50 Cent and Nicki Minaj are leading the tributes to rising rapper Pop Smoke, who was fatally shot during a suspected home invasion in Los Angeles.
Masked gunmen reportedly broke into the Welcome to the Party hitmaker’s Hollywood Hills property in the early hours of Wednesday (February 19, 2020), firing multiple shots, striking and critically wounding the 20-year-old.
Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but was subsequently pronounced dead.
50 Cent was among the first to comment on the sad news as his death hit headlines, taking to Twitter and writing, “R.I.P to my man Pop Smoke, No sympathy for winners. God bless him”.
Minaj, who collaborated with the Brooklyn, New York native on a remix of his breakthrough tune Welcome to the Party last year (2019), also mourned his loss by posting a photo of her late pal on Instagram and captioning it, “The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.”
Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper tweeted, “Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young. God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh (shaking my head),” and Ludacris posted, “Man Come On I don’t even know dude but he was just getting started in this Rap Game (sic). I was definitely interested in seeing his Growth. Too many young lives with so much potential being taken away. This S**t has to stop R.I.P. Pop Smoke”.
Other tributes also came from fellow hip-hop stars Nas, Quavo, Talib Kweli, Joe Budden, and Questlove, while The Game shared his disbelief on Twitter, writing, “Fell asleep for 3 hours, woke up & Pop Smoke dead. That’s brazy (crazy)…. 20 years old, damn (sic).”
Police have yet to identify the suspects, who fled the scene of the crime on foot, but reality TV star Teddi Mellencamp has revealed she owns the property in which Smoke was killed.
In a note on Instagram, the daughter of rocker John Mellencamp admitted she and her family were stunned by the tragedy as she offered up her condolences to Smoke’s relatives.
“We would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this tragic loss of life,” she wrote.