Pop Smoke found himself among late hip hop elites, Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, after his posthumous album debut at No. 1.
It has now been approximately six months since the hip hop community was made to digest the sharp and bitter news of the death of budding rapper Pop Smoke. The time has given Steven Victor, the head of Pop Smoke’s label and 50 Cent, who came in as executive producer, to solidify Pop Smoke’s first posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. The project was released on July 3, 2020, and it seems to be providing some much-needed closure, solace, and happiness to his grieving fans.
Those fans have reciprocated the love by placing him among an elite group of slain rappers whose posthumous albums have secured the number 1 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The group consists of hip hop legend Tupac, who was assassinated on September 13, 1996. His first posthumous album, R U Still Down? (Remember Me) sold 549,000 within its first week.
Biggie Smalls was hunted on killed on March 9, 1997, and sadly did not get to experience his Life After Death project securing 690,000 copies in its first week. The surge of the first week ultimately laid the foundation for it to be dubbed as one of the greatest rap albums ever made. XXXTentacion’s June 18, 2018 assassination also prevented him from witnessing Skins copping the number 1 spot after 132,000 units within its first week.
The combination of savvy productions, great features, and of course, Pop Smoke’s unmistakable baritone vocals, has already guided the project into the realm of another titled held by This Is It, the 2009 posthumous release from pop legend Michael Jackson. Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon’s first week sales ending on July 9 shattered the projected 200-225k to end at the proud figure of 251,000 equivalent album units earned in the US according to Billboard.
The album’s ability to perform well outside of the US is also being showcased by topping the Australian ARIA Album Chart.
There is a possibility of even further greatness to be bestowed upon the legacy of Pop as fans could see the release of an 8 track deluxe if the album hits platinum by July 20, 2020, which would have been the rapper’s 21st birthday.