The musician, real name Curtis Jackson, executive produced Smoke’s debut album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon – released five months after Smoke was shot and killed in a home invasion in February 2020 – but he recently told interviewer Kris Kaylin he’s unsure whether he’ll be involved for the next record.
“Steven (Victor) was originally Pop’s manager and the label person that he was signed to,” he said. “He talked to me about the new record, and I’m not sure if I’ll participate with this, that record.
“I just wanted to make sure that his record did what it was supposed to. My interaction with Pop was like he was looking at me like I could tell him the right way to go, and that everything would work based on what I was saying.”
The album was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and giving Pop Smoke his first U.S. number-one hit.
50 went on to hint that some issues behind-the-scenes with the creative team working on the album had forced him to make the decision regarding any later involvement.
“It’s unfortunate that it actually happened. It’s like the other side of it – when I’m coming up early on, I’m so connected to the environment that everything in the environment, I’m subjected to the same,” he said. “Outside of producing the record and having it perform well, I did all the promotion for that record to have it work. They would have put it out and you’d have to find it out of basic interest.”
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Carlos Camacho testified in court last month that the rising star was targeted by the four defendants charged with murder and robbery for the jewellery he was wearing in social media posts.
He claimed the youngest of the suspects, a 15-year-old, was the one who snatched the rapper’s watch – which was later sold for just $2,000 (£1,400).
Pop Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, was 20 years old when he died.