5 Arrested in Murder of Brooklyn Rapper Pop Smoke

The 20-year-old rapper was hurtling toward stardom before he was killed in an early-morning home invasion in February

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Los Angeles police arrested five people Thursday in the February murder of Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, who was shot and killed in what appeared to be a home invasion robbery at the property he was renting in the Hollywood Hills.

"LAPD Detectives have arrested three adult males & two juvenile males related to the Feb 19th murder of Bashar Jackson, a New York based rapper known as Pop Smoke. We will provide further details as they become available," the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted.

Cops responded to the home in the 2000 block of Hercules Drive at about 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 19. One man was found suffering from gunshot wounds, police said. He later died at a hospital. Sources told NBC News the victim was shot multiple times.

The early morning 911 call came from someone on the East Coast, police said. It appears someone from inside the house called that person, who then contacted authorities. Police did not provide more details regarding the call, except to say the caller said at least one intruder was armed with a handgun.

Several people were questioned at the scene in the Mount Olympus area, a residential neighborhood in the hills east of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

The 20-year-old, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, shot to fame last year with his single "Welcome to the Party," which was later remixed by fellow New York City rapper Nicki Minaj and Skepta.

Just last year, Pop Smoke's rise to fame was profiled by reporter Jon Caramanica, who wrote, "'Welcome to the Party' became one of hip-hop’s songs of the summer, but this 20-year-old with a throwback New York vibe is just getting started."

The profile on the rapper's burgeoning stardom was published in The New York Times. Caramanica described his sound as a throwback to the "kind of bad-moods-beget-bad-decisions-beget-bad-consequences" rap music New York once specialized in. Longtime NYC D.J. Funkmaster Flex played "Welcome to the Party" heavily over the summer of 2019. " “I love his energy, his vibe, his song," he told the Times.

His rap style was also compared to the likes of DMX and M.O.P., or the early days of 50 Cent and G-Unit. 50 Cent posted a cryptic tribute to Pop Smoke on Instagram Wednesday, stating that success doesn't come without jealousy.

The young musician had a lengthy rap sheet in New York. According to NYPD records he was arrested eight times, most recently on December 3 last year for grand larceny, where he was allegedly found in possession of a stolen Rolls Royce. According to court filings and prosecutors Jackson had arranged to use the car in a music video, then had it driven to New York on a flatbed tow truck, NBCLA reported. When police found the car its license plate had been changed and the windows had been tinted, officials said.

Previous arrests include one for allegedly shoplifting $300 Burberry shorts from Bergdorf Goodman in August 2019, and various driving charges -- from having excessive tints, to not wearing a seatbelt, to leaving the scene after allegedly hitting a pedestrian.

Pop Smoke grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn, the child of Panamanian and Jamaican parents. He told Genius his artist name is a combination of Papa -- which his Panamanian grandma used call him -- and Smoke Oh Guap -- a childhood nickname from his friends.

The nearly 3,000-square-foot home where he died is listed as a property for rent owned by Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

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