Music, News & Events

Life after death: Pop Smoke’s legacy continues

You can’t say Pop and forget the Smoke!

words by: Kai Acevedo
Aug 3, 2021

Hip-hop has lost some icons and legends-in-the-making over the last few years. Prior to his passing, Pop Smoke offered a glimpse of what could’ve been. The Brooklyn drill rapper flexed his undeniable star power with singles like “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior” and his Meet the Woo mixtape series. Although Pop is gone in the physical form, his music lives on. With the release of his sophomore album, Faith, the late rapper born Bashar Barakah Jackson can continue to stay in our hearts and on our favorite playlists.


Faith drops a little more than a year after the release of Pop Smoke’s debut, Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon. Released months after the rising star was killed, the project executive produced by 50 Cent topped not only the Billboard 200, but also charts in the UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Pop’s first album scored favorable reviews from the likes of The New York Times, Complex and Billboard and featured several hit songs, including “For the Night”, “The Woo”, “Mood Swings” and “What You Know Bout Love.”



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The 19-track project scanned 251,000 album-equivalent units in its opening week and was eventually awarded a couple of Billboard Music Awards, including Top Billboard 200 Album. After 19 weeks of staying at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon broke a long held record set by MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em album in the early 1990s.


Due to the success of his certified double platinum debut, the “Welcome to the Party” rapper who received cosigns from the likes of Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Virgil Abloh and Quavo joined the Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, and XXXTentacion as the only rap artists to top Billboard’s album charts after death. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon is currently the top selling hip-hop album of 2021.


In a promotional video for Pop’s hotly anticipated sophomore album Faith, the Grammy-nominated artist with more than 20 billion worldwide streams can be heard saying, “When you know what you want, don’t let anybody get in between you and your creation. I ain’t trying to just be cool, we gotta make history.”

Mission accomplished. Gone, but definitely not forgotten, Pop Smoke’s legacy continues.


Photo via Griffin Lotz/Rolling Stone/Shutterstock