Former Pop Smoke manager speaks on the album artwork controversy
(Credit: Pop Smoke / Press)


Former Pop Smoke manager speaks on the album artwork controversy

A former Pop Smoke manager has recently spoken out about the uproar that occurred following the emcee’s posthumous album release and its artwork. The industry insider. Steven Victor managed the New York rapper before he was murdered in 2020 and was involved in the projects that followed his untimely demise.

In a recent appearance on the Rap Radar podcast, Victor spoke on a number of issues, including the late rapper’s legacy and his own experiences in the music business as an individual who has managed a vast array of artists such as Pusha T and Tyga. 

In conversation with hosts Elliot Wilson and B.Dot, the record executive and A&R, the opened up about the public furore that surrounded the album covers of Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon and Faith. 

The late Brooklyn rapper was a beloved figure in hip-hop and was most known as the figure who brought the sonics of UK Drill to the US. The New York emcee collaborated with the likes of Central Cee, Russ and Skepta and almost exclusively utilised British Drill producers such as 808 Melo and Axl Beats.

Following his murder, two posthumous albums were released. However, the late designer Virgil Abloh, who creatively directed the projects, received a lot of backlash concerning their artwork. Addressing the response Abloh received, Victor declared, “That was bullshit! People sit back and think they know, but they don’t know shit. They’re like, ‘oh, this is not what Pop would like.’ I’m like, ‘fuck you talkin’ about?'”

“When we did the video for ‘Shake the Room,’ like that whole concept and idea was Virgil’s idea, and when we were going through the process, like at first, Pop was like—’cause, y’know, he’d never had a video like that—he was like, ‘I don’t know,’ but he trusted Virgil’s vision, so it would’ve been the same thing.”

The late American lyricist is considered the founding father of what is now known as Brooklyn Drill, a reflection of the Drill made in London that was introduced to New Yorkers by Pop Smoke.