Taken way too soon, the scene is still grieving.
Pop Smoke’s Posthumous debut album ‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’ has dropped and it’s so bittersweet.
The whole scene has been anticipating this album since Pop came out with his hit single ‘Welcome To The Party’ and when it was announced the excitement was real and of course there were high expectations for the art work, however Off White’s Virgil Abloh’s design caused an uproar this week when it was published. Honestly it looked like it was created on Microsoft Paint the 2007 version, minimal effort and the man even edited Pop’s ears off but we move as management announced they would replace it.
The official cover is still a little rushed to me, a simple silver metallic rose on a black background, I would have liked a picture of him and the internet produced some pretty decent alternative covers once the Virgil one hit the net.
01 Bad Bitch From Tokyo (Intro)
02 Aim For the Moon (ft. Quavo)
03 For the Night (ft. Lil Baby and DaBaby)
04 44 Bulldog
06 Yea Yea
07 Creature (ft. Swae Lee)
08 Snitchin (ft. Quavo and Future)
09 Make It Rain. (ft. Rowdy Rebel)
10 The Woo (ft. 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch)
11 West Coast Shit (ft. Tyga and Quavo)
12 Enjoy Yourself (ft. KAROL G)
13 Hotel Lobby
14 What You Know Bout Love
15 Something Special
16 Diana (ft. King Combs)
17 Got It on Me
18 Tunnel Vision (Outro)
19 Dior (Bonus)
As soon as I pressed play on ‘Bad Bitch From Tokyo’ I felt a tear, produced by UK producer 808Melo who worked closely with Pop, set the vibe for the rest of the album with 48 seconds of the Pop we love and missed.
The album starts off with Pop’s iconic NY drill sound with huge features from Quavo, Lil Baby, Da Baby and then takes a different route with Pop Smoke singing and getting us in our feels with samples from Fabolous ‘I’m So Into You’ on ‘Something Special’ a preview clip of this has been circulating on the net for some time and the final track did not disappoint with Pop giving us sweet lyrics, talking about spoiling his girl and his flow reminding me of 50 Cent’s early years.
Pop has always been compared to a young 50 in his mannerisms, raspy voice and persona and we can’t forget that 50 is executive producer of the album, so this was a nice touch to the project alongside a feature with Roddy Ricch.
50’s influence is also found on ‘Got It On Me’ is Pop’s twist on 50 Cents ‘Many Men’. A hood classic. Pop does not disappoint with the lyrics, typical to the pain and violence of drill, some a bit too painful to listen to considering his murder. The title itself sending my mind racing about what happened in that house.
‘Mood Swings’ ft Lil Tjay is where we are greeted with a smooth woo and ‘Diana’ ft King Combs is that hood love sort of feel with King Combs doing what he had to do, shockingly not ripping off his dad a little. ‘What You Know Bout Love’ giving us the RnB throwback of Ginuwine’s ‘Differences’ as a sample and again another feel good track.
‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’ shows just how far Pop Smoke would have gone in the music world, from being crowned the King of NY Drill, known for fusing the UK drill sound with the New York’s and bringing along UK producers with him. I feel as if there were too many American rappers on the album considering Pop’s love for the UK scene, people such as M24 or Headie One should have been featured to really solidify the album. Having Quavo on there three times not including their single ‘Shake The Room’ I don’t know the dynamics but seems a bit excessive. His growl, fluidity and vibe is felt in every track leaving you for a split second forgetting that he is no longer with us.
Choosing a favourite track is super hard but a few of the ones which stood out to me were ‘The Woo’ ft 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch, ‘Something Special’, ‘Gangstas’, ‘Yea Yea’ and ‘Mood Swings’ ft Lil Tjay.
The last song on the album ‘Tunnel Vision Outro’ legit made me cry with an audio of what he wants to be remembered by “Pop Smoke came in and changed the game, Pop Smoke came in and showed the niggas a new vibe, the whole sound, the whole vibe. Different.” and that he did in the time we got to enjoy him.