Pop Smoke Type Beats
Pop Smoke wasn’t the pioneer of the rising hip-hop sub-genre known as Brooklyn drill music, but he is definitely responsible for helping push the fledgling brand of rap music into the mainstream. A byproduct of the signature sound of the United Kingdom‘s much more established drill scene and Chicago’s own drill movement, the BK version has flourished thanks in part to breakout tracks like Pop‘s “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior” in 2019, both produced by British beatsmith 808Melo. The late N.Y. rapper’s meteoric rise, paralleled with Brooklyn drill’s charge to the forefront has inspired a wave of Pop Smoke type beats online.
Pop Smoke’s name is synonymous with the drill sound. The music is forged with bottomless 808s and undulating synths, which the baritone-voiced Canarsie, Brooklyn, N.Y. native thrived on with his early mixtapes Meet the Woo in 2019 and Meet the Woo 2 in 2020. Those early projects for the rapper feature the aforementioned Brooklyn drill anthems. Pop’s inescapable “Christopher Walking,” produced by beatmakers CashMoneyAP and Wondagurl, with its tap-dancing hi-hats, gun sounds and wavy chords, is a signature track. The intimidating standalone single “War” featuring Lil Tjay runs heavy on pulsing synths and airy rim shots, served up by 808Melo and Swirv.
Yet, most of Pop’s biggest records reside on his 2021 posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, which is chock-full of big doses of drill from some of the genre’s best sonic purveyors, including 808Melo, AXL and others. While the four-times platinum track “For the Night” featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby treads more on the trap side, thanks to producers CashMoneyAP and Palaze, the collection stays the course with distinctly drill bangers like “Aim for the Moon” featuring Quavo, produced by WondaGurl, 5ive Beatz, 808Melo, Tyy Beats, Dez Wright and Dani; and “44 BullDog,” produced by Mobz Beatz and Mora Beats.
Sadly, Pop was not able to fully capitalize off the momentum he gained, with his death on Feb. 19, 2020 extinguishing one of hip-hop’s brightest stars. However, his debut posthumous album is proof his sound was leading a movement. The project recently broke Eminem’s record for most weeks atop the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart, an impressive feat. His 2019 track “Dior” nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance as well. Now, the Brooklyn drill sound lives on with artists like pioneers 22gz, Sheff G, Fivio Foreign, Sleepy Hollow, Smoove’L and others pushing the sound forward.
Even in death, the Brooklyn rapper’s wave has become a hot commodity with “Pop Smoke type beats” becoming a trend that YouTube producers have recently taken full advantage of. Get lost in several Pop Smoke type beats below.
See 50 Cent and More New York Rappers Weigh In a Year After Pop Smoke’s Death