A new posthumous album from Brooklyn’s sorely missed MC Pop Smoke has been set for a July 16 release this year.
It’s always sad when I go over the details of Pop Smoke’s death. He was only 20 years old, and the murder in question was a botched robbery, with one of the participants being only fifteen years old at the time. There’s no myth-making or redemptive qualities to any inherent details of the story. It’s just poor decision making and senseless violence, with someone inadvertently being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The new album will feature 17 tracks recorded by Pop Smoke, birth name Bashar Jackson had recorded before his death. Even though the drill icon tasted fame before his untimely passing, most of Pop Smoke’s legacy is now going to be built posthumously.
That was the case with his debut, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. All of his major award nominations, all of his brief appearances in film or documentaries, will be released and experienced in his absence. Even though he continues to release material, and could theoretically do so for however long his team decides to mine his vault of unreleased songs and snippets, the time for Pop Smoke to express himself under his own volition is over. It is now up to those around him.
This is all to say that I hope the new album is good. Posthumous releases tend to be a tricky game, especially for artists who were so young when they passed like Jackson.
XXXTantacion and Juice Wrld have both seen tremendous success in their posthumous releases, but the material has varied, some of which come off as hidden gems and some of which were clearly never meant to see the light of day. DMX’s Exodus is a similarly up and down affair, obviously celebrating the genius behind the mic but never reaching close to the heights that made him a legend in the first place.
Check out the trailer for the new album down below. Set your alarms for July 16, all ye Pop Smoke faithful.