Album Review: Pop Smoke - Faith (Deluxe)
Written By: Mike Double G
Grade = 83% or 4 ⭐️
Track List - 1 hour 8 minutes
Good News 0:46
More Time 2:00 ✅
Tell The Vision (Feat. Kanye West & Pusha T) 3:35 ⭐️
Manslaughter (Feat. Rick Ross & The-Dream) 4:09 ⭐️
Bout A Million (Feat. 21 Savage & 42 Dugg) 3:23 ⭐️
Brush Em (Feat. Rah Swish) 2:30 ✅
Top Shotta (Pop Smoke & The Neptunes Feat. Pusha T, TRAVI, & Beam) 4:19 ✅
30 (Feat. Bizzy Banks) 3:48 ❌
Beat The Speaker 1:46 ✅
Coupe 2:03 ⭐️
What’s Crackin (Feat. Takeoff) 2:57 ⭐️
Genius (Pop Smoke, Lil Tjay, & Swae Lee) 3:28 ⭐️
Mr. Jones (Feat. Future) 3:34 ⭐️
Woo Baby Interlude 0:28
Woo Baby (Feat. Chris Brown) 2:36 ✅
Demeanor (Feat. Dua Lipa) 3:04 ✅
Spoiled (Feat. Pharrell Williams) 1:44 ❌
8-Ball (Feat. Kid Cudi) 2:56 ✅
Back Door (Feat. Quavo & Kodak Black) 4:03 ✅
Merci Beaucoup 2:55 ❌
Deluxe Tracks = 50%
Questions 2:25 ❌
Run Down (Feat. OnPointLikeOP & G Herbo) 3:00 ⭐️
Money Man (Feat. Killa) 2:16 ✅
Defiant (Feat. Dread Woo & TRAVI) 3:55 ❌
Pop Smoke’s second posthumous album Faith was released on July 16th. Four days before what would have been his 22nd birthday. Although there have been mixed reviews I think this project is right on par with the last album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon. Similar to the last album this project is loaded with features. There were over 20 guest appearances but only Quavo, Future, Swae Lee, and Lil Tjay appeared on both projects. The features on the last album were more current artists while this project has more veterans. This is probably the biggest reason for the mixed reviews. There is plenty of star power but a lot of the rappers on this project wouldn’t be considered “hot” in 2021.
The few “Newer” artists who appeared on this project but not the last include 21 Savage, 42 Dugg, Takeoff, and Kodak Black. Besides those four guys we had a lot of big name veterans. Some of the bigger names on this project include Rick Ross, The-Dream, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, The Neptune’s, Pusha T (who appeared twice) and even pop star Dua Lipa. We got a lot of names we’ve heard before but we also got a couple lesser known Brooklyn drill rappers like Bizzy Banks and Rah Swish.
Pop Smoke gained mainstream attention when he released his first single Welcome to the Party on April 23rd 2019. 10 months and two mixtapes later his life was cut short after a robbery went bad in Hollywood Hills California. Although he was only in the rap game for less than a year, these last two projects proved that he had a lot of music on deck and that he collaborated with many artists. While he definitely worked with a lot of different artists early in his career, many songs on this album were pieced together. At times this album feels more like a playlist because only about half of the material is actually Pop Smoke. With that being said many of these songs still felt like Pop Smoke songs. Pop still felt like the main artist on the songs because his strength has always been making hooks. Many songs on this album had Pop on the hook with other rappers coming in for the majority of the verses.
The biggest knock on this project is that we don’t hear enough of Pop Smoke on his own album. Another weakness would be the recycled material. Many critics will bash the album for this but you can only make so much good music in so little time. On the last album one of the betters songs was Hello featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie. On this album we hear lyrics from that song on two tracks. The first time would be on track 2 More Time. The second time is on the song Genius which was made with Swae Lee and Lil Tjay.
The great thing about this album is we get to hear Pop Smoke on different styles of music. If he was still alive we would have heard Pop on more R&B and pop records. On the last album Pop Smoke made a couple remakes of older R&B records. We see this once again on Woo Baby featuring Chris Brown. This song is a spin on Ne-Yo’s song So Sick. While this isn’t my favorite type of Pop Smoke music I think the addition of Chris Brown made this a record better then some of his previous work in this genre. Another different song was Demeanor featuring Dua Lipa. This was the most surprising song on the album. It was the most pop sounding track and it is sure to get plenty of radio play. Another different track was 8-Ball with Kid Cudi. Kid Cudi has always been someone who has stepped outside the box to work with artists who are unique and have a different sound. An example of this would be his collaborations with Playboi Carti on M3tamorphosis. Although very different, Pop Smoke also has a very unique voice. Pop was also on Kid Cudi’s album Man On the Moon III: The Chosen so this is the second time we’re hearing a collaboration from the two.
Although there are several different types on genres spread through out this album it doesn’t sound too soft or radio friendly. We still get the Brooklyn drill and “Woo” content all Pop Smoke fans love. Both Bizzy Banks and Rah Swish specialize in Brooklyn drill music. I preferred Brush Em with Rah Swish over 30 with Bizzy Banks. After those two records we got 4 solo tracks from Pop. More Time, Beat The Soeaker, Coupe, and Merci Beaucoup. My favorite was “Coupe” because it was the hardest drill sounding record. This was also the first music video for this album.
This is the type of album that will get better with time. Day one Pop Smoke fans might have a lukewarm response on the first but after a few plays they’ll realize there is a lot of good music on here even if it’s not the typical Pop Smoke you were expecting. Overall I think there was a good balance of drill music mixed with a few curve balls. If a lot of these records sounded the same then 56 minutes might have been too long of a project. We are also expecting a deluxe version to this album. The last project added 15 songs with the deluxe so don’t be surprised if we get around the same amount this time around. This album along with Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon are two of the better rap posthumous albums ever made. I give the original version of this record a 83%. The deluxe did water down this album a bit but I still give this album a solid 77% or 3.5 ⭐️ .
Best Song = Manslaughter (Feat. Rick Ross & The-Dream)
#PopSmoke #Faith #KanyeWest #PushaT #RickRoss #TheDream #21Savage #42Dugg #RahSwish #TheNeptunes #PushaT #TRAVI #Beam #BizzyBanks #Takeoff #LilTjay #SwaeLee #Future #ChrisBrown #DuaLipa #PharrellWilliams #KidCudi #Quavo #KodakBlack #OnPointLikeOP #GHerbo #Killa #DreadWoo #TRAVI #ShootForTheStarsAimForTheMoon #ABoogieWitDaHoodie #NeYo #PlayboiCarti #ManOnTheMoonIIITheChosen