Words by Brinsley Chidavaenzi
There’s certain archetypal stories that remain true throughout time. The rise and fall is a particularly devastating one to watch, time and time again. 2020 hasn’t been kind of us, constantly reminding us of that tragedy.
The power of music is that it could be a healing and coping tool from these tragedies. Here comes Pop Smoke; a star and a link between the UK’s unorthodox sounds and the heart and pulse of Brooklyn with an ability to translate that to wider mainstream ears. A young soul with links to the past through his invigorating charisma, Brooklyn voice and confidence.
His music brought people together; the youth loved the Woo, the older could move a foot or too, and the streets appreciated his moves. His confidence and charisma on records could shine through even in the midst of communal pain and grief in 2020. Hence why we all feel robbed and cheated at the loss of Pop Smoke, and hold on a little bit more tightly when we hear his word.
After the fun filled ‘Meet the Woo 2’ released only February 2020 (which let Pop enhance his repertoire with new studio tricks and potential), ‘Shoot for the Stars’ sadly closes a short but potent run of Pop Smoke’s legacy with drill affairs, classic gangsta love songs and a summer anthem with 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch. Pop had the streets, love, loyalty, fearlessness and looking at his killers all on his mind. He carried a weight that few can move through. Pop should be remembered as a emblem of living your life to the fullest and an inspiration for a generation.