Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon is Pop Smoke's own version of Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
Updated: Jul 22, 2020
On February 19th, 2020, 20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke was murdered in his home. The young rapper was just starting his rapping career with two mixtapes Meet The Woo and Meet The Woo 2 which created him a big buzz and respect from his hip-hop peers. His death affected a lot of his fans and other rappers but the one rapper who decided to take a stand regarding Pop Smoke's death was 50 Cent. The hip-hop mogul decided to honor the young rapper by taking charge and be the executive producer for Pop Smoke's first album Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon. The album was released on July 3rd, 2020 under the labels Victor Victor and Republic. The album features 50 Cent, Quavo, Da Baby, Lil Baby, Tyga, Roddy Ricch, Future, and many more. This will also be my first time listening to a Pop Smoke album, so let's see how it goes.
The album starts with an introduction called "Bad Bitch from Tokyo". It's then followed by "Aim For The Moon" featuring Quavo and "For The Night" featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby which are good songs with a good beat instrumental to vibe to. "For The Night" also samples the instrumental of Sisqo's "Thong Song". "44 BullDog" is your typical drill music which Pop is known for doing with a voice in the background doing gun noises. The song "Gangstas" is a straight street banger and I love how Pop Smoke's voice is smooth on this gangsta song instead of being loud and aggressive for no reason, good song from the late rapper. I also enjoyed "Yea Yea", as the vibe of the instrumental is smooth and mellow accompany by Pop Smoke's laid-back flow and voice. Then we have the song "Creature" featuring Swae Lee followed by "Snitching" featuring Quavo and Future, and the three rappers rap about the topic of snitching on a catchy instrumental. "Make It Rain" is another drill song featuring Rowdy Rebel who did his verse for this song while being in prison over the phone.
Halfway through the album, the album is enjoyable with some good beats to vibe to, a couple of fillers but I like Pop Smoke's way of rapping because it's smooth and laid-back. Now we have the song "The Woo" featuring 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch and it's one of the best songs of the album, and a good summer jam with references from 50 Cent's hits such as "Candy Shop" and "Hate it Or Love It" in Smoke's verse. Then we have the song "West Coast Shit" featuring Quavo and Tyga which is another song I enjoyed from the album. The song is also produced by Mustard and Bongo. "Enjoy Yourself" featuring Colombian singer, Karol G, and the song has a good vibe where you can enjoy yourself with a nice broad by your side. The song has a nice Latin vibe as well. The two following songs are dedicated to the ladies, "Mood Swings" and "Something Special". "Something Special" interpolates Tamia and Fabolous "Into You" and it's also Pop Smoke's version of 21 Questions. "What You Know About Love" is a ballad love song and it interpolates Ginuwine's "Differences" followed by the song "Diana" featuring King Combs (son of Puff Daddy). "Got It On Me" is another good song from the album as it interpolates 50 Cent's "Many Men" in the chorus, and you can feel 50 Cent's influence in Pop Smoke's lyrics. The album finishes with the song "Tunnel Vision" where Pop Smoke explains how he wanted to impact the hip-hop game with his legacy. The album also has a bonus track at the end called "Dior".
The way I can summarize Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon is pretty mixed. There's a lot of good songs, but a bunch of filler songs as well. The album is 59 minutes with 19 songs but most of the songs are 2 minutes long, they should have produced the album with less but longer songs. Yet, Pop Smoke wasn't alive to put his own decisions for that. As a whole, 50 Cent's job as executive producer did not fail to keep Pop Smoke's name alive. I feel that 50 took his music swag and mixed it with Pop's swag which created a good album, and you can notice that Pop Smoke was influenced by 50. If Pop Smoke was still alive, I wouldn't have been surprised if 50 Cent would have taken Pop under his wing to become a superstar, instead of wasting his time with 6ixN9ne. The songs that stood out for me in this album are "Gangstas", "The Woo", "West Cost Shit", "Enjoy Yourself" and "Something Special". By listening to this album, no lie, Pop Smoke could have been big in the hip-hop game from the new generation, but I'm still not a fan of drill music. Rest In Power Bashar Barakah Jackson aka Pop Smoke.
Beat Instrumental: 3.5/5
Album Production: 3/5