The music world continues to mourn the unexpected loss of rising 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke after the news that he was shot and killed in the Hollywood Hills on February 19. His untimely passing came just weeks after he released his highly-anticipated Meet The Woo 2 project featuring an ensemble cast of Quavo, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Fivio Foreign and Lil Tjay. While new details continue to emerge from the Los Angeles Police Department’s ongoing investigation, Lil Tjay has released a heartfelt tribute track, “Forever Pop.”
The two New York rappers may have been from different neighboring New York City boroughs, but their chemistry was undeniable as they churned out multiple records together last year. They traded verses first on “War” and then on “Mannequin”. With “Forever Pop,” Tjay spills his soul over the Othello-produced instrumental. His disbelief is palpable, as he delves into his motivation to carry on Pop’s legacy.
“Rest my n*gga Pop Smoke, know I’m lettin’ shots go/ At any n*gga, fuck it, I inherited the opps folk/ Know I’m finna make it to the tippy-tippy top, bro, for you/ I knew that’s what you wanna see me do/ Can’t believe this sh*t, I can’t believe this sh*t is true/ Took you out your glory, who wanna see you lose?/ Woke up in the mornin’, see my n*gga on the news/ And I’m still like “Damn”, tryna put together screws.”
The track ends with a radio snippet of Pop Smoke talking about the pressures to succeed. It’s eerily foreboding.
“I’ma say, give like a lesson to my younger n*ggas, you feel me? Now, you n*ggas like us, coming from where we come from, you can’t afford to f*ck up. You can’t afford to slip up, make no mistakes, you heard? ‘Cause, they watchin’, and they, and they, they want us to, you know what I’m saying? We got all odds against us.”
Listen to “Forever Pop” above and revisit our Conversations With: Lil Tjay episode where the Bronx native talks about his ear for melody, his recording process and what he learned from his recent incarceration. In more music news, be on the lookout for Spotify’s Cash Money Records docu-series New Cash Order to release via the streaming platform’s popular RapCaviar imprint on February 21.
— lil TJAY (@liltjay) February 20, 2020