Numerous fans were astonished to hear Pop Smoke has a new posthumous album to be released. Steven Victor decided to collaborate with Pop Smoke’s family to release his second posthumous album ‘Faith’. Countless fans were excited to hear about the new release, but the project didn’t match its hype. The main reason for the album’s failures is that Pop Smoke didn’t have a say in how he would like this body of work structured. This album was shaped around other people’s interests, mainly Steven Victor, which is why ‘Faith’ lacks an identity compared to Meet The Woo 1 and 2.
The 2nd posthumous album ‘Faith’ is 20 tracks long, which lacks Pop Smoke’s identity because of the features and production. There are too many features on the project. The countless rappers featuring on the album was a desperate attempt to put together incomplete Pop Smoke songs, which struggled to reach two minutes alone with Pop Smoke solely. The features overshadow Pop Smoke as they minimise his voice on the album as you hear less of him compared to his previous bodies of work. Secondly, numerous features lack chemistry with Pop Smoke as they fail to form a spark between them to formulate a relishing ambience for the tune. Demeanour featuring Dua Lipa, Spoiled featuring Pharrel Williams exhibit this as their connection brings forth a dull, tasteless song.
Pop Smoke fans were highly critical of the instrumentals used for ‘Faith’. The album lacked the booming, electrifying UK Drill production, which is the roots of Pop Smoke’s successful career. The album’s music production overall was lacklustre because they lacked energy. Also, Steven Victor replaced some of the original instrumentals for the songs due to legal reasons. There was little thought in the music productions replacements evident in ‘Top Shotta’. The instrumental utilised for ‘Top Shotta’ is a corny attempt to create a Caribbean vibrancy. ‘Top Shotta’ is originally a Drill song created by Pop Smoke featuring Eli Fross, another Brooklyn Drill rapper. Steven Victor should have worked with 808 Melo or AXL Beats to create a UK Drill instrumental for the song and keep the same feature. However, Steven Victor should have worked with Dancehall producers and featured Dancehall artists like Popcaan, Alkaline, Dexta Daps or Skillibeng to gain a real Jamaican vibe.
Nonetheless, there were a few positives for ‘Faith’. The two songs that stood out were 30 featuring Bizzy Banks and Brush Em featuring Rah Swish. No surprise they both use UK Drill instrumentals. Both features are friends of Pop Smoke and are Drill rappers from Brooklyn. Furthermore, Pop Smoke cooperated with both rappers to finish the tunes while he was alive. The cutthroat lyricism in the tracks with the bouncy instrumentals is relishing for the ears to hear. These songs are what the fans wanted to hear for the album as they represent Pop Smoke and what he achieved in his short-lived career. The only problem with these Drill beats is that they were watered down compared to the original. They lack the gritty, raw sound that the original Drill instrumentals have specifically for Brush Em, released in 2019. Also, Rah Swish voice is modified with autotune, which makes the song more harmonious, unfortunately.
Furthermore, the three other tracks that brought justice to the album was Woo Baby featuring Chris Brown, Manslaughter featuring Rick Ross & The-Dream and Bout a Million featuring 21 Savage and 42 Dugg. The chemistry between Pop Smoke and Chris Brown is unavoidable as their smooth vocals correlate harmoniously together with the sweet R&B instrumental packaged a loving tune. Pop Smoke fans know R&B tracks are one of his strengths from his first posthumous project ‘Aim for the Stars, Shoot For the Moon’ due to ‘Mood Swings’ and ‘Something Special’. In terms of the two other songs, ‘Manslaughter’ stood out for the catchy hook from Pop Smoke and the splendid verses from Pop Smoke and Rick Ross. The-Dream’s melodic vocals are the icing on the cake to Pop Smoke and Rick Ross lyrics as it adds a different vibe to the track, which is an emotional mood. In addition, his euphonious sound is soothing to hear with the instrumental in the background. ‘Bout A million’ has the same reasons as ‘Manslaughter’ for why the track stood out, enjoyable instrumental, captivating hook and decent lyrics.
Overall, ‘Faith’ would do Pop Smoke more justice if it didn’t exist. The features overshadowed the Woo rapper and, the choice of features ruined the ambience for the album. ‘Faith’ had a few highlight tracks on the album, such as ’30’, ‘Brush Em’, ‘Woo Baby’, ‘Manslaughter’ and ‘Bought a Million’. However, in this circumstance, the negatives outweigh the positives, resulting in the album being a disappointment and stain on Pop Smoke’s discography.
Check out Pop Smoke – Faith below