At the top of the 20-minute interview, Adams detailed the importance of him and Jackson honoring Smoke’s legacy with an anti-gun violence initiative.
“We did a video together and I spoke with Audrey and her husband, Pop Smoke’s dad, and I walked away from there just saying this story must be told,” Adams said. “Sometimes, when we look at those who are in the record industry, we do not know the depth of the families who are involved. Audrey is an amazing educator, her husband is in the financial industry, an industry that is challenging for a Black man to navigate, and he’s extremely successful. And brother Pop Smoke had an amazing foundation that we saw in his creativity. … He was deeply rooted in strong faith, strong understanding of the English language, knowing how to put together the lyrics. And he brought his own flavor to it.”
Adams added that “we are losing too many Pop Smokes all over our country” to instances of gun violence, noting such victims are people who “could have [had] a significant impact” on the direction of the world.
“Gun violence has become the new slave owner,” he said. “When we saw Black men disappear from the continent of Africa and we were wondering where they were going and in the belly of the slave ship. Gun violence is becoming the new belly of the slave ship. Too many young Black men we are losing and we need to turn this around.”
Later, around three minutes into the discussion, Jackson reflected on her son’s fondness for the Breakfast Club show and touched on how she’s able to find strength while working to further cement his legacy.
“These moments, they’re bittersweet,” she said. “Here at the Breakfast Club, you guys, he would listen to you all every day. He sat in the kitchen at the table, played you all. This should have been his moment. Everything I’m doing to promote and expand his legacy, it looks from the outside looking in [like] ‘She’s on stage!’ But every moment of that is faithful because there’s a way that, in planning it, there’s a secret place inside of me that says at the end of the day, when this event happens, he’s gonna be there. And at the end of it, I’m trying to check in with myself. Why are you feeling so bad? The thing went well. And then I realize I was expecting him to show up. And I’m still in that place.”
After speaking on the Shoot for the Stars Foundation, which has plans to continue expanding by helping young people more easily gain access to technology and learn how to use it in various mediums, Jackson was asked to explain how it feels to hear her son’s music everywhere.
“It hurts,” Jackson, who uses Pop Smoke’s lyrics in her work as an educator, said around seven minutes into the interview. “And I’m gonna tell you guys, I don’t [listen] unless I have to. I can’t listen, even in my car. I turn on news. I can’t. Any kind of music. Because that was our connection, that was our thing. … We danced together, we sang together.”
Elsewhere, Jackson briefly addressed the status of the case surrounding her son’s murder, explaining that detectives have been helpful in accepting her calls and taking her questions while also pointing out the current work being done to determine whether one of the minors involved can be tried as an adult. And about 12 minutes into the Breakfast Club feature, Jackson shared her thoughts on forgiveness.
“They’ve done something and there should be some sort of repercussion for what they’ve done,” she said. “But my brain goes to their households that have been disturbed. Mine has been damaged, but their moms and their dads, too, have had some stuff. It’s not about forgiveness, per se, but just kind of understanding the dynamics of what’s going on. Am I ready to go out to tea and to lunch? Not yet. But I really try not to operate out of a place of negativity or anger because it doesn’t serve any purpose.”
Catch the full interview up top.
Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Pop Smoke’s death. Next month, Eddie Huang’s directorial debut Boogie—featuring the posthumous acting debut of Pop Smoke—will be released via Focus Features. See the trailer below.