Huge crowds are expected Friday for the funeral of the murdered rapper Pop Smoke, whose procession through the streets of Brooklyn in a horse-drawn carriage drew hundreds on Thursday.
Dozens of police were on hand in expectation of the large turnout at the Bed-Stuy church.
The artist died last month in a home invasion robbery in Hollywood. 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.
Ahead of the funeral Friday, his casket was marched through Brooklyn Thursday afternoon in a solemn affair, drawn by two white horses and drivers in top hats and tails.
Pop Smoke grew up in Canarsie, 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.
A New York Times profile on the rapper's burgeoning stardom 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. Legendary NYC D.J. Funkmaster Flex played "Welcome to the Party" heavily over the summer of 2019.
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.
But for all his burgeoning success, the young musician also 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.