Wopo, 21, whose real name is Travon Smart, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but later died. The other victim, who has not been identified, is stable.
“I lost my brother today and it’s the worst feeling in the world. He was destined for greatness and he wanted the best for his friends, family and community. We lost a great person today, but just know I will do everything in my power to make his memory live on forever. Love you bro. #LongLiveWopo,” his manager, Taylor Maglin, wrote on Facebook.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wopo Was Shot While in an SUV in an Apparent Drive-By Shooting
The shooting happened about 4:15 p.m. near the intersection of Wylie Avenue and Chauncey Street in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Reporters posted photos from the scene showing police surrounding a white Mazda SUV with a window shot out.
According to WPXI-TV, the shooting was a drive-by.
No arrests have been made. Wopo was pronounced dead just before 6 p.m. at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Oakland, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The shooting of Jimmy Wopo was shot about the same time as another up-and-coming hip-hop star, XXXTentacion, was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in Broward County, Florida. The incidents do not appear to be connected, but the two shootings happening so close to each has rattled the hip-hop world.
2. He Recently Released a Mixtape, ‘Back Against the Wall,’ Which He Wrote While Serving 2 Months in Jail on a Probation Violation
Jimmy Wopo released his latest mixtape, “Back Against the Wall,” in October 2017, according to XXL. He wrote the new music during a two-month stint in prison for a probation violation. Wopo was on probation as a result of a drug conviction. He was locked up after traveling out-of-state, to New York, to meet with executives from Atlantic Records, his manager said.
“One of the main violations was leaving the state without permission. Now, this is my fault,” Taylor Maglin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I should’ve been more aware of this.”
He also was accused of failing to report regularly to his probation officer. “This is something I also should’ve been on him more about,” Maglin saod. “The music was just the main focus, building the catalog, connecting with the publications and labels, expanding the fanbase. There is no excuse, though. You have to abide by the law. Lesson learned.”
Wopo had big dreams. He told XXL Magazine he didn’t want to have just one or two hits.
“I want to be on and be in the industry for a long time,” he told the magazine. “And get into some other shit; I’m not a faker. If I do this, I’m doing it all the way and get into all the entertainment shit I can get into. Keep money coming in.”
According to XXL, “the charismatic spitta paints vivid pictures in his street tales, giving a bird’s eye view of the streets in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood where he grew up. The song that proves why Wopo is a standout is his breakout track ‘Elm Street.’ No words are wasted as he spits about how he survives the streets, all over eerie keys.”
Wopo told XXL, “I grew up listening to a lot of local music in Pittsburgh, 50 Cent, The Game, Dipset. I was listening to Chief Keef a lot when I was getting older, Meek Mill too. I was listening to Meek way before he blew, when he was battle rapping. My mom called the radio before when I was a young n*gga. They used to have this shit on 106.7 WAMO, ‘If you got flow, let us know.’ You call up the station and they ask you to rap. My mom called it and I rapped on the show. I was probably like 7 years old. I was cussin’ like a muthaf*cka. A couple of n*ggas was like, ‘I heard you on the radio.’ [My mom] always remember that story. It was a big moment.”
3. Wopo Is Survived by His 3-Year-Old Daughter
Wopo is survived by his daughter, Aubrey, who is 3.
“Her name is Aubrey, she just turned two. My first daughter. She be having fun and shit, she a crybaby though, but she be having fun. I’m always happy when I see her. I always smile and laugh and clown. Nice little girl, feel me bro?” he told Hot New HipHop last year. “After I got all the blood tests and shit I took care of her. It was all smooth. Took that shit like a man after a while, cause at first I wasn’t about that kid shit.”
His Facebook page is filled with photos of his daughter and messages about her.
4. He Was Shot Twice During Previous Incidents & Dropped Out of High School After the First Shooting to Focus on His Rap Career
Wopo was shot two other times before the Monday shooting. The first shooting happened just after he finished ninth grade, and he then dropped out, deciding he would rather focus on music.
“It changed my life the second time I got shot, but it never really changed my music. It just gives me more push, because just two years ago I was somewhere getting shot up,” he told Complex during a May 2017 interview. “Now I’m doing this. It keeps me going in a positive route. Cause really nothing happen positive when I was doing negative shit. It’s a reminder when I look at my stomach, my arm, my shoulder, my leg, whatever. I’m still getting bullets took out of me. On the 22nd I gotta go get a bullet took out my leg.”
He said his probation and jail stint slowed down his career.
“When I had to do this probation shit. I mean, when I’m doing this probation shit I be frustrated. That shit be f*cking up my rap shit, taking piss tests and all that. Feel like it’s taking me out of my groove the whole day. Give me something to talk about but this shit is annoying,” he told Hot New HipHop in June 2017. “Motherf*ckers got me taking a piss test every week right now. I’m in the newspaper and all that, they worry about me.”
5. Wopo Started Rapping When He Was 7 & Said Representing Pittsburgh Meant a Lot to Him
In 2017, he talked to Fader about growing up in Pittsburgh:
I went to a lot of alternative schools because I was bad in school. I met a lot of people in the city that way, too. I ain’t never really go through nothing that I ain’t never really wanted to go through, unless I put myself in that situation. It’s a good place once you make it out here.
My mom ain’t never really hold me down, she let me see the world. I love her for that. A lot of people’s moms hold them back from the real world, and they don’t know how to do anything themselves, and are blind to what could happen to them. That’s why motherfuckers be falling into dumb ass situations. My mom let me go through everything by myself, so I’ve seen a lot of shit, and now I know what not to do. She ain’t gotta worry about me.
His manager, Taylor Maglin, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “He’s got a unique sound, a sound I never really heard out of Pittsburgh before. It was almost infectious the way he rapped. His creativity was so incredible, so original. He raps about experiences from his life. You can’t expect him to be rapping about roses and happy times.”
Wopo told Complex he started rapping when he was about 7. He said about Pittsburgh, “The city, it means a lot to me, and it means more to me now that I’m in control. The shit that I do, my actions reflect on the city. Now I take it more serious how I represent where I come from, because more people watching.”