18-Year-Old Pop Smoke Murderer Pleads Guilty in Juvenile Court

Photo Credit: Henning Witzel

An 18-year-old charged in the murder of Pop Smoke has confessed in juvenile court to fatally shooting the rapper in February 2020 during a home invasion.

An 18-year-old, who was 15 at the time of the killing, admitted to first-degree murder and home invasion robbery charges in which he intentionally discharged a firearm during the February 2020 incident that resulted in the death of 20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke. Pop Smoke was a rising star in the world of hip-hop before his death.

The defendant, whose name has not been made public on a court order from the presiding judge, confessed to his crimes in juvenile court on Friday and is reportedly expected to be held in a juvenile facility until he is 25.

The 18-year-old is one of four charged with killing Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, while staying in a rented home in the Hollywood Hills. The confession comes a month after one of his accomplices — 17 at the time of the incident — was sentenced to four years and two months in a juvenile facility after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and home invasion robbery.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson was on a four-day trip to Los Angeles when he posted an image on Instagram that revealed his address. He was in the shower when four individuals broke into his home, entered his bedroom, pistol-whipped, and shot him in the back three times. They also reportedly stole Pop Smoke’s watch, which they sold for $2,000.

The rapper rose to prominence after the release of his 2019 single, “Welcome to the Party.” He released two mixtapes: 2019’s Meet the Woo, and 2020’s Meet the Woo 2. His debut albumShoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, was produced by 50 Cent and released by Republic Records in July 2020 after Pop Smoke’s death. Republic released his second album, Faith, in July 2021.