Arik McArthur/Getty ImagesLast week, 20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot and killed. Now the Brooklyn rapper’s family has broken their silence during their time of grief to talk about his sudden loss of their “son, brother, and friend,” in a statement shared on social media Friday morning.
“The family of Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone for your support. Every prayer, call and act of kindness is deeply appreciated as we mourn the loss of our son, brother, and friend,” the statement begins, as reported by The Shade Room.
“Brooklyn knew him as Bashar,” the statement continues. “He was educated and nurtured in Brooklyn and his rise to fame developed from the place he proudly represented. Within the last year, his extraordinary gifts were revealed to the world; introducing Pop Smoke.”
Pop Smoke died from a gunshot wound to his torso during a home invasion on February 19 at his Hollywood Hills home, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s report.
Fans on social media speculated the cause of Smoke’s death, suggesting he was set up him by his own brother, Mike Dee, in part because Dee was the last person seen with his brother in pictures from the day before his murder. Dee addressed the claims in an Instagram post that includes a photo of the two of them together as children.
“Yall come on here playing investigator and bashing me on the internet. I would never in my life set my brother up,” he wrote, in part. “We ate together, broke bread together this really my mother’s child. I don’t gotta explain nothing to nobody that don’t know me.”
At this time, the family says there are no public details available regarding Smoke’s death and ask for “respect and responsible reporting during this critical time.”
Smoke’s breakthrough single, “Welcome to the Party”, from his debut Meet the Woo mixtape, was the song of the summer last year, followed up by his single “Dior.” The New York rapper collaborated with major names including Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott. His latest project, Meet the Woo 2, features the Quavo-assisted “Shake the Room.”
Pop Smoke is survived by his mother, brother and sister.
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