When Pop Smoke picked his favourite UK artists
(Credit: Spotify)

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When Pop Smoke picked his favourite UK artists

Pop Smoke had a brief but highly impactful music career. As an artist, he created some extremely potent hits. Tracks such as ‘Dior’ and ‘Welcome To The Party’ shook hip-hop upon their release and gave a new lease of life to New York.

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.

Many other musicians, such as Bobby Shmurda, Fivio Foreign and 22Gz, helped popularise the sound in Brooklyn during the Mid-2010s. However, Pop Smoke’s rise to fame was a monumental moment for the genre and the tipping point which effectively led to drill becoming the de facto sound of New York.

Since then, figures such as Moneybagg Yo and Pooh Shiesty have achieved an unfathomable amount of notoriety using the sound. That said, in the summer of 2020, the emcee (real name Bashar Jackson) sat down for an interview with former BBC 1Xtra radio host DJ Semtex.

During the discussion, the two touched upon Bashar’s beginnings as a rapper. Opening up about how he started, the ‘Mood Swings’ musician detailed, “I just started rapping at 18. It’s all new to me. You know how some rappers be like, ‘Aw I been rapping since I was a baby,’ I’m starting get my feet wet right now.”

Speaking about how he came across UK drill producer 808Melo online, Bashar explained, “I started looking up beats, and when I looked up beats, I looked up ‘Sheff G song’. So right under Sheff G’s song was Sheff G’s but it wasn’t his beat it said 808Melo. So I clicked on the beat, and it happened to be my first song!”

During the interview, Semtex questioned Bashar about some of the UK artists he has in his Spotify playlist. In response, the late rapper replied, “I like Fredo. I like Young Adz. I like D-Block Europe, period. I like J Hus and Jorja Smith. I like Headie [One]. I like Skepta, and I like M24!”

Pop Smoker’s favourite British rappers:

  • Fredo
  • Young Adz
  • D-Block Europe
  • J Hus
  • Jorja Smith
  • Headie One
  • Skepta
  • m24

You can watch the full Pop Smoke interview with DJ Semtex in the video below.