“Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon” the debut and only solo album released by late rapper Pop Smoke (Bashar Jackson). Released on July 3, 2020, “Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon” consists of 19 songs with features from other artists such as Quavo, Lil Baby, Future, Roddy Ricch, and more. The album sold 251,000 copies the first week, debuting at number one on Billboard’s Top 200 List, and was met with mainly positive reviews. Personally, I loved this album. When it first came out, I thought it had the potential for Album of the Year contention, but I’ve since lowered my rating.
Unlike his previous records, such as “Meet The Woo” and “Meet The Woo 2”, which were filled with heavy drill beats and the typical Pop Smoke flow and delivery, the rapper takes a different angle on tracks such as “Mood Swings” (feat. Lil Tjay) and “What You Know Bout Love”, delivering a slower flow and singing with RnB elements on the tracks. While many tend to think these are weaker tracks on the album, these stood out to me as some of my favorites. The most popular tracks on the album are “The Woo” (feat. 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch) and “For The Night” (feat. Lil Baby & Dababy). It’s clear to why, these songs also come with the classic Pop Smoke drill beats and flows with refreshing features from some of the hottest rappers in the game. On my first listen, these tracks definitely stuck out to me, so much that “The Woo” has become my favorite track on the album. Overall, the album was a step in the right direction for Pop Smoke and it’s extremely unfortunate he was taken at such a young age. He delivered on his New York drill roots and made energetic songs while showcasing himself as an artist and his singing ability without compromising the album’s cohesiveness and enjoyment.
Personally, my favorite tracks on this record were “Mood Swings”, “The Woo”, and “Got It On Me”. For such a short career, Pop Smoke showcased both his rapping ability and his potential as an artist. It’s a shame he was killed after just gaining traction. Rest In Peace, Pop Smoke.