapper Bankroll Gambino, 21, was shot and killed during a music video shoot there.
And in June 2018, 20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion was gunned down while leaving a Miami motorcycle shop.
Music artists around the world took to social media Wednesday to share thoughts about the rising star whose life and career were tragically cut short overnight.
— Information provided by The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.