Pop Smoke's passing at the beginning of the year cast a dark cloud over the rap game, highlighting the dangers inherent in transitioning from the streets to the industry. And in a genre where conflict was not exactly uncommon, many Brooklyn Drill artists found themselves at odds with one another, including Pop Smoke and Smoove'L. Though the situation might have escalated, both parties were eventually able to come to an understanding, going so far as to plan an eventual collaboration -- that is, until Pop's life was lost on February 19th, 2020.
Smoove'L. Image via Artist
HNHH recently caught up with Smoove'L for our ongoing HNHH Presents: The 12 Days Of X-Mas interview series, and the rapper reflected on his experience mending the fence with Pop Smoke prior to his passing. "I had got his number and then I texted him," explains Smoove, keeping his cards close to his chest. "Then, the news came. I texted him the same night. I texted the same night and then I woke up the next morning and found out on the news. May God bless his family and bless his soul."
He clarifies that he actually reached out on the same night that Pop was killed. "My A&R had talked to him and told me and then I texted him," explains Smoove, noting that his A&R was integral in playing the diplomat. "Like a real n*gga should, you know what I’m saying?" When asked about whether or not rappers need to place more focus on their own personal safety, Smoove explained the importance of security. "I don’t know why rappers don’t have security guards but I have one. Sometimes. Sometimes not. But you should, especially for shows and shit like that."
"It’s a professional thing, you get what I’m saying?" he continues. "I ain’t trying to get this side of the world mixed with this. If I see that’s the right thing to do in this side of the world then do it because, us, as rappers, [there’s] a lot of jewelry, ice. It’s a lot of n*ggas -- how everybody else is, it’s a lot of haters."
For more from Smoove'L, be sure to check out the entire interview right here: Smoove'L Praises Roddy Ricch's Sound & Album, Talks Mending Things With Pop Smoke.