9 Songs, 27 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Summer 2019’s unlikeliest street anthem came from a Canarsie rapper whose gruff voice suggests he’s been chain-smoking Newports since he left the womb—in a good way. Pop Smoke’s “Welcome to the Party” splits the difference between club banger and funeral dirge, and it’s the biggest hit to come out of Brooklyn’s blossoming drill scene. All of the dark, heavy beats on his debut mixtape Meet the Woo come courtesy of UK drill beatmaker 808Melo, introducing grime and garage undertones into Pop Smoke’s tough, trigger-happy raps. But despite its pan-Atlantic blend of influences, the sound is New York to the core, like on “PTSD,” which sounds like a Gen Z update of 50 Cent’s “Many Men (Wish Death).”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Summer 2019’s unlikeliest street anthem came from a Canarsie rapper whose gruff voice suggests he’s been chain-smoking Newports since he left the womb—in a good way. Pop Smoke’s “Welcome to the Party” splits the difference between club banger and funeral dirge, and it’s the biggest hit to come out of Brooklyn’s blossoming drill scene. All of the dark, heavy beats on his debut mixtape Meet the Woo come courtesy of UK drill beatmaker 808Melo, introducing grime and garage undertones into Pop Smoke’s tough, trigger-happy raps. But despite its pan-Atlantic blend of influences, the sound is New York to the core, like on “PTSD,” which sounds like a Gen Z update of 50 Cent’s “Many Men (Wish Death).”

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