Six days after Pop Smoke‘s posthumous album dropped, Los Angeles police announced Thursday that five people, two of them juveniles, had been arrested in connection with the rapper’s February slaying.
The Los Angeles Police Department provided few additional details.
“LAPD Detectives have arrested three adult males and two juvenile males related to the Feb 19th murder,” it said in a tweet. “We will provide further details as they become available.”
The arrests come less than a week after Friday’s release of the album, “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon.”
Universal Music Group had planned to release the album last month, but instead it dropped the single “Make It Rain,” with an executive explaining the delay was related to police brutality protests across the country.
“Music is the tool of revolution. We have been watching, along with the rest of the world, as long overdue change starts to take root. We have seen Pop’s music become the soundtrack of the moment, unifying the masses,” Steven Victor, senior vice president at Universal, wrote on Instagram. “Given recent events, we have decided to delay the release of his album out of respect for the movement.”
Pop Smoke was killed during a home invasion at a Hollywood Hills residence, police said. The 20-year-old was enjoying the success of his sophomore mixtape, which came out the week before his killing.
Police received a call just before 5 a.m. PST from “someone back East” who reported that one of their friend’s homes was being broken into and that one of the suspects was armed with a handgun, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Steve Lurie said at the time.
Inside, officers found the rapper, who had been shot. He was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead hours later, the captain said.
Several people were detained and released in February. Witnesses told investigators that between two and six people broke into the home, one of them wearing a mask, Lurie said.
Pop Smoke formed part of Brooklyn’s drill scene, popularized by Sheff G, who grew up listening to drill pioneers Chief Keef and G Herbo.
The rapper made a name for himself in the summer of 2019 with the release of his debut mixtape, “Meet the Woo,” featuring the trap-influenced anthem “Welcome to the Party.”
The video for the song snared more than 24 million views on YouTube, and hip-hop stars Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill dropped remixes.
“My face, my voice was everywhere, you know what I’m saying?” Pop told i-D magazine in a December interview. “I knew it was gonna be big when I started seeing my face on billboards.”
The magazine titled its piece, “Is Pop Smoke the new king of New York?” — a title generally reserved for the likes of Nas, Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G.
The Brooklyn-born rhymesmith later collaborated with Quavo, Travis Scott, H.E.R., A Boogie Wit da Hoodie and Chris Brown.
Pop’s “Meet the Woo” tour was scheduled to kick off with a sold-out show in Washington, D.C., on March 2.
In a 2019 New York Times profile, the artist talked about his life before he found fame. His teen years were described as “high-risk, high-reward.”
“You like nice things, you got to do things to get nice things,” he told the paper. “At 16, I had a 5 Series (BMW).”