Bashar Barakah Jackson, most commonly known under the name of Pop Smoke, was an American singer, songwriter, and rapper who was on top of his career since 2018. Before he released his own fair share of projects to the world, Pop Smoke saw himself breakthrough in the international scene with ‘Welcome to the Party,’ a hip hop single that clawed its way through multiple charts in several different countries––topping at number 13 for Complex magazine’s ‘Best Songs of 2019’ list.
A short career, as some would say, for a rapper who has looked promising compared to the up and coming stars of the hip hop industry. His first and, unfortunately, only album, ‘Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon’, was released in July 2020––just a couple of months after the young rapper was murdered in a home invasion five months prior. When the album was released, it topped chart after chart internationally––from Australia and Canada to Switzerland, the United States, and many more.
In the 2010s, Bashar named himself Pop Smoke, inspired by ‘Poppa’ (what his Panamanian grandmother used to call him) and ‘Smoke’ (what his friends used to call him), and immediately became a force to be reckoned with in the industry. After the release of his songs, he became quite the collaborator––establishing relationships with some of the biggest names in the rapping game.
In April 2019, Smoke released his first project ‘Welcome to the Party,’ a hit single that made him see his rise to prominence right before his eyes. From placing in charts to, most importantly, getting all the love from all different kinds of social media, the song blew up in just a matter of hours and days. After the song gained that much popularity, fellow rappers like ASAP Ferg, Kiing Shooter, and Meek Mill rode the bandwagon––remixing the song.
Just a few months after the release of the original, Pop Smoke collaborated with one of the biggest names not only in the rapping industry but in the world, Nicki Minaj. Both the original and the remixed version of the song made their way to Pop Smoke’s first studio project, ‘Meet the Woo’ mixtape.
After that, the rest was history. The rest of the year he got to flaunt collaborating with a handful of the best artists in the world like Travis Scott, Quavo, JackBoys, and Lil Tjay. ‘Meet the Woo 2’ was his second mixtape and was released days before he was murdered in early 2020.
Bashar Barakah Jackson
Date of Birth
July 20, 1999
Brooklyn, New York, United States
A short-lived career, for sure, but what made Pop Smoke stand out was his inherent side of being young yet so mature enough to spit the truth. One of the youngest to ever depict talent and hard work despite dying as early as he did, Pop Smoke left a legacy that will not be forgotten. Boasting over a billion streams collectively on Spotify, fans of the rapper should be happy he existed to give us everlasting music. With the songs he’s putting out––from the quality, lyricism, and genuineness––he could’ve been the future of the rapping industry together with a lot of the youngins in the business.
Here are the best quotes and lyrics from Pop Smoke!
Top 5 Pop Smoke Quotes
- “I make music for that kid in the hood that’s gotta share a bedroom with like four kids––the young kids growing up in poverty. I make music for that kid who got beef, thinking about how, when they go to school, these people might try to kill me but I still gotta get my diploma for my mom. I make music for kids like that who know they just gotta keep going, that there’s a better way. That’s who I really make it for. Obviously it got bigger and it’s for everybody now––people all across the world f*ck with it now––but I really make it for them. The people who really need some inspiration.” – Pop Smoke
- “You only as real as the people you surround yourself with.” – Pop Smoke
- “Sometimes you gotta be selfish when you trynna build an empire.” – Pop Smoke
- “You can’t say pop and forget the smoke.” – Pop Smoke
- “I make rap. Rap don’t make me ” – Pop Smoke