Pop Smoke’s Untimely Death: Targeted or Accidental?
By Mary Onsunlusi
February 2020, marks another month of loss for the Hollywood music industry as it mourns the passing of a rising star, Pop Smoke.
On Feb. 19, the 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper was reported to have been shot dead in his apartment in Hollywood Hills. He was said to have accidentally revealed his home address online, which resulted in a robbery that claimed his life.
According to the surveillance footage, TMZ proposed that that Pop smoke was shot and killed not as a robbery, but a targeted hit, “a premeditated murder.”
As Fans and celebrities took to the internet to express their grief and give the artist a tribute message, many expressed concern as to why the rapper had to die when he was so young and just making his path in the music industry.
Following the death of Juice Wrld only a few months back, which was said to be related to his tribute song Legends. He clearly stated that “legends don’t live past 21”, this has kept everyone wondering if the 20-year-old rappers death was accidental, incidental or coincidental.
Nicki Minaj posted a tribute message where she talked about jealousy being as cold as the grave, which some fans reported on social media had an underlying meaning to it, further creating the possibility that his death was not a robbery accident but an intended murder.
After the passing of the rapper Pop Smoke went viral on social media and all over the internet, there was a simultaneous increase in the activities of the rapper’s song. A lot of people who didn’t know about him or ever heard his song were piqued with interest when he began to trend and tried to find out who he was, how good was his music, and how he died.
After Pop Smoke lost the battle to death, his streams increased by 392 percent according to a report by Billboard. On the very day of his passing, his streams rose from 5 million to over 24.7 million views. “Dior” in particular became a hit song as it increased by 467 percent with an initial stream of 909,000 to a massive 5.2 million streams.
The song with the highest streams, however, is “Better Have Your Gun,” with a 783 percent rise according to Nielsen Music/M Data. Not only did online streams increase, but so also made digital sales of his songs recorded a massive increase like never before. After his passing, the rapper’s digital sales rose drastically from 984 percent to 12,179 percent.
Pop Smoke was a rising artist when he was alive, and he was beginning to make waves in the music industry. Following his death, he moved from the tanks of an upcoming artist to a legend overnight. Not only in the music industry but also in the information industry, news about the death of Pop Smoke increased engagement with online news platforms as people searched through the net for valuable information about his death. Investigations are still ongoing, but for now, all we can hold on to is the words of Juice Wrld, “Legends don’t live past 21.”