ABOUT JIMMY WOPO
Travon Dashawn Smart, affectionately known as “Oodie” and professionally known as “Jimmy Wopo” was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 13, 1997 to Tammeka Dennison and James White Jr. He departed this life suddenly on June 18, 2018. He was raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District and began his education in the Pittsburgh Public School System.
Oodie developed a talent for sports including playing Football for the Hill District Disciples. Around age seven (7) he got his first public exposure to rapping on WAMO’s “If you got flow, let us know.” Although the language may have been a little “grown-up” it was a big moment for him and a fond memory for his mom.
By age fourteen (14), Oodie began seriously making music through the Hope Center who provided a music studio for him to develop his craft. Around age 18 is when he and his Manager Taylor Maglin linked up, and at that point he started achieving his goal of making well known music, and achieving his desire to be “Epic.”
Travon is survived by his children, Aubree Shanee Bradford, Tru’Love Lee Smart and Travon Dashawn Smart Jr; parents, Tammeka Dennison and James (Peewee) White Jr; brothers, Juawane Dennison, Anthony Dennison, Deandre Cain and Kellin McBryde; sisters, Parrish Bey, Shakale Williams, Jasmine Devers, Kortney Johnson, Kimberly Johnson, and Paris White;
In the two and a half years Taylor and Wopo worked together, he developed a massive fan base that stretched across 61 countries around the world, he accumulated millions of views on YouTube, and he had millions of plays on Spotify, Apple Music and Sound Cloud. Travon had not only the local but the national press and publicity from the industry’s top publications covering him, his music and his inevitable journey to the top. THE FADER called him “Pittsburgh Raps Newest Hope”, XXL Magazine was considering him to be an XXL Freshman this year, and Hip-Hop powerhouse WorldStar grew to support his music which is an incredible accomplishment on its own. And more importantly, Travon had the attention of every single major record label out there.
Travon’s talent was recognized by his industry peers, leading to what we all know as some epic collaborations with many great artists and producers such as Rae Sremmurd, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Durk, Hardo, 21 Savage, Maxo Kream, Mike Will Made It, Sonny Digital, Murda Beatz, Riff Raff, Rich The Kid, Hit-Boy, Dice Soho, Sledgren, Johnny Juliano, Snap Dogg, Will Tha Rapper, Doe Boy, Ar-Ab, Ripp Flamez, DJ Afterthought, FTR Drama, Nizzy, Heemi, ASCO, Reese Youngn, Stunna2Fly, Stevie B, Kizzl, Trillzee, Mayhem Mall, Shady Higler, PK Delay, Stoney, Joel Kellem, M Tomlin, KRSZ, Scrooge Gotti, Cook, plus his whole Muney Lane Muzik imprint and so many more. The sky was indeed the limit for Travon, and he had just only scratched the surface of greatness.
But aside from his talent as an artist, Jimmy Wopo was intensely committed to his community and its people. As some of you know, Travon was a huge supporter of the local youth football team the Hill District Rebels. Whether it was donating money or showing up to their games to support, he loved being involved and encouraging the kids. But Wopo also wanted to be a resource to the kids, a mentor, someone they could look to for guidance and look up to as a leader. He knew the influence he had with the kids and it was important to him to always take time to talk to them to give them positive advice, share his knowledge and let them know they all are valuable and should strive for greatness.
In his interview with XXL, he gave the following answer when asked to say something that most people don’t know:
“Most people don’t know that I want to make a difference. When I get money, I’m going to give back. If I get a good amount, I’ll help get better everywhere.”
Just before he passed, he had begun the process of setting up a fundraiser for a youth football camp that would be free for the kids. Certainly, it is important to not only recognize Wopo’s impact and legacy because of his music, but let us not overlook the man, the friend, the son, the father and the person that he was outside of the music world because he never forgot it – not for a second. Without a doubt, I know he would’ve done even more for his community once he was at the top and we all know that is exactly where he was headed.
Travon had a profound impact on so many lives including mine. He loved his family, his friends and all of his fans. He never wanted to let anyone down and he wanted so badly to help the children growing up in his neighborhood to have a better life than him. His loyalty was unwavering and his caring nature should never be overlooked. We lost an incredible artist and an amazing person.