By. Manna Maurice
It’s been over a year since the untimely death of Pop Smoke and somehow it feels as though the music industry is still reeling from the Woo’s passing due to the potential he had during his time alive to become a global star.
In a way, this has been achieved has since his death Pop Smoke’s has gained much more commercial attention as the case with the passing of any artist.
Pop Smoke was known for his unique sounding vocals, bars flows, and approaches to New York drill becoming regarded as a pioneer of the sound during his short lifetime.
Though unjustly short, Pop Smoke‘s discography is solid.
Meet the Woo 1 and 2 are quality displays of Pop Smoke’s talent and creativity, each mixtape is laden with hard–hitting drill beats, hard bars, delivery, flows, and features.
These mixtapes are worth a listen and serve as timeless treasures for Pop Smoke fans. Since his death, Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon was the only body of work released by Pop Smoke and while the album is an alright listen, some feels of a little too much commercial input and incompleteness were evident. However, given the latest posthumous album released by Pop, Shoot For The Stars has gained a lot more appreciation.
Faith, the second posthumous album released by Pop Smoke carries the same feels of commercialism and incompleteness and cranks it up to 1000. It is painful listening to this body of work, painful.
Any Pop Smoke fan/listener would know instantly that this is not the way the Woo’s album would sound had he been at the helm to stir the ship. Meet the Woo 1 and 2 are such strong examples of Pop Smoke’s work because they’re saturated in his creativity, Faith falls short
completely because it’s glaringly obvious that this project is devoid of any of that same creativity. Of course, Pop isn’t here to create, but he did leave a blueprint on how he likes his music structured and the people responsible for this release disregarded all of it, they disregarded the sound that made the world fall for Pop Smoke.
Faith is a bloated, commercial, featured–driven mess of a project. From start to finish listening to the album it is clear that you’re just listening to a bunch of throwaways and unfinished songs/verses with a feature from a prominent artist/s.
They are a plethora of features on this album it feels like you’re listening to French Montana or DJ Khaled‘s record and that is not what people associate with the Woo. The two projects he did while he was alive barely had any features, and it’s the same case for the deluxe versions.
Shoot For The Stars had quite a bit of feature on it to but it still sounded professional and finished for the most part.
Faith just sounds sloppy, unmemorable, and made for radio. When people listen to a Pop Smoke record they expect Pop Smoke.
The whole project feels like a cash grab and the feeling is about as subtle as a baseball bat to the head.
One can only hope that this marks the end of tainting a great legacy with cynical cash grabs.
This project did not even need to be released or it most certainly did not need to be 20 tracks long, it’s blatantly clear whatever unreleased recorded music is being stretched as much as it can to be technically called a song. It is incredibly lazy, a blatant act of disrespect against Pop Smoke’s work, and in all honesty not worth a lot of your time.
There’s a gem or two in the mud like More Time and Merci Beaucoup in which listeners get the closet representation of the Pop they knew but that’s about it.
Maybe Tell The Vision is worth a listen to, strong performances by Pusha and Kanye.
I know this was more of a rant than a review as the music was hardly addressed, that’s because there’s not much to be remembered to even address. The album was that off-putting and is reminiscent of XXXTENTACION’s posthumous albums. Just as with X this is no fault of Pop whatsoever, as stated before this record did not need to be this long, none of Pop’s other projects are. It could have been shorter, compact, and more professional giving fans something to appreciate. Instead, we got this. You’re better off skipping this one, just listen to Meet the Woo and Shoot For The Stars, Pop may be gone but those well at least those projects will live on. Rest well Pop
Best Tracks: More Time, Merci Beaucoup, Tell TheVision
Images taken from:@realpopsmoke