This Day in Black History: Pop Smoke’s debut album reaches #1 on ’Billboard’

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Five months after his death, New York rapper Pop Smoke landed the number-one spot on the Billboard 200 chart with his debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. 

After its release on July 3, 2020, Billboard reported the project earned 251,000 equivalent album units in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It maintained the top spot on the 200 chart for 2 weeks and became the first posthumous number-one album since XXXTentacion‘s Skins in December 2018.

In March 2021, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon broke records as the longest leading number-one on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart with a 20-week reign. It surpassed Eminem‘s Recovery, which held the title for 19 weeks straight, and Drake‘s Take Care, which topped the chart for 16 weeks. 

News of the number one came shortly after four people were charged in connection to the killing of Pop Smoke at a Hollywood Hills residence on February 19, 2020. Police believe the defendants became aware of the rapper’s whereabouts after his social media posts showed the house he was renting, according to the Associated Press. The defendants allegedly shot the artist, who was transported to a local hospital where he died.

Early birthday wishes are in order for the rapper who would be turning 24 this Thursday, July 20. 

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