By this point of the 21st century, Rap is accepted as mainstream music. It has gradually emerged like that. No more rock and roll guitars on the radio anymore, instead we have a mixed bag of mainly Rap music talents. Some good, some atrociously awful. Rapper Pop Smoke is seen in 2020 to be a Rap legend. Unfortunately, he was killed in a gun attack earlier that year. This album is a re-release posthumous album now he has gone.
Does it sound good? Let’s find out.
We begin with Bad Bitch From Tokyo (Intro). It sounds like heavy gangsta Rap music here, it’s a good way to start this album. It has a very psychedelic feel to it. It lasts only one minute, short indeed.
Next is Aim For The Moon (feat. Quavo). It’s a typical modern Rap track for fans of the genre out there. It covers the usual girl chasing sort of lyrics that one can expect from a Rapper. It’s a good song, and Quavo’s appearance is good too. This album could easily be the best album of the 2020s so far. This track is very good, and Pop Smoke does well here.
For The Night (feat. Lil Baby & DaBaby) is actually pretty good for a Rap intro. It begins with looped acoustic guitar parts and some deeply delivered lyrics, although there is no way that these are politically correct. Quite a good tune for one to blast in your own zone, an excellent structure, and delivery, the guest appearances are good too. It talks about nymphomania sort of stuff, but still since when is that taboo anymore these days? A good song nonetheless. Nice job. The flute in the background is pretty cool too.
After that, we have 44 BullDog which starts with Pop Smoke inhaling some weed (by the sounds of it). It’s a straightforward postmodern Rap number. Pop Smoke sounds really good at Rapping at a fast tempo. Not bad, but like the album cover, dark. The interesting vocal sounds in the background are interesting in a good way. It ends with some subdued and trippy piano sounds.
Next is Gangstas. It sounds like another weed session being done at the very start. It’s actually good and surprisingly fresh too. It sounds like a modern Eminem in terms of instrumentation, Dr. Dre produced some of the album, which is probably why. A way better listen than you’d ever expect. Pop Smoke was a great talent, and the production is perfect for his unique Rapping delivery. Awesome.
Yea Yea has some interesting melodies at the beginning. It talks about gun violence and dealing with that in the United States of America. Gang culture is rife with difficulties, but Pop Smoke turns your Rap music into modern poetry. A very good effort by the Rapper. The subtle guitar parts and female vocals at the end are magnificent.
Creature (feat. Swae Lee) is another dark and melodic sounding Rap tune for fans of Pop Smoke. The guest’s appearance here is very good too. It is a good song about dirty stuff, which is a common theme on this album. The sounds in the background sound a little like an old school computer game, but not in a laughable way. Pop Smoke is excellent music listening today.
Next is Snitching (feat. Quavo & Future) which has a weird intro, before launching into a Rap tune about touring and the experiences from it. It’s consistent listening, but a little weaker than the other tunes here. It’s a good tune regardless, enjoyable and the guests here do well. Excellent listening. The fairy dust sounds in the background are pretty annoying though.
After that Main It Rain (feat. Rowdy Rebel) is another good piece which talks about the usual Rap subjects of women and getting wasted. It’s a good piece which is an improvement on the last song. Good and interesting listening. There is an answering machine message Rap piece on this track, rather surreal.
The Woo (feat. 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch) is a pseudo-Ed Sheeran piece, with some acoustic guitar in the background. This is a great track to hear and proves that Pop Smoke and co. were legends in their own right. A nice and warm sounding listen. In the era of uncertainty and many people in western countries fighting racism, Pop Smoke will stand out as a legend for the Black Lives Matter movement, a very good representation of that movement indeed.
West Coast Shit (feat. Tyga and Quavo) is a piano-led piece with beats and a great melody to kick ass. It’s a confident and brilliant sounding listen. Hopefully Pop Smoke’s legacy with last for a long time past 2020. This track is a consistent and fresh listen. The lyrics are forward-thinking and inspired. Good stuff. The whole track is an excellent listen, and sounds like it was worked on well.
Next is Enjoy Yourself (feat. Karol G) which is a chilled out and laidback tune typical of Rap. It’s a really good listen about doing woman chasing and other things that Rap musicians enjoy. This is an incredible album. Karol G. Raps in Spanish, a nice touch here. The singing by her is really good as well. An original and inspired tune.
After that, we go into Mood Swings (feat. Lil Tjay). It’s about sexual desire and lust. It is a really superb listen and a good track that fits in well with the rest of the album. Some of the lyrics here are pretty out there in terms of sex. Interesting to hear though. Towards the end, it is almost spoken word and fades out gently.
Something Special comes next and has quacky Fender Stratocaster sort of sounds before going into a trippy sounding tune by the legend Pop Smoke. It’s just a different, in a good way, listening experience. It’s about treating a woman right. A nice listen. A slow dance sort of Rap tune, great stuff.
What You Know About Love starts with everything muffled, before going into another song about love and lust. It is a great tune to listen to. If this indeed is completed after Pop Smoke’s death, it is a great effort nonetheless. The lyrics are interesting in a Rap way though.
The next tune Diana (feat. King Combs) talks about a particular lady of Pop Smoke’s fascination. It’s about what money can do to impress a lady. Not exactly logical in a normal sense, but in these times, what is? You be the judge on that one. Very politically incorrect though, but that is the point.
Following that is Got It On Me. It’s a re-do of an old 50 Cent piece at the start, then launches into a good Rap anthem. In the middle, it goes back into the spoken word piece sung slowly by Pop Smoke, a good effort from him.
Tunnel Vision (Outro) is a call-to-arms from Pop Smoke. This is a great listen by him, and thank goodness that his legacy is well represented here. The world of music will miss Pop Smoke’s music. An excellent structured Rap tune, and samples an interview with him towards the end.
Dior – Bonus is the last track on this recording. It has a strange eastern melody, and once again does really well. A great album in his memory, and this song is no different. Good job.
This album is a great recording, even if Pop Smoke never finalised its release. Sadly, Rappers getting shot and killed are quite common in the United States of America in particular, and Pop Smoke was one of them. Do give this album a listen. It is a fresh and inspiring listen.
R.I.P. Pop Smoke.