The shocking news of Pop Smoke’s murder rocked hip hop on Wednesday (February 19). The rapper was killed during a home invasion robbery in the affluent Hollywood Hills community of Los Angeles, and artists have come forward to share their grief over the news of his death. Jadakiss stopped by BET’s studio to share his thoughts about the 20-year-old New York artist who lost his life too soon and shared that being young and successful shouldn’t make you a target for violence.
After offering condolences and prayers to Pop Smoke’s family, Jadakiss revealed that he’d spoken to the young rapper in the past. “It’s just senseless, we’re losing too many young artists,” The Lox rapper said. “I spoke to him a few times on the phone. I was gon’ have him rock at my daughter’s Sweet 16, but he was overseas. He was very… He showed wild love.”
Jadakiss revealed that Pop Smoke was still willing to show up and make an appearance for free. “He got tied up, but then I bumped into him at Barclays, that show they had at the Barclays,” Jadakiss recalled. “Same thing, nothin’ but love backstage… I was just telling somebody today, we lost probably many young artists in the last year or two than I lost my whole career. That’s not good. That’s not good at all. We gotta just cut it out.”
He then quoted a social media post from Irv Gotti that said hip hop is the only genre where you become a target as soon as you become successful. “That’s damn sure true with this,” said Jadakiss. “That don’t happen with nothin’ else. He was a young, successful black man. Just got over being a teenager. Twenty-years-old. He had a lot of living to do. He was able to be successful in this game to get himself out of doing some other dumb stuff. He didn’t have to sell drugs. He didn’t have to put his family in jeopardy for doing something else senseless. For him to lose his life like that? I just… Horrible.”
Watch Jadakiss reflect on the loss of Pop Smoke below. We continue to send out heartfelt condolences to Bashar Barakah Jackson’s loved ones through this sorrowful time.