Four teenagers have been charged in the death of Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, whose real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson. According to a news release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, 19-year-old Corey Walker and 18-year-old Keandre Rodgers were charged with murder with the special circumstance allegation that they killed the 20-year-old while committing robbery and burglary. Because of the special circumstance allegation, the two could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The DA announced that two juveniles, ages 15 and 17, were also each charged with one count of murder and robbery in juvenile court. Their names have not been released.
The fifth suspect, 21-year-old Jaquan Murphy, has not been charged but remains in custody, KTLA reported. Rodgers and Walker were held on $1 million bail and expected to be arraigned on July 13.
The four teens are accused of entering a Hollywood Hills home that Jackson was renting on February 19 around 4 a.m and shooting him while trying to rob him, CBS Los Angeles reported. The outlet reported that Los Angeles Police Department officers received a 911 call from the East Coast alerting them to the break-in and later found Jackson with gunshot wounds.
Some of the Suspects May Be Connected to Another Los Angeles Murder
According to KTLA, a few of the suspects are being considered in the murder of 18-year-old Kamryn Stone. Stone was killed in September 2019 outside of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, KTLA reported at the time. The shooting is suspected to be gang-related. Police believe that Stone was “at the wrong place at the wrong time,” CBS Los Angeles reported.
KTLA reported that Stone was working at the stadium after a football game between the University of Oklahoma and UCLA. CBS Los Angeles reported that it was Stone’s first day on the job working at Cynthia’s Cleaning Company. His father, Barry Stone, told CBS that he had recently graduated from high school and was taking real estate classes at West LA College.
Pop Smoke’s Posthumous Album Debuted at No. 1
The “Dior” rapper’s debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, Billboard reported. The 19-track project sold 251,000 equivalent units and had 268.44 million streams, making it the first posthumous album to top the chart since XXXTentacion’s Skins in 2018.
Rapper 50 Cent vowed to finish the album after Jackson’s untimely death and served as the project’s executive producer.
“I’m on the move listening to Pop smoke, I decided I’m gonna executive produce and finish his album for him,” he said on Instagram.
After the album’s release, he voiced that he was displeased with some of the folks on Jackson’s team.
“I’m really not feeling the way the guys involved with Pop’s project are handling things, I got it to this point it’s gonna be the #1 album,” he posted on Instagram. “That’s good enough right. [I’m] gonna be unavailable moving forward peace.”
50 Cent revealed that while preparing the album for release, rappers Calboy and Burna Boy were removed from the tracks they appeared on and explained why.
“Now look, [Pop Smoke] has the No. 1 record, and this isn’t the record he would have presented [if he were still around],” he told Billboard. “You got some of the guys that were on records that got swapped off, and they’re upset. I understand it, but they were not a part of what would have made the best records. They’re still in growing stages. So when they see themselves come off of the record, they go, ‘Yo, why you put him off, but put the Latin artist?’ The Latin audience is THIS BIG, bro. And you got an established Latin artist.”
He also told Billboard that he didn’t accept any payment for being the project’s executive producer.
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