Pop Smoke achieves posthumous UK No 1 album

Late rapper is the first solo artist to achieve a posthumous No 1 album in the UK

Pop Smoke reveals when he started rapping

Pop Smoke has achieved a posthumous No 1 album in the UK, becoming the first solo artist to achieve the feat.

The rapper, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was killed in a suspected robbery in February this year, aged 20.

Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon made it to the top spot 12 weeks after debuting on the UK albums chart at No 2.

Pop Smoke’s album is also the first debut of 2020 to reach the No 1 spot. 97 per cent of album sales were from streaming.

Jade Bradshaw, product manager at Pop Smoke’s UK label Polydor, said it was a “bittersweet moment”.

“This No 1 cements Pop Smoke's legacy in the UK and the promise he had to be one of the greats,” said she said.

“This is a bittersweet moment but it is an honour to be part of this project with Steven, Shiv & our colleagues at Republic [Records].”

In a four-star review of Shoot for the Stars, The Independent said Pop Smoke, who helped to pioneer New York’s drill scene, had an ability to project emotion “like few artists his age”.

“He thrived most when working on instinct, and possessed a voice that ran deep and guttural, often evoking the menace of a classic cinema villain,” the review said.

“Brilliant and bittersweet, Shoot For the Stars Aim For the Moon is the work of someone whose success should have been stratospheric.”

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