Pop Smoke posthumously earned his first solo spot on the Billboard charts

The late rapper entered the top 50 with his song "Dior".

by Douglas Greenwood
26 February 2020, 11:33am

Photography Ben Solomon

News of the death of the 20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke rippled throughout music and fashion circles last week, bringing with it an air of disappointment that a star with so much potential had had had his life cut so tragically short. The hip-hop artist, known best for his breakout street anthem "Welcome To The Party”, alongside collaborations with Travis Scott and, visually, with Virgil Abloh and OFF-WHITE, had been tipped for greatness in 2020. His most recent mixtape Meet the Woo 2 had dropped barely a fortnight before he died on 19 February, after he was shot during an alleged home invasion in his West Hollywood residence.

Statistics released by Nielsen Music/MRC Data in the wake of Popsmoke's death showed that his passing led a huge number of listeners to swarm to his music. Streaming numbers have apparently spiked, increasing 392% in the past few weeks.

The song “Dior” alone has accounted for over five million of those, which has lead Pop Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, to earn his first solo hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song debuted at number 49 in this week’s charts. The track, which has racked up over 25 million views on YouTube alone, is drenched in a UK drill sensibility and namedrops Mike Amiri, Billie Jean and, of course, Christian Dior. It also cause controversy because of the song's homophobic lyrics (“I can’t fuck with these n*ggas ‘cause n*ggas is gay”).

Though “Dior” is his first solo number to crack the charts, it marks Popsmoke's second chart appearance following his Travis Scott collab “GATTI”, which reached number 69 in December of last year. With numbers like these under his belt already, it’s likely the track could climb the charts even further in the coming weeks.

Speaking to i-D for our Get Up Stand Up issue, Popsmoke delivered some now prophetic words that match up with this pyrrhic route to commercial success: ““Sacrifice means a lot to me,” he said. “Sometimes in order to win you gotta sacrifice, you know what I’m saying? You gotta be willing to give up some things.”


Photography Ben Solomon
Photography assistance Kalil Justin

Styling Nico Amarca

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