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Monday, December 11, 2023
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2019 Fall Fest headliner Pop Smoke dies at 20

Musical artist killed during robbery at his home early Wednesday morning

<p>&nbsp;Rapper Pop Smoke who performed at Fall Fest last semester was shot dead in a home invasion.</p>

 Rapper Pop Smoke who performed at Fall Fest last semester was shot dead in a home invasion.

Rapper Pop Smoke died Wednesday morning after being shot in his Hollywood home in a robbery. Students are remembering the rapper, 20, and his Fall Fest performance from just five months ago.

The death is being reported as a result of a home invasion. As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the suspects have not been apprehended.

Pop Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, headlined the first concert in the 2019 Fall Fest series, Sept. 14’s Afro-Caribbean Fest, along with fellow artists Kranium and Koffee after previous headliner Burna Boy dropped out on the day of show. He broke out in April 2019 with “Welcome to the Party,” a song that ended up on his debut project “Meet the Woo.” He went on to collaborate with artists such as Travis Scott, Sheck Wes and Nicki Minaj. 

On Feb. 7, he released his second full-length project “Meet the Woo, Vol. 2,” which featured, among others, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Quavo. It debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.

Dayna Holding, a freshman social science student, was upset by Pop Smoke’s death.

“It’s devastating seeing a young rapper pass away,” Holding said. “The rap industry is changing [with] every rap-industry death.”

Iaisha Johnson, an African and African American studies major who was at the show, remembers the passion and confidence Pop Smoke brought to the stage.

“His death is one that me [and] anyone from New York City will never take lightly,” said Johnson. “He gave me and others around me hope for being successful and leaving your environment behind.” 

Alex Whetham is the Senior Arts Editor and can be reached at or on Twitter @alexo774


Alex Whetham is an asst. arts editor for The Spectrum



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