When Jay Z sang ‘Young forever’ he spoke about his desire to live forever, and at the same time admitted that he doesn’t have the power to do so. A probable solution to living forever, will of course not be in terms of living as a person but leaving your name on the sands of time to transcend times, spaces and generations. One of those who achieved this feat in our current generation is Pop Smoke, born as Bashar Barakah Jackson, the rap prodigy who is also known as Bigg Papi Locsta.
Killed in his prime at just 20 years old, the rapper has continued to dominate the headlines with most of his songs continuing to gain massive air play. It is however quite sad that the death of Pop Smoke adds to the grueling statistics of young black rappers that have been cut short just as they were on the verge of making their big break to stardom. In light of this reality, it will be seemly to say that his Album ‘Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon’ is unarguably worthy of review for any rap lover.
Released posthumously which is of course not an easy feat, the album containing 19 songs has continued to fill the airwaves with the artiste’s rich Brooklyn, New York’s deep flows and bars. The songs on this album are lit, and can be best described as the perfect description of Pop Smoke and his voice, though on the other hand, some of the songs there have been criticized to be devoid of Pop Smoke’s personality.
Songs like ‘Welcome to the party’, ‘Dior’ (which is popular on Tiktok), ‘Stars’, ‘Aim for the Moon’, ‘West Coast Shit’ ‘Creature’ ‘Enjoy yourself’ (not the remix), ‘What you know bout love’ and ‘For the Night’ have been criticized to not actually replicate Bigg Papi Locsta’s voice and personality, but that’s where the criticism will end, owing to the fact that the richness of Pop’s bars were still evident in the lyrics of these songs.
Notwithstanding these criticism, it will be clearly out of place to majorly judge this album and the numerous efforts puts into it by Pop before his death and the team led by executive producer 50-Cent through the lens of the criticism directed towards it. ‘Shoot for the Stars Aim for the moon’ has received numerous compliments.
Several songs on ‘Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon’ are excellently laden with Pop Smokes’ rich Brooklyn bars, voice and personality without any argument to the contrary. In no particular order, ’44 BullDog’ depicts Pops sharpness on a vibrant beat. Most listeners agree that ’44 BullDog’ is Pop Smoke at his finest. ‘Something special’ shows his personality, his finesse, and Pop’s own idea of love and romance. The hit single, ‘The Woo’ features 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch and music video is nothing less of a movie. In ‘Make it rain’, he featured Rowdy Rebel and their deliveries, bars, energy and lyrics were of optimum delivery to his listeners.
‘Got it on me’ is another song that shows Pop’s fondness for gassed up bars. The song reminds most listeners of 50 Cent’s ‘many, many, many men’ hence why it has been regarded as ‘Many Men’ remix. Notable mention in this categorization goes to other songs like ‘Tunnel vision’, ‘Mood Swings’ ‘Yea Yea’ etc.
Clearly the album ‘Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon’ is an indication that Pop Smoke may be gone, but before his departure, he chose to leave us with a voice, bars and lyrics that will resonate through time.