Pop Smoke’s posthumous new album Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon has been released. It arrives nearly five months after the rapper’s death at age 20 in a Los Angeles home invasion.
Malluchi tells Radio 1 Newsbeat he’s grateful he has something to hold on to. “I will honestly play this album to my future children. It’s incredible.I’d been waiting all day for it to come out, I listened straight away.”
He says the release of such a “special album” – Pop Smoke’s debut – was bittersweet.”While I was really enjoying the songs, I was like ‘Wow, this is the last one I’ll get to hear’.”
The US rapper, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, was killed in a suspected robbery in February at the age of 20. Pop Smoke only released his debut mixtape in 2019 but was already having a big impact on hip-hop.
He had been co-signed by 50 Cent, who executive-produced the posthumous album – which features a sample of the classic 50 Cent song Many Men, from 50’s own debut album.
Malluchi says: “He was definitely destined for great things.
“If you look at what he did in about 14 months of his career, most artists do that in five or six years.”
Malluchi’s friend Jaimie chimes in: “The reason we love Pop Smoke so much in the UK is because he bridged the US and UK music scenes.
“We’ve had loads of UK and US collaborations before, but Pop Smoke actually used UK producers and rapped on UK drill beats.”
Pop Smoke often worked with East London producer 808Melo – helping give the Brooklyn artist a sound more familiar to London.
Listen to the album below: