[Album Review] “Meet The Woo Vol. 1” by Pop Smoke

With a set of ominous, foreboding trap beats and even grittier rapping on top of them, Pop Smoke’s debut mixtape take the word “Cold-blooded” to the next level.

Pop Smoke is a Brooklyn rapper whose music career took off with the hit single “Welcome to the Party” in 2019. Meet the Woo is his debut mixtape/album and was released on July 26, 2019.

Track List :

  1. Meet the Woo
  2. Welcome to the Party
  3. Hawk Em
  4. Better Have Your Gun
  5. Scenario
  6. Dior
  7. Feeling
  8. PTSD
  9. Brother Man

Meet the Woo includes some of the grimiest, darkest and most hard-hitting songs in Pop Smoke’s entire catalogue. The instrumental for the intro, “Meet the Woo” produced by 808Melo is atmospheric and dusty, and right off the bat, the track just radiates this claustrophobic, unnerving energy. Pop Smoke’s lyrics contain a lot of references to gang violence, money, women, pretty regular stuff for a Rapper in Pop’s lane to talk about but it’s Pop Smoke’s voice and his murderous junkyard-dog energy that makes his music stand out.

“Welcome to the Party” is another savage banger. Vicious drill beat, knocking 808s and the bass is just overwhelming. Pop Smoke is as villainous as usual on this track, too. The lyrics find Pop Smoke rallying for other people like him to come together, with of course, a lot of bars about homicide, guns and drugs. “Hawk Em” is a ruthless murder anthem. The instrumental on this song, in comparison to the tracks prior is a little less blustering but Pop Smoke’s rapping does make up for it.

Pop Smoke operates on a similar level of energy on “Better Have Your Gun”. The beat is grand and Pop Smoke’s machismo is off the charts. “Dior” is the biggest hit on this album. A track titled after a luxury brand from a drill rapper known for his braggadocious and grandiose lyrics, no further explanation needed, you know what you’re getting into at this point. We do hit a short low point with the song “Feeling”, not that the track is terrible or anything but by that point in the album, Pop Smoke has already rapped about everything that he addresses in the song, in a better fashion so the track felt relatively forgettable. But thankfully, things kick into high gear once again on the track “PTSD” which is a wonderful, spine-chilling track about exactly the title says. And the outro “Brother Man” is a death-before-dishonor, ride-or-die anthem, true to Pop’s personality.

An argument could be made that Meet The Woo is one-dimensional, which is true to an extent. Both the topics and the instrumentals don’t really feel varied at all throughout the project. But if anything, that just shows how big of a loss Pop Smoke’s unfortunate passing was. His musical journey was barely getting started. The amount of potential lost is gargantuan, and that’s putting it lightly. All in all, Meet the Woo is a quality mixtape that not only solidified Pop Smoke’s artistic status but also revitalized its genre, drill music at least to a certain degree.

Rating : A-

Meet the Woo contains songs written by 808 Melo, Młody G.R.O., Pop Smoke, and Rico Beats and production by 808 Melo, Rico Beats and SoSpecial. It is now available for physical and digital purchase.

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