Up-and-coming rapper Pop Smoke was murdered early Wednesday in what TMZ describes as a home invasion in the Hollywood Hills. The rapper, born Bashar Jackson, was shot and killed around 4:30am when masked men broke into a home where a gathering had taken place, the outlet reports, citing law enforcement sources. Video footage shows emergency responders proceeding with life-saving measures as the rapper is taken from the home on a gurney. He was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai hospital, per Vulture. The assailants reportedly fled on foot. One person near the scene was detained but found not to have been involved, per TMZ, which reports no other arrests have been made.
It's unclear if Pop Smoke was renting the home, one of several Los Angeles properties owned by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave and her husband, per TMZ and Vulture. TMZ reports that hours before his death, Pop Smoke posted a photo with a friend holding a ton of cash in the driveway of the home, and he had also posted the home's address, which appeared on a photo of a gift bag, earlier in the day. The 20-year-old rapper had just released his second mixtape, which debuted at No. 7 on this week's Billboard 200 chart. He was best known for the 2019 song "Welcome to the Party," remixed with Nicki Minaj. On Instagram, Minaj hinted that the assailants had a grudge against the rapper. "The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave," she wrote. "Unbelievable. Rest in Peace, Pop." Rapper 50 Cent also paid respect on Twitter. "No sympathy for winners. God bless him," he wrote. (Read more shooting stories.)