How Pop Smoke Created A New Wave In Hip Hop & Bridged The Gap For Drill

Pop Smoke is wearing a Louis Vuitton look before the Louis Vuitton AW20 Men Show on January 16
(Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images)

Pop Smoke’s untimely passing has hip hop crushed. 

On Feb. 19, TMZ broke the horrible news that Pop Smoke, 20, was shot and killed in a Hollywood Hills rental home he was in. Millions of fans woke up shocked, sad and horrified by the story. Especially since he was on the rise and marking his stamp in the industry. 

With the help of his London-based producer 808Melo, he created a new wave in his hometown of Brooklyn that merged the gap between UK drill and New York’s gritty rap sound. His distinct voice made him stand out and was compared to hip hop OG 50 Cent.

During an episode of Rap Life, Ebro and Nadeska reflected on the loss of the BK rapper. Pop said he was excited about his new life and getting out of the hood. 


The “Shake The Room” rapper’s personality and charm were infectious. He did his first radio interview at Hot 97 with TT Torrez and DJ Bobby Trends. Even though it was raw, you can tell he was enjoying every moment of his success. During the interview, he said he had dreams of buying his mom a new home. 

He was happy that his hometown radio station was showing him a lot of love. He also had interviews with our Hot 97’s Who’s Next My Grind Series and DJ Drewski, who also featured him on his single, “Mary Jane,” with Lil T Jay.

Although Pop Smoke was affiliated with the Crips, Pop showed the streets that it was cool to not have beef when he and Casanova squashed their situation and the end of 2019. 

Pop released his debut mixtape, Meet the Woo, in July 2019 and it featured hits like “Welcome To The Party,” which caught the attention of Nicki Minaj, who hopped on the official remix. A UK remix with Skepta was also dropped. “Dior” was another popular hit and the mixtape earned him a spot on the Billboard Chart. Pop Smoke also appeared on Travis Scott’s “Gatti,” and it landed on the charts. Travis dropped an unreleased verse after the news broke of Pop’s death.

The second installment, Meet The Woo 2, dropped on Feb. 7th, and is number 7 on the Billboard Chart currently. Since his tragic passing, his streams increased by 392%. A deluxe version of the album that features three additional songs, “Wolves” with NAV, and a Dior” remix with Gunna, and “Like Me” ft. PnB Rock is available. 

Pop Smoke’s music will live on forever, and we’ll keep you updated as more details about his tragedy become available.