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Pop Smoke’s ‘Faith’ is nothing more than a cash grab

Pop Smoke’s ‘Faith’ is nothing more than a cash grab

Pop Smoke’s ‘Faith’ is nothing more than a cash grab
July 26
18:30 2021

Posthumous releases can come in two forms. First, there are the albums put together with finished tracks, along with a feature here or there to fill open verses, such as Tupac’s “Life After Death” or Nirvana’s “MTV Unplugged in New York.” Second, are releases with extremely unfinished tracks that are “finished” by bloating the album with features left and right. Pop Smoke’s second posthumous album “Faith” is an egregious example of the latter, ruining what was an excellent send-off with his other posthumous album, “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.”

No review of “Faith” can be written without acknowledging Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut “Shoot for the Stars,” which without question, was the hip-hop community’s biggest event during the pandemic. Pop Smoke was taken from the world in February 2020, just two weeks before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. In that time, Pop Smoke’s name has become exponentially more popular since his untimely death, and “Faith” is the epitome of that.

This is a “bad” album by no means, but “Faith” is less of a Pop Smoke album and more of a compilation with a strangely large amount of Pop Smoke features. While “Shoot for the Stars” sounded like a near-complete project, the tracks on “Faith” are clearly remixed demos and loose verses, but for every good track like “What’s Crackin,” there’s “Top Shotta.”

Without a doubt, there were delightful features on display in this 20 song slog of an album. “Demeanor” is a decent disco-pop track featuring uber-popular U.K. pop star Dua Lipa who delivered some very posh lines. Takeoff gave us the ultimate hip-hop tag team what if on his verse on “What’s Crackin.” Rick Ross gliding on the beat for “Manslaughter” was a no-brainer. By a large margin, “Merci Beaucoup” is the best song on the album, with its chilling, ethereal U.K.-drill style beat serving us an excellent closer to such a middling release.

Kayne West appeared for about six lines on “Tell the Vision” with the worst feature on the album. Kayne put more effort into the notorious “Lift Yourself” track and pushing COVID-19 conspiracy theories than a decent verse for his supposed friend. Pusha T also hops on to plug a future album of his and make the claim that while Tyler, the Creator has the best album of the year so far, “Faith” will surpass him. Is he right? In terms of pure finances, at the time of this writing, “Faith” is projected to debut No.1 on Billboards 200.

I by no means can be the arbiter of what Pop Smoke wanted or desired with this album, but what I can say is that “Faith” is a cash grab. It’s clear there was not enough content for another posthumous album and his producers did it anyway. More than anything, this album is underwhelming, which is unfortunate because Pop Smoke deserves better than this. Rest in peace.

Rating: 2.5/5

Courtesy Victor Victor Worldwide Records/ Republic 2021

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Chance Townsend

Chance Townsend

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