Pop Smoke makes a pop in rap, then leaves smoke

On Feb. 19,  20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed in his West Hollywood home. Although his career was short, the young rapper left behind an immense legacy that will positively impact the rap industry for years to come. 

Pop Smoke’s career made a breakthrough in 2019, with five scattered singles throughout the year, leading up to the release of his debut album “Meet the Woo” on July 26. 

Steadily gliding in the rap scene, Pop Smoke kicked off 2020 with a feature on Travis Scott’s “Jackboys” album on a song called “Gatti.” “Look, you cannot say Pop and forget the Smoke,” Pop Smoke famously rapped on the beat. 

The song dropped on Dec. 27. “Gatti” was an extremely successful project for the emerging rapper, receiving over 30 million streams on Spotify.

This helped him gain recognition for his own solo projects. On Feb. 7, Pop Smoke released “Meet the Woo 2.” Both of his albums were shortly followed by a deluxe version after their release dates.

His songs from 2019 began to receive more views than ever before after his project with Scott. “Dior” has been streamed over 33 million times on Spotify, and “Welcome to the Party” has been played over 22 million times on Spotify. 

It seemed as though his career was up-and-coming, as opportunities opened because many in the rap community enjoyed his raspy and deep voice. Many believe rap is starting to sound the same. Rappers such as Boogie with da Hoodie stand by that statement, but Pop Smoke brought a refreshing sound to the table.  

After his death, the pageviews for Pop Smoke’s lyrics spiked 782%, according to Genius. 

In Pop Smoke’s career, although it was short lived, he managed to reach numbers most do not get to experience early on in the game. Like Travis Scott, he created songs that gave people far and wide the chance to dance and experience exhilarating moments. 

Pop Smoke contributed to the era of “feeling a vibe” and forgetting everything to have a good time. Pop Smoke made a pop, and although he’s gone, the smoke he created will forever cloud rap music for others to vibe with and enjoy.


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