Pop Smoke was tragically murdered at the age of 20 in February 2020 before he got to show the world his full repertoire of superstar abilities as an artist.
Pop’s right-hand producer 808Melo recently revealed a message from the late Brooklyn rapper from November 6, 2019. Just when Pop’s career was beginning to gain steam on a mainstream level, Pop Smoke promised Melo that he’d have the entire rap world jumping on the drill music wave.
“I told you I gotchu woo,” Pop Smoke told his “Dior” producer on Instagram after he teased a track with Lil Durk rapping on one of Melo’s beats. “Ima have everybody on this wave.”
808Melo replied, “I know family we up now!”
Within the Brooklyn drill music scene, Pop Smoke was undoubtedly the chosen one to show the world the drill wave on a mainstream superstar level.
The week of his death, Pop’s “Dior” street anthem debuted at No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100. The drill track produced by 808Melo would go on to peak at No. 22 during the week following his posthumous Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon debut album in July 2020.
The project was a major commercial success after debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and taking home Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Rap Album at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.
Even in his short time rapping, Pop Smoke brought a spotlight to the subgenre, which will allow fellow drill rappers such as his affiliate Fivio Foreign to continue to carry the torch on the path he helped pave.