With the news of 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke’s death prompting reactions from all over hip-hop, it was only natural that many would begin theorizing about the motivations of his killers, if only to try to make sense of what seems senseless. One of those contributing such theories is Nicki Minaj, who expressed her belief that Pop Smoke’s killers were motivated by jealousy in her Instagram tribute to him. Nicki was one of the first rappers to co-sign his rise to stardom, rapping over his breakout hit “Welcome To The Party” last summer.
“The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave,” she wrote in the caption. Her sentiments have been echoed elsewhere on social media, as fans and observers alike wondered whether Pop Smoke had been “set up.” While police reported the shooting, which took place at a rented home in the Hollywood Hills, as a home invasion robbery, many wonder whether one of the rapper’s associates used social media to put him in the crosshairs of the alleged robbers.
Pop Smoke’s death really makes me not want to tell anyone anything. Not even my momma. Nobody doing home invasions in Hollywood Hills so he definitely got set up.
— Ariel St. Patrick (@_hurtsa) February 19, 2020
Pop Smokes death was set up by his boy. He baited the address out and he even posted pics with the caption ‘Who’s in LA?’ before changing it after it was confirmed Pop Smoke was dead. pic.twitter.com/laLIQ8BHeQ
— 2-Bit (@_2bit__) February 19, 2020
However, some are taking a different view, believing that Pop’s proclivity for posting his activities on social media simply gave opportunists enough information to determine where he was staying for the night. It seemed that in the course of doing so, he exposed the address of the house he was staying at in Los Angeles, in much the same way his posts featuring a car that was reported stolen led to his arrest for transporting the vehicle across state lines.
Popsmoke wasn’t set up or sacrificed…. he slipped up 😔 he accidentally posted his location multiple times during his excitement. & he must of forgot everybody don’t feel the same way he does. #rippopsmoke gone way too soon pic.twitter.com/9AWt42h1va
— Woo baby 💫💙 (@taysvpreme) February 19, 2020
In either event, it would seem that the rapper attracted the wrong kind of attention after his breakout year, similarly to XXXTentacion, who was also shot to death during a robbery in 2018. See Nicki Minaj’s post about Pop Smoke above.