One of the chief architects behind the late Pop Smoke’s chart-topping debut has voiced whether he’ll be involved in a forthcoming project. 50 Cent—who appeared alongside Smoke on the posthumous single, “The Woo” and served as executive producer on Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon—spoke on his uncertainty about hopping on board this go-round in an interview with radio personality Kris Kaylin.
“Steven [Victor] was originally Pop’s manager and the label person he was signed to,” Fif said in the 20-minute conversation. “He spoke to me about the new record. I’m not sure if I’ll participate with that record. I just wanted to make sure that his record did what it was supposed to.”
50 also touched on his motivations for taking on the project, as well as the various roles he played in ensuring its success. “My interaction with Pop was that he was looking at me like I could tell him the right way to go and everything would work based on what I was saying,” he shared. “Outside of producing the record and having it perform well, I did all the promotion for that record for it to work. They would have put it out and you’d have to find it out of basic interest.”
News of a posthumous sophomore album from the late Canarsie, Brooklyn native sparked in early May when producer and former collaborator Rico Beats—the manager of the late rapper’s estate—gave an indication that a fresh body of work from the drill-rap icon was on the way.
“I see and hear everything kept it cool tho no worries pay back around the corner Popsmoke new album loading….,” he wrote in the caption, a not-so dubious tip that there’s more unreleased material left in the vault. While Rico’s remarks are particularly interesting given Swizz Beatz’s recent explanation behind the previously reported DMX and Pop Smoke collaboration didn’t make X’s own posthumous effort, Exodus, released on May 28.
“They used the verse already,” Swizz revealed to The Breakfast Club. “I know X wouldn’t want an old verse.” He also explained that after the initial mishap, he tried to secure another unreleased Pop Smoke verse, only to discover it was also used. “It was two verses and both of them was used. We went to get another verse and it was used.”
While it’s safe to say that Swizz Beatz won’t be involved and 50 Cent remains on the fence, fans of Pop Smoke are more than eager to get their hands on another batch of music from the promising talent, who was gunned down during a home invasion in February 2020. Completed by 50 and Pop’s team in his honor, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon was released on July 3, 2020, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and broke Eminem’s record for most consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart.
Pop Smoke is set to appear on “Lane Switcha,” off the June 17-slated F9: The Fast Saga movie soundtrack, alongside Skepta, ASAP Rocky, Juicy J, and Project Pat.