The Inevitable Success of Pop Smoke’s ‘Faith’ Proves Posthumous Rap Albums Aren’t Going Anywhere

Pop Smoke face Faith cover

Photo Credit: Republic Records

Faith is the second posthumous album to come from rapper Pop Smoke.

Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, was the biggest rap album of 2020 and the first half of 2021. Led by the commercial and — social — success of “Dior,” the album has gone double platinum and sold the equivalent of 948,000 sales in the U.S. this calendar year alone. So you knew a sequel was coming. 

On Friday, July 16,  Pop Smoke’s label, Victor Victor Worldwide, released Faith, the deceased rapper’s second posthumous release. Similar to Shoot for the Stars, the album is a star-studded release, featuring appearances by Kanye West, Pusha-T, Pharrell, Future, The-Dream, Quavo, Rick Ross, and more. (Interestingly, 50 Cent, who executive produced Shoot for the Stars, is not involved with this album.)

Unlike Shoot for the Stars, which was true to the vision Pop Smoke had in mind, this album seems to be constructed from sketches and drafts left behind. 

The song that fans were most excited for was “Tell the Vision,” a track that features an astounding six production credits: BoogzDaBeast, Jahlil Beats, FnZ, SethInTheKitchen, Kanye West, and Rico Beats. The song features a pretty erratic verse from Kanye West and a good one from Pusha-T. On the song Pusha teases his album and shouts out Tyler, the Creator, rapping:

“Look, Tyler got the album of the year, for now
But Pop about to drop, I see the platinum in the clouds
Now Push about to drop, so real trappers stick around
The crown is only for the king, they tryna place it on a clown
I declare war, nickname ‘He Sell Raw’”

Fans have had a complicated relationships with posthumous albums. There haven’t been many good ones, with most coming across as cash grabs. (Highlights have come from Big L, Mac Miller, and J Dilla.) But they have been very commercially successful and labels aren’t stopping anytime soon. Interscope recently announced they were dropping three Juice WRLD albums. And it’s pretty evident that this album will be a success for the Victor Victor Worldwide camp. 

Give Faith a listen below.

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