DEJA VU: History repeats itself as another rap star’s murder becomes a mystery.

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Pop Smoke

Just days ago, the Hip Hop world was shocked to learn that the life of Bashar Baraka Jackson also known as “Pop Smoke” had ended way too soon. Los Angeles Police Department held a press conference on Wednesday morning giving minimal details as to what occurred in the late hours of the night. Captain Steve Lurie addressed a small crowd of reporters, first apologizing for the preliminary information. According to the investigation, at exactly 4:55am multiple LAPD Hollywood units responded to a call at 2033 Hercules Drive. A rental property owned by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp, who reportedly was contacted by a third party company managing the property, in reference to the incident.

The phone call detailed that there was an invasion in progress involving several men, one of which was armed with a handgun. LAPD arrived six minutes later, discovering Jackson’s body heavily wounded before briefly detaining other individuals inside the home. After discovering that those inside were witnesses to the crime, they were released. This, however, was far from the end of the story.

As the days have passed, suspicion continues to rise as to what really happened that night. Various media outlets have also reported that there was a social gathering of some sort that took place just a few hours before the incident. Naturally, speculations of foul play grew as fans of the rapper, noticed peculiar activity on the Instagram of Mike Dee, who was often seen with Jackson at various interviews, appearances, and most recently the very last photo that Pop Smoke would ever take. After the news broke, allegedly Mike Dee began deleting certain posts on his profile, as well as changing the captions. Fans began to question Mike by commenting under the altered post, questioning the changes and accusing him of being responsible for the death of the “Welcome To The Party” rapper. Later that day, Mike Dee responded to the backlash as his emotions got the best of him. He posted a photo swipe including five throwback photographs of himself and the late rapper.

A portion of the caption included:

‘… I would never in my life set my brother up, we ate together, broke bread together, this really my mother child I don’t gotta explain nothing to nobody but for the ones who know me know when you saw me you saw pop…’.

Coincidentally, we were unable to visibly locate Mike anywhere in the crime scene video, even as they were rolling the wounded rapper into the ambulance while trying to resuscitate him. 

Further developments suggest that this was a strategic gang-related event targeting Pop Smoke and not a home invasion robbery as initially reported. It was no secret that the rapper was part of the crip gang, but the question remains, how where the perpetrators able to invade a multi-million dollar neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills? Where was his publicist, manager, security and most of all where was Mike Dee? According to our sources, when traveling across the country, all inducted members of the crip gang are to check in with the “OG” to prevent any confusion while crossing gang territories.

Rumors have also suggested that Pop Smoke had issues with the OG Crips in Brooklyn NY prior to traveling to the west coast. This could very well be a key piece of information to a deeper revelation. As the details keep rolling in, many can’t help but compare this tragedy to the gang-related violence of 90’s rap king, Tupac Shakur.

Is history repeating itself as gang culture somehow makes its way back into the Hip-Hop industry once again? Is gang affiliation once again becoming the only way out to survive a system that seeks to destroy minorities? Just last year the Hip-Hop Community lost Nipsey Hussle, as he was also assassinated in Los Angeles, which is still unclear if it was gang-related or not. To date, the LAPD has built a reputation for never bringing closure to any of these celebrity hip-hop murders but when will community leaders and city officials take a stand to hold them accountable? 

On Sunday, February 23rd, there will be a tribute hosted by the SPCBC GriefShare Support Group, at the well known Saint Paul Community Baptist Church in East New York. Jackson attended this church as an adolescent and was very active. Jackson was also culturally involved in performing arts, as a traditional African dancer prior to fame.

The family of the late rapper, arrived in Los Angeles days ago, trying to make sense of what happened. Rap-up.com reports that family members have begun to question all those who were in attendance at the house party prior to the shooting, as well as requesting the surveillance footage from the Hollywood Hills home. Sadly it seems that we are all searching for answers. But as the hours continue to pass by with no new leads, this all is starting to look more like deja vu.