UPDATED 6/29, 8:55 p.m. ET: Steven Victor has shared the Virgil Abloh-designed cover art for Pop Smoke's posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.
"you were always shootings for the stars and aiming for the moon," Victor wrote on IG. "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."
Victor also shared photos of a limited edition Pop Smoke t-shirt. You can cop the t-shirt, which was also designed by Abloh, for $50.00 over at Pop Smoke's website.
Virgil also took to IG to talk about the cover art and t-shirt.
"the last conversation i had with @realpopsmoke was about what we we were gonna to do in the future," Virgil wrote on IG. "this album cover was one of like 5 things we talked about. in your memory i just finished it yesterday. as evident of the whole idea, the t-shirt insinuates it’s mandatory we put an and to this cycle of violence that plagues us, we need to shoot for the moon & aim for the stars. as heavy as it is we are celebrating your life the whole way thru. rest in piece young one. "
Shortly after the artwork was unveiled, people took to social media to criticize it and demand it be changed.
Pop Smoke in heaven when he sees Virgil's design pic.twitter.com/H4jUjNeQ3Y— kawasaki (@kaawaasakii) June 29, 2020
"You sure you can make the cover?"— Napalm➐ (@_IamNapalm_) June 30, 2020
Steven Victor caught wind of the criticism and said that the artwork will be tweaked.
UPDATED 6/10, 9:28 p.m. ET: Pop Smoke's debut album has been pushed back to July 3 from June 12 "out of respect for the movement," Steven Victor said on Instagram, referencing the wave of protests that have occurred across the country denouncing racism and police brutality.
"Music is the tool of revolution," Victor wrote in the post, which features footage of Pop Smoke. "We have been watching, along with the rest of the world, as long overdue change starts to take root. We have seen Pop’s music become the soundtrack of the moment, unifying the masses."
Although the project was pushed up, a single titled “Make It Rain” will be released on Friday, June 12.
Music is the tool of revolution. We have been watching, along with the rest of the world, as long overdue change starts to take root. We have seen Pop’s music become the soundtrack of the moment, unifying the masses. Given recent events, we have decided to delay the release of his album out of respect for the movement. “Make It Rain” will be released this Friday, June 12th. The album will be released on July 3rd. Please join us in celebrating Pop Smoke’s legacy. 💫💫💫.
A post shared by Steven VICTOR (@stevenvictor) on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:52pm PDT
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Pop Smoke's debut album will be released next month.
As announced Thursday, the posthumous album will arrive on streaming services on June 12. Though this marks Pop's debut album, it notably follows the 2019 and 2020 releases of the two Meet the Woo mixtapes. Previously, 50 Cent teased possible involvement with the posthumous album.
Earlier this month, Pop Smoke's family and Victor Victor label head Steven Victor confirmed that new music and additional projects would soon be announced. In the statement, they also thanked fans and artists for their continued support through what has been a very trying time.
"The public show of support and grief, by everyone touched by Pop during his lifetime, has provided some semblance of comfort during these difficult times for his family, friends, and colleagues," Victor and the family said. "Throughout the next year we will be sharing new music, as we continue to build Pop's legacy. In conjunction with his estate we will be making formal announcements on his foundation and music projects."
Among the non-album projects alluded to in the statement are a documentary Victor previously confirmed in an interview with Complex. Stating at the time that he was working "really, really hard" on the album, Victor added that he was "working on a documentary for him too."
In February, Pop Smoke died after being shot twice during a home invasion in the Hollywood Hills.