Since his life was tragically cut short at the age of 20, fans of rising hip hop star Pop Smoke have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rapper’s posthumous album, which is currently being mastered by 50 Cent.
Their anticipation, however, quickly turned to collective disappointment as the album’s artwork – designed by Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh – was unveiled and was pretty much immediately slammed by fans.
Posted by Steven Victor, the head of Pop Smoke’s label Victor Victor Worldwide, the caption read:
“You were always shootings for the stars and aiming for the moon. everything we talked about is happening, the only thing is you’re not here in the flesh to see it all come together. you wanted Virgil to design your album cover and lead creative.. Virgil designed the album cover and led creative.. we love you and miss you more and more each day.”
After comments criticised the design as “trash” and “rushed” – with one Twitter user pointing out the image of Pop Smoke used is literally on the first page of Google – Victor returned to Twitter announcing that there would “a change”.
Virgil put zero effort into that album cover. He literally used the first photo that comes up when you search Pop Smoke’s name on Google. pic.twitter.com/pe9egHcjQj
— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) June 29, 2020
“BRB. MAKING A CHANGE,” he tweeted. “POP WOULD LISTEN TO HIS FANS!”. Abloh has since deleted the image from his Instagram.
It comes following 50 Cent and a slew of other musicians and friends who worked with the Pop Smoke spoke to the New York Times for a memorial piece on the late star.
“The first two tapes versus this album?” 50 Cent said when answering how Pop Smoke’s debut album compares to his first two EPs. “You’re going to see that we really just lost something big. He said to me he wanted to take his mother to an award show. I would like to be able to do that.”
Pop Smoke’s posthumous album Shoot for the Stars follows Meet the Woo and Meet the Woo 2 and is set to drop on July 3.