Hip-Hop

7 Artists We'd Like to See on Pop Smoke's Posthumous Album

Pop Smoke
Griffin Lotz/Rolling Stone/Shutterstock

Pop Smoke photographed in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2020. 

When Pop Smoke released Meet the Woo Vol. 2 on February 7, the rising Brooklyn star was on track to becoming something greater.

The second official release of his career debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, and just a few days later, he was gone. The 20-year-old rapper, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was murdered during a home invasion in Los Angeles on Feb. 19, with the motive still unclear if it was a random robbery or a targeted crime. Pop’s death sent shockwaves in the hip-hop community, as major artists such as Chance the Rapper, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Ludacris, and more mourned the loss of a young man and artist who had star potential.

Almost a month after his passing, 50 Cent is leading the charge in keeping Pop Smoke’s name alive. It’s well-known by Pop fans and within his inner circle that 50 Cent was a huge influence on him, as you can find similarities in cadence in songs like “PTSD” and “Like Me” featuring PnB Rock. When 50 announced on Instagram that he wanted to sign on as executive producer to finish Pop’s posthumous album, many of his peers welcomed the idea. Steven Victor, who managed Pop Smoke, confirmed to HipHop-N-More that he was fully on-board to make it happen with Fif.

So far, 50 has reached out to get features from Roddy Ricch, Drake, Chris Brown, and Post Malone. Snoop Dogg seems into contributing, too, telling 50 he is waiting on his phone call. And Meek Mill shouldn’t be a problem to get since he was a noted fan of Pop. 50 has even teased a release date already, hoping to get it out by May 2020.

With 50 hard at work, Billboard put together a wish list of artists we'd like to see on Pop’s posthumous album. Let’s hope 50 is taking notes.

Giggs

Last summer, Pop Smoke’s “Welcome to the Party” remix with Skepta premiered live on Capital XTRA with Tim Westwood, showing that he was already starting to have a sizable fanbase in the UK. Skepta’s co-sign is a good start to start pursuing other big-name grime MCs, and Giggs should be next.

If you’re familiar with Giggs, you know he’s notably worked with Drake, and gotten features from American rappers like 2 Chainz, Jadakiss, French Montana, and Lil Yachty. The majority of Meet the Woo is produced by 808Melo, who is from Ilford, East London, so you can imagine what Giggs would do if 808Melo was behind the production. Pop would bring his frantic energy over a sinister BK drill beat; Giggs coming in with his slow and steady flow, delivering tons of gravelly bars. It’s bound to turn up any nightclub.

D-Block Europe

D-Block Europe, a collective led by Young Adz and Dirtbike LB, are the U.K.’s answer to Lil Baby and Gunna -- meaning they utilize Auto-Tune to express their pain, as well as their luxurious lifestyle. Their music is melodic trap, rapping about the streets, designer clothes, women, and the like, making them the perfect collaborators for a Pop Smoke record. If Pop was already working on another song dedicated to a top fashion house like Dior, D-Block Europe needs to be a part of it.

A$AP Ferg

At this year’s Yams Day, almost every performer paid homage to Pop Smoke, who couldn’t make the show because he was arrested for allegedly transporting a stolen Rolls Royce across state lines. It didn’t stop the crowd that night from chanting “Free Pop Smoke!” or turning up to any one of his songs — and that includes the A$AP Mob. Ferg, who once said Pop Smoke reminded him of Shyne, would be a logical pick from the crew to hop on a Pop Smoke song. Ferg is always good for an anthem that’ll be blasted out of car speakers. A Pop Smoke and A$AP Ferg collab already sounds like an early song of the summer contender.

Nicki Minaj

It was a surprise to hear Nicki Minaj on Pop Smoke’s other official remix to “Welcome to the Party,” where she locked in and spit a ferocious verse in the name of Queens. Like everyone who heard the news of Pop’s death, it hit Minaj hard: “The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop,” she wrote in her tribute post on Instagram. Lately, Minaj has been getting her bars off, as heard on her new song “Yikes.” The Queen needs to bless another Pop Smoke record, reuniting the boroughs once again.

Travis Scott

Hip-hop’s curator for the youth, Travis Scott, featured Pop Smoke on his Cactus Jack compilation JACKBOYS for “GATTI.” The song is a clear standout that fits into Scott’s MO of raging at his shows. It would’ve been complete chaos if they got to perform it live.

Thankfully, Travis has teased that there’s more Pop Smoke collaborations in the stash, teasing an unreleased track shortly after his passing. If this has reached 50 already, you can bet he’s working with Travis to get the full song on Pop’s next album.

Young M.A

Young M.A doesn’t get enough praise for being one of the coldest and skilled MCs out of Brooklyn today. Lyrically, Pop Smoke and Young M.A approach their music differently, but that would be the beauty of their potential song together. If Pop has another impressive freestyle (See: L.A. Leakers) tucked away, fans would love to see Young M.A spar with him, creating the “who won?” debate we all want.

Fivio Foreign

Last month, The BK Drip concert at King’s Theatre originally featured headliners Pop Smoke, Fivio Foreign, Lil Tjay, and Melii. Billed as a hometown show in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood aimed to spotlight talent coming out of the BK drill scene, the show underwent several lineup changes as the February 16 date came closer, announcing on the day of the show that Pop Smoke couldn’t perform because the NYPD prevented him from doing so. Instead, Flipp Dinero, PnB Rock, Sheff G, and Polo G were his replacements, but you could still feel the energy for Pop Smoke from the crowd. His presence at that show would have been a career moment for him.

Fivio Foreign, who did perform at BK Drip, came up around the same time as Pop, and you can see their maximum potential when they’re together – as a force for the new wave of Brooklyn rappers and as the torchbearers for BK drill. Pop featured Fivio on Meet the Woo 2's “Sweetheart,” a short-lived musical chemistry that could’ve been much more. If anyone, 50 needs to secure Fivio as a guest feature -- maybe even getting Fivio’s collaborators, Mr. Swipey and Ether -- for a posse cut for the streets. Fivio’s involvement is key in carrying Pop’s legacy and showing love to his fallen friend.