Lets face it, 2020 has been an absolute shit show!! One of the many unfortunate occurrences was the murder of Pop Smoke. Pop was really starting to make his mark in hip-hop and was definitely seen as Hip-Hop’s most promising acts.To this exact moment as I construct this album review, I’m still messed up from losing Pop man. What does help me with the fact he is no longer with us, is that he lives on forever through his music.
Before his passing, Pop gave us Meet The Woo and Meet The Woo 2. These two albums introduced us New York Drill movement as well as serving as key components in bringing global awareness to the New York movement. Yes, i said global awareness. UK drill acts loved that Pop and others in New York had their own drill movement going. Many UK drill fans loved the New York drill movement equally as much. Those first two projects will be engraved in New York music history books forever.
Now, here we are. Pop Smokes final album, ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’. The posthumous project has been highly anticipated. There was some controversy surrounding the Virgil Abloh cover art but i’m glad they got everything settled and we didn’t have to wait any longer for this project. The album features the likes of Quavo, Lil Baby, DaBaby, 50 Cent, Roddy Ricch, Future, Swae Lee, Rowdy Rebel, Tyga, Karol G, and King Combs. Yeah I know that’s a loaded supporting cast. But Pop’s presence was that big. He was well on his way to SUPER STARDOM. ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’ was executive produced by 50 cent and honestly I’m so glad he stepped in! With that being said, I present to you my Pop Smoke ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon album review. WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Tracklist & Song Ratings
- Bad B*tch from Tokyo (Intro) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Aim for the Moon ft. Quavo⭐⭐⭐⭐
- For the Night ft. Lil Baby & DaBaby⭐⭐
- 44 Bulldog⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Yea Yea⭐⭐⭐
- Creature ft. Swae Lee⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Snitchin ft. Quavo & Future⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Make It Rain ft. Rowdy Rebel⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- The Woo ft. 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- West Coast Sh*t ft. Tyga & Quavo ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Enjoy Yourself ft. Karol G ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Mood Swings ft. Lil Tjay ⭐⭐
- Something Special⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- What You Know Bout Love⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Diana ft. King Combs⭐⭐⭐
- Got It on Me⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Tunnel Vision (Outro)⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Dior (Bonus) Old but ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pop begins where he left off on ‘ Meet the Woo II. The energy is felt immediately with “Bad Bitch From Tokyo (Intro)” leading into “Aim For The Moon” featuring Quavo. I think it’s safe to say Quavo and Pop together can do no wrong. “Aim For The Moon” provides a similar feeling that was brought from Meet The Woo II’s “Shake The Room” and I was completely here for it. A rather interesting collab which is kind of a HUGE DEAL was Pop teaming up with Lil Baby & DaBaby. Real talk though, this track was a little underwhelming for me but I loved the idea. I kind of wanted a little more from Lil Baby & Dababy. “44 Bulldog” and “Gangstas” were tracks I really enjoyed! Pop unleashed a drillful fury on “44 BullDog.” It actually sound like this was a freestyle. That was the vibe I got at least. Nonetheless, this track had me rocking during my weekend workouts. I’m convinced Pop wrote/recorded “Gangstas” with 50 cent in the studio. Pop, who I’ve been on recorded saying was like a young 50 cent brings my comparison to life as he delivers a ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ 50 cent esque song that was one of my album standouts. I really liked the production on here as well. “Yea Yea” through me COMPLETELY off. This switch up was not bad. I felt like this was a song for the ladies. Pop did get a lot of love and support from the ladies so it was only right he delivered a little something for them. This track here would be the beginning of the “Pop Versatility Show” throughout this project.
These next few tracks are some of my favorite tracks on the album! It gets pretty feature-heavy here but Pop isn’t overshadowed AT ALL but i am also convinced he and Quavo are unstoppable. My top two tracks include the Swae Lee featured “Creature” and Anti-Snitching Campaigned track “Snitching” featuring Quavo and Future. Before I continue, I would like to thank and recognize Buddah Bless and 808 Melo for their work on the production side of these tracks. They held it down! Circling back to “Creature,” Swae Lee showed up and showed off. I didn’t recognize him initially but, the sonic switch up was very much enjoyed. My guy Jam and I were rocking to this on release night! “Snitching” was a track where I found myself finding that Quavo appreciation I had lost a little while ago. Future and Pop did their thing and delivered as we expected them too but Quavo was the standout. Also, Quavo tends to float on Buddah Bless produced tracks. “BBO” off of ‘CultureII’ comes to mind. We all already were familiar with the album lead single “Make It Rain” which was received really well by listeners. I’m still so upset we didn’t get a Pop and Bobby Shmurda track but, I’m thankful for Pop and Rowdy Rebel delivering for us.
The highly anticipated and rumored tracked “The Woo” did indeed feature Roddy Rich and 50 cent. This track lived up to expectations. Roddy came on here and flowed so crazy! 50 kind of went off too. I see you OG! Pop for damn sure did his thing! Candy Shop 2.0 is MY SUMMER ANTHEM! “She wanna f*ck with the WOOOOOOOOOO!” AHHHHHHH! “West Coast Shit” made me laugh because the song sounds like a Tyga song featuring Quavo and Pop. Then i realized Pop and Quavo’s back and forth did standout and made me retract that thought. This was a collaboration that no one saw coming but honestly, this track SLAPS! Man this guy Quavo is really trying to get me to stan him again. Another surprise feature was Pop teaming up with Karol G on “Enjoy Yourself,” a solid underrated summer time bop that I think will be a favorite track for many! I have no words for “Mood Swings.” LOL. You all listen to it and then get back to me with your thoughts. It’s definitely NSFW.
Myself & R&B lovers everywhere were ecstatic to hear Pop on “Something Special” and “What You Know Bout Love” where he samples two R&B classics in “So Into You” by Fabolous & Tamia and Differences by Ginuwine. I told you all earlier this was the “Pop Smoke Versatility Show.” He showed out through this project thus far, but on these two tracks in particular, Pop showed that he was bigger than just a drill rapper. Thank you for these classic flips Pop. Seriously. I actually can not timeline or speak on how much time Pop and 50 cent actually spent in the studio but at this point of the album, whenever Pop wasn’t rapping rapping but delivering melodies, he gave me never ending 50 vibes. The influence is clear. I noticed it a little more on the R&B sampled tracks too. Let me know if you all agree here because maybe I’m trippin’.
As the classic sampling continues on “Diana,” I was intrigued by Pop teaming up with King Combs (The son of Diddy for those not hip). “Diana” samples Playa’s “Cheers 2 U.” Both New York bred acts did this beat justice and the song was pretty solid. There was some drama surrounding this track though. The RCA Records artist Calboy, criticized the team behind the album for removing him from the song but left his adlibs on the track. He later then apologized. See his tweets below.
The sweet ride that has been ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’ comes to an end with “Got It On Me” and “Tunnel Vision (Outro).” Hearing Pop on his Many Men remake and on the outro was so bitter sweet man. Especially at the end of the Outro hearing Pop answering a question about his impact on the game now and 100 years from now. *begins to get teary eyed, again*
‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’ was an album I think all Pop Smoke fans and hip hop fans in general needed to hear. This posthumous album reminded us of what a special talent Pop was. It gave us full scope that this young man really had a promising future. It’s so unfortunate Pop was taken away from us man I feel like this album was going to serve its purpose as putting pop on a major stage to becoming a household name. Unfortunately its final album of his career that was cut short. ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’ is on pace to do 200K first week which is absolutely amazing. The album magnificently displays Pop’s talent and range. My one knock I initially had with this project is the lack of New York drill artist such as Fivio Foreign, Sheff G, Rah Swish, Sleepy Hollow and Swipey but once again this was a display of Pop’s talent and versatility, not a drill mixtape. Really glad 50 cent , Steven Victor and company made this happen. Rest in paradise Pop Smoke and may your legacy live on forever and ever. WOOOOOOOOO!!