Pop Smoke died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on February 19, 2020. 23 years earlier, fellow Brooklyn-born rapper, Biggie Smalls died at the same hospital in West Hollywood.
Pop Smoke’s real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson. He was 20 years old. Biggie Smalls’s real name was Christopher Wallace. He was 24 years old. Both rappers were natives of the Brooklyn-borough of New York, Pop Smoke hailed from Canarsie-section while Biggie was born in Bed Stuy.
Pop Smoke Was Pronounced Dead ‘Hours’ After Being Brought to Cedars-Sinai
Pop Smoke was shot inside of a home along Hercules Drive in the Hollywood Hills around 4:30 a.m. in what investigators believe was a gang-related shooting. Pop Smoke’s friend, Michael Durodola, was also in the home at the time of the shooting. Smoke was then taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead “hours later,” Capt. Steven Lurie of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood division later told the media.
Biggie Smalls Had Emergency Surgery Shortly After Arriving at Cedars-Sinai
Biggie Smalls was shot dead on the night of March 8, 1997, having attended the 11th annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles. He too was later pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai, around 1 a.m. local time on March 9. In 2012, Biggie’s autopsy was publicly released. Those documents said that doctors performed emergency surgery on the 300-pound rapper upon his arrival at the hospital, according to the Los Angeles Times. The documents also said that two medium-caliber bullets were removed his hospital gurney.
Biggie Smalls Was Driven to Cedars-Sinai in His Own Car, Pop Smoke Was Taken by Paramedics
The Associated Press reported in March 1997 that Biggie’s death was confirmed by Police Officer Tommy Gallardo. The AP report says that unlike Pop Smoke, Biggie was driven to Cedars-Sinai in his own SUV. That SUV showed at least five bullet holes in its side when it arrived at the hospital, the report said. Shortly after the rapper’s arrival, detectives cordoned off the hospital’s parking lot.
Rappers Dolla, Eazy E & Heavy D, Also All Died at Cedars-Sinai in Hollywood
Thanks to its proximity to Hollywood and show-business, many notable people have passed away at Cedars-Sinai, going back to 1937 when composer George Gershwin died there. Celebrities who also died at the facility including comedians Groucho Marx, Andy Kaufman and Lucille Ball, in 1977, 1984 and 1989 respectively, as well as actors River Phoenix, Don Knotts and Brittany Murphy, in 1993, 2006 and 2009, in addition to Frank Sinatra in 1998. Arguably the most famous rapper to have died, besides Biggie Smalls and Pop Smoke, at the hospital is NWA’s Easy-E, who died due to AIDS-related complications in 1995.
Rapper Dolla passed away there too in May 2009 after he was shot five times at the Beverly Hills Shopping Mall. In November 2011, rapper Heavy D, who was famously name-checked in Biggie Small’s breakthrough hit, “Juicy,” died at the hospital following a battle with pneumonia.