Everyone knows July 20th is Pop Smoke Day in Canarsie.
On his way to a promising music career, the beloved Canarsie rapper’s life was cut short on February 19, 2020 during a home invasion in Los Angeles. Every year since his tragic death, family, friends and fans gather on Pop Smoke’s birthday to honor his life and keep his music – and memory – alive. This year was no different despite a scorching heat wave that simmered across the city for five long days.
Bashar Jackson would have turned 23 last week, and Canarsie has not forgotten the superstar who rose to fame with his hit song, “Welcome to the Party.” To start the party, a parade kicked off at East 80th Street and Flatlands Avenue where a mural serves as a tribute to Pop Smoke, known for popular hits recorded on his debut album, Meet the Woo. Shortly before his death, Meet the Woo 2 was released.
The procession, including exotic cars, made its way to Canarsie Park, on Seaview Avenue and East 92nd Street, where hundreds of fans gathered to remember their favorite hip-hop artist.
Shot for the Stars Foundation organized the free event, where there was plenty of food, fun and face painting for the kids, along with a DJ that played Pop Smoke songs. One of the big events during the day included a basketball tournament.
“You cannot say Pop and forget the Smoke.”
Photos by Baqir Ahmad