Pop Smoke’s Debut Gives Fans A Taste Of His Talent

Pop Smoke

Why does it seem like the good ones always die young? Pop Smoke, a proud rapper from New York, was just getting started in his career when his life was taken in February of this year. According to, five suspects were recently arrested for Pop Smoke’s death. July 20th would have marked the 21st birthday of the rising star who will always remain prominent through his fans and mentors.

Pop Smoke gained major attention from his 2019 mixtape Meet the Woo which helped put his star quality on the map. With the likes and comparisons to 50 Cent, Pop Smoke definitely represented an era of rap that has been greatly missed.

Before Pop Smoke’s unexpected death, he was in the process of creating his debut studio album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finalize this long awaited project. However, 50 Cent, who took the artist under his wing and guided him, took it upon himself to finish Pop Smoke’s album.

With a title that couldn’t have represented more of where his career was going, Pop Smoke’s debut made me realize he had so much potential to tap into. His range expands a little further in this posthumous album and he sounds better than ever. Although this project could have been better polished and released, Pop Smoke’s talent makes you overlook the critiques.

His track “Got it on Me,” which contains samples from 50 Cent’s “Many Men,” is highly praised and hard hitting. 50 was an executive producer on this posthumous track that he mentored Pop Smoke through.

Pop Smoke raped:

Have mercy on me, have mercy on my soul

Don’t let my heart turn cold

Have mercy on me, have mercy on my soul

Don’t let my heart turn cold

Have mercy on many men

Many, many, many, many men

Wish death ‘pon me

Yeah, I don’t cry no mo’

I don’t look to the sky no mo’

‘Cause I got it on me

I got it on me

I got it on me

You can run up if you want

Not only is the song edgy and repetitive, but the true meaning behind the lyrics is almost scary. Ultimately, he raps about having mercy over his life and being prepared for anyone that plans to harm him. You can’t help but think that he unknowingly rapped about a scenario that ended his life.

Despite Pop Smoke’s inability to witness his final studio project, his album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, giving him his first chart-topping effort. According to Billboard, “Pop Smoke was special, and the world was just beginning to realize it.” However, with the legacy he was starting to build, the world will continue to wonder just how great he really could have been.

To shoot for the stars and aim for the moon, was the track Pop Smoke was on to get him everything he ever dreamed of. I’m just glad we were able to experience as much of his talents as we could.


By Kori Barnes, Junior, UNLV

IG: @korixnicole


Written by Kori Barnes

Hi! I can eat an entire jar of pickles in one setting and I LOVE to binge watch shows on Netflix. One of the most important quotes to me:
“and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

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