Five people arrested in connection with the murder of rapper, Pop Smoke

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Los Angeles police charge two men with murder after rapper was shot dead during a home invasion in Hollywood in February.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the death of Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke. The 20-year-old artist, born Bashar Jackson, was shot dead in a suspected robbery that took place in a rented apartment in Hollywood, California, on 19 February.

Los Angeles Police Department said it had arrested three adult males and two minors. Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, have been charged with murder. Twenty-one-year-old Jaquan Murphy has been charged with attempted murder.

The LAPD said that members of an LA street gang were involved with the deaths of Pop Smoke and 18-year-old Kamryn Stone, who was killed while working in a clean-up crew after a football game at the Pasadena Rose Bowl stadium in September 2019.

Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, was released last week. The Brooklyn drill pioneer was known for his collaborations with UK drill artists including 808 Melo, Yoz, Swirl, and AXL, whose music he found on YouTube.

In his final interview, Pop predicted the longevity of their sound: “This is what New York sounds like now. We bridged that gap between London and New York. We at least got a decade with this.”

Pop Smoke’s 2019 breakout hit, Welcome to the Party, was produced by 808 Melo. This year, his single Dior – also produced by 808 Melo – became a frequent soundtrack to New York’s Black Lives Matter protests. Pitchfork critic Alphonse Pierre described it as a “radical addition to the protest canon”.

Pierre wrote: “Dior is cathartic in all that it encapsulates, a song that holds many feelings at once: the frustration of seeing a friend jailed, the fun of flirting and acquiring the latest designer clothes (so you can flirt some more), the sobering reality of knowing that it all could end with a snap.”

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