After XXXTentacion, a second young rap star has been shot dead today. Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reported earlier today that Jimmy Wopo, the up-and-coming Pittsburgh rap star, was shot in a double shooting in Pittsburgh’s Middle Hill neighborhood today. Wopo (real name Travon Smart) was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. KDKA reports that Wopo’s manager has confirmed that he died in the hospital. The other victim is in stable condition. Wopo was 21.
Jimmy Wopo grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, going to what he called “alternative schools.” He started releasing music in 2015, and in 2016, he posted his breakout track “Elm Street.” It’s a ferociously hard old-school street rap track with a heavy piano-based beat, and it may have been an inspiration for Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.”
Wopo released Woponese, his debut mixtape, in 2016. In 2017, he followed it up with his Jordan Kobe tape, and he also served a few months in prison after violating his parole to visit New York for meetings with record labels. More recently, he’s been working with Atlanta producer Sonny Digital on the as-yet-unreleased collaborative mixtape Jimmy Digital.
Wopo had a ton of charisma, vitality, and promise, and he made at least a few songs that will resonate for a long time. Watch a few of his videos below.
UPDATE: Wapo’s manager, Taylor Maglin, shared this message on Facebook:
I lost my brother today and it’s the worst feeling in the world. He was destined for greatness and he wanted the best for his friends, family and community. We lost a great person today, but just know I will do everything in my power to make his memory live on forever. Love you bro #LongLiveWopo