Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon - Album Review

Album cover for ‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’

On July 3rd, 2020 Pop Smoke’s first posthumous album ‘Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon’ was released. The week it was released it debuted on the Billboard top 200 at number 1. It sold 251,000 units first week and continues to stay atop of the charts week to week. In includes features from many popular artists such as Quavo, Lil Baby, 50 Cent, and many more. Today I’ll be going over what made this album so great and why it is currently my album of the year.

Artist ‘Pop Smoke’

The album starts off with an intro track called ‘Bad Bitch From Tokyo’, this 48-second track provides a look into how the album will sound and feel and perfectly transitions in the second track ‘Aim For The Moon’. This second track features Rap artist Quavo who features in 2 more songs on this album making memorable verses in all 3 tracks. The next track ‘For The Night’ includes verses from Lil Baby and Da Baby, 2 rising artists in today’s game. They show their versatility switching up the flow of the song.

Rapper ‘Quavo’

After that Pop Smoke drops the features for a few songs with ‘44 Bulldog’, ‘Gangstas’, and ‘Yea Yea’. ‘44 Bulldog’ shows Pop’s bars on a fast-paced beat showing that he can spit fire on any type of beat. ‘Gangstas’ gives the listener a nice east coast vibe on a slower beat where Pop raps about his street life. ‘Yea Yea’ is an even slower paced song but continues about his street life with guns and gang affiliations. These 3 tracks really talk about his life before and after the fame giving the listener a reminder on what he was about.

The track ‘Creature’ features artist Swae Lee whos softer voice gives the song a nice change of pace on the fast beat in provides. The next track ‘Snitching’ features Quavo and Future. Quavo’s adlibs and Futures flow adds a nice compliment to Pop’s deep-voiced verse which are the factors that make these artists what they are. ‘Make it Rain’ features Rowdy Rebel on a beat that progressively gets faster as the song starts. It creates a nice vibe to the song and ends with a verse from Rowdy Rebel through a jail phone.

Artist ‘Swae Lee’

The next track ‘The Woo’ features an upcoming star in the rap game Roddy Richh and a seasoned vet 50 Cent. Each artist's verse has a different speed to it Roddy’s being faster and 50’s being a little slower which creates a lot of versatility to the songs flow. This song combines the similar style of 50 Cent and Pop Smoke to show how alike their rapping is. ‘West Coast Shit’ features Tyga who raps a lot about the west coast and fits this track really nicely. The other feature for this track is Quavo who goes 3/3 on this album with his 3rd great appearance on the project.

Rapper ’50 Cent’

Pop on this album has a lot of lyrics and songs centered around violence but switches it up here with some love songs. Although these songs include lyrics about guns and gang violence it still focuses on romance. ‘Enjoy Yourself’ features Karol G which is the only female verse but that’s not what sets it apart from the rest. Karol G’s verse is entirely in Spanish and gives more west coast vibes. The next track ‘Mood Swings’ features Lil Tjay and shows Pop singing rather than rapping. Even though Pop Smoke is primarily a rapper his versatility to also be able to sing like this is great and shows how talented of an artist he is. Tjay also provides a memorable verse that the people of TikTok enjoyed very heavily. ‘Something Special’ also includes Pop Smoke showing off his singing skills with a bit of rapping included too. To round out the love songs of this album ‘What You Know Bout Love’ jumps back and forth between speeds and Pop Smoke provides a softer vibe than usual.

Diana’ features King Combs and provides a very smooth flow and vibe. It shows Pop Smoke’s gangster style and sounds like something out of a 50 Cent album. The last full track on this album is ‘Got It On Me’ which rounds up the album. This song is the perfect representation of Pop Smoke and has a sad feel as we remember the unique artist that he was. This album finishes off with the outro ‘Tunnel Vision’ which has the perfect sendoff feel with its interview sample at the end talking about what his impact would be on the game.

Rapper ‘Pop Smoke’ - 1999–2020

This album was great from start to finish and there isn’t a single song to be skipped on it. Nothing bad to say about this piece of work. Some of my favorite tracks from the album were ‘Aim For The Moon’, ‘Snitching’, Something Special’, and ‘Mood Swings’. Pop Smoke had so much versatility which is an aspect I love in artists. Him being able to sing, rap, and create a nice vibe to his songs was a very underrated aspect of his work. Feel free in the comments to leave any feedback and discuss what your favorite song of the album was.

Penn State Lehigh Valley — music listener and reviewer — hip-hop genre