Pop Smoke May Have Been Killed Over His Ties To Crips

Brooklyn-born rapper Pop Smoke may have been shot dead over his ties to the Crips — with the killing appearing to be a targeted hit, according to a report Thursday. The “Welcome to the Party” star was initially assumed to be the tragic victim of a robbery gone wrong after four masked men stormed a Los Angeles house party in the early hours Wednesday. That theory emerged in part because the rapper, dripping in jewelry and Louis Vuitton, had posted an Instagram photo of a friend holding a huge stack of cash — while also posting a package that showed the address for the Hollywood Hills home where he was staying. But the four assailants fled the $2.5 million mansion with no cash or jewelry — leading police to believe it may have been a gang-related hit job, sources told the LA Times. “I am not comfortable calling it a robbery right now,” Robbery Homicide Division Capt. Jonathan Tippet told the paper. “There is a lot of information available. We have some work to do.” Detectives on Thursday were treating the slaying as gang-related homicide, law enforcement sources told the paper. Surveillance footage from the home shows four people fleeing empty-handed, with three of the attackers bolting to the side of the house. A fourth appears to go to the back door, where there were no cameras. The rapper — real name Bashar Barakah Jackson — was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Police did not release his name, but the star’s death was confirmed by his label, Republic Records, which said it was “devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss.” Pop Smoke was perhaps best known during his short career for the 2019 single “Welcome to the Party,” which invokes gun violence. A remix featured rapper Nicki Minaj, who posted a picture of Pop Smoke on her Instagram account after news of the murder became public. “The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop,” Minaj said in the post. Queens-bred rapper 50 Cent was among many of those posting tributes. “No such thing as success with out jealousy, treachery comes from those who are close. R.i.P,” he wrote alongside a photo of the pair together.

If you recall Pop Smoke is a member of the Wooo's. Choo (Folks) and Wooo (Bloods and Crips) gangs.

On Feb. 5th authorities announced a massive takedown of “WOOO” and “CHOO” — two rival Brooklyn street gangs whose “primary activity” was to track each other down and open fire “in a game of one-upmanship,” prosecutors said.

Thirty-four alleged members of the crews were hit with a 122-count indictment on various charges that include attempted murder, assault, gun possession, robbery, burglary and rape.

WOOO (which stands for We On Our Own) and CHOO (whose name prosecutors couldn’t parse) have terrorized the areas around Brownsville and Flatbush for years, in some cases using underage girls as “holsters” to hold their guns while they hunted rival gangsters, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.

“They tend to recruit, abuse, and utilize young women,” Gonzalez said. “They recruit them into the gang, they have the young girls carry their firearms, their handguns for them.”

“They believe that the police are less likely to stop the young women,” he said.

Two accused WOOO members, Jayquan Wise, 19, and Tyquan Ellison, 20, are also charged with raping a 14-year-old girl — and Ellison is charged with sex trafficking for allegedly forcing the teen to have sex with Wise.

But it was the gunplay between the two gangs that made them a widespread public menace, authorities said.

In one shooting on Nov. 25, Gonzalez alleged that 19-year-old WOOO member Shan Mason shot an innocent woman — then bragged about it in a self-made video and in text messages.

“I hit the lady in the face — bang!” he can allegedly be heard saying in the video. He also texted that he was “on the run” and “real life don’t care,” prosecutors allege.

In another incident in July 2018, two innocent bystanders were shot on Fulton Mall after a WOOO member left Brooklyn Supreme Court and got into an altercation with a rival.

The NYPD’s gang squad had been investigating the gangs since February 2018.


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