• Imani Santos

Pop Smoke’s For the Night is Where East Coast & Southern Rap Collide

Pop Smoke was just beginning to make real noise in the music scene representing a new age Brooklyn drill, tipping its hat to the UK drill scene. With his untimely death at only age 20 back in February, Smoke’s undeniable delivery and charisma did not perish with him. Released just a little over a week ago, Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, has already scored his first chart topping record debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200. The project follows the well received Meet the Woo mixtape, being executively produced by 50 Cent showcasing Smoke’s efforts in diversifying his sound and his legacy that will live on.

For the Night, the 3rd track on the project, begins Smoke’s journey with experimentation. The track pays homage to the mainstream Southern Rap scene featuring 2 of the brightest stars to come out of the South in recent time; Lil Baby--from Atlanta, Georgia--and DaBaby--representing Charlotte, North Carolina. Rather than using the eerie trap 808Melo produced sound everyone knows and loves from the Brooklyn rapper heard on previous hits such as Welcome to the Party and Dior, the track seems to be more fitting for “The Babies” with sweet acoustic guitar elements in the instrumental courtesy of CashMoneyAP and Palaze producing the track. Nonetheless, Smoke acts almost as a chameleon on the song further amplifying efforts to diversify his sound right off the bat and allowing listeners to hear him in a new light.

For the Night discusses the trios experience in the industry when it comes to balancing the pleasures that come with the success they have seen thus far due to their “grind mentality” while never forgetting where they came from, always preparing for the unexpected saying: “Said I know how to shoot, and I know how to fight.” The song also touches upon maintaining relationships with women alongside their lifestyles saying: “If I call you bae, you bae for the day or bae for the night, you not my wife.” The song emphasizes just how life for them changes night by night and how their relationships are usually temporary for the lifestyle they live, always looking out for themselves first and foremost. Hearing Smoke’s smoky deep vocals alongside Lil Baby’s autotuned bouncy tone and DaBaby’s classic hard hitting delivery makes the trio seem like a match made in heaven musically. For the Night peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week, so it’s safe to say that stepping outside of the box has its perks.

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