Virgil Abloh Explains Concept Behind Pop Smoke’s Now-Scrapped Album Cover After Fan Backlash

Written By Biz Jones

Pop Smoke album cover art
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Designer Virgil Abloh had the green light from late rap artist Pop Smoke for artwork intended to celebrate his studio debut. However, fan backlash ultimately forced his label to change the cover art despite VA recently explaining the concept behind it.

Virgil x Pop

This week, a social media post emerged sharing Abloh’s viewpoint of piecing together Pop’s artwork. Virgil credited the imagery for what Pop Smoke imagined his album cover looking like.

“the last conversation I had with @realpopsmoke was about what we were gonna do in the future. This album cover was one of like 5 things we talked about. He mentioned his story felt like the metaphor of a rose and thorns growing from concrete of his hood in Canarsie, Brooklyn. In your memory I just finished it yesterday. As evident of the whole idea, the t-shirt insinuates it’s mandatory we put an end to this cycle of violence that plagues us, we need to shoot for the moon and aim for the stars. As heavy as it is we are celebrating your life the whole way thru. Rest In Peace young one.” -Virgil Abloh’s Instagram

Virgil Abloh speaks on Pop Smoke’s album cover

High-Key Details

Last night, music executive Steven Victor shared the project’s artwork. He also credited Virgil’s signature touch for piecing it together.

“you were always shootings for the stars and aiming for the moon. 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 ❤️” -Steven Victor’s Instagram

Wait, There’s More

Following fan backlash over the cover art, Steven came forward to announce a change would happen. Victor credited Smoke’s love for his supporters for ultimately inspiring the cover alteration.

“H E A R D YOU. B R B. Making a change. Pop would listen to his fans!”

Before You Go

Pop Smoke’s long-awaited posthumous album didn’t come out on its initial release date as it was originally slated to. Victor updated fans on the project’s delay. Steven went online to deliver the crushing news that Pop Smoke’s album would be delayed.

“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. 💫💫💫.” -Steven Victor’s Instagram

1 Comment

Written by Biz Jones

SOHH.com Writer. You're likely to find me covering hip-hop news and music releases. Netflix is still my go-to before Disney Plus.

One Comment

  1. The ppl in charge of pop legacy are absing corrupting ruining his legacy. The ‘artwork’ technically is trash a kid with a trial of Photoshop would do better. Absolutely careless, disgusting how disrespectful and lazy. They portray him as trash, this is their vision. Conceptually, pop never said stop the violence. This is their spin to try and spin his death into wat they think is marketable.

    Virgil and bestie Kanye lack vision, talent, skills and creativity. Both create ugly work as their souls are ugly. Both are billionaires in an evil, ugly corrupt society.

    50 cent needs to sack Virgil and start again.

    Or perhaps pops family / associates need to take back control asap

    This is r4p3.

    And even the features, is it even rappers pop wud fw ?

    I doubt it. Those in control are vultures, literally.

    Absolutely sickening

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