Rap’s recent influx of college-aged talent has led to the peculiar situation of a number of young artists paying homage to one of their peers in the wake of Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke’s death. While Pop was just 20 years old, so too are many of the other rappers who also experienced big breakouts in 2019, including his fellow New Yorker Lil Tjay, who was perhaps closer to Pop than almost any of the artists currently toasting him on social media. It makes Tjay’s new song, “Forever Pop,” especially poignant, as it isn’t just a tribute to a fallen rapper but to a close friend and cohort. Press play above.
When news of the late Brooklyn rapper’s death first broke, Lil Tjay responded with an Instagram post that both honored his friend — with whom he collaborated many times over the last year — and showed just how distraught he was over the news. “SMH GANG, SH*T FUCKING WACK,” he wrote. “F*CK WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE TALKING BOUT IM RAISING HELL OVER YOU FOREVER.” The two rappers most recently shared mic time on two tracks from Pop’s recently released mixtape, Meet The Woo 2: “Mannequin” and “War.”
In his post sharing the new track “Forever Pop,” Tjay wrote, “You never know when it’s your time to go n****!” Fittingly, that sentiment forms the refrain of the melancholy track, which you can listen to up top.