DUBAI: Off-White designer Virgil Abloh’s cover art for rapper Pop Smoke’s debut posthumous album ‘Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon’ is set to be changed following social media backlash.
On Monday, American record music executive Steven Victor took to Instagram to unveil the cover artwork, revealing that the late rapper who was murdered in February specifically requested Abloh to design his debut album cover.
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
However, the artwork immediately received backlash from fans, who took to social media to express their outrage. One fan even made an online petition calling for the album artwork to be revised. The petition accumulated over 14,000 signatures in five hours.
Following the complaints over the newly-unveiled cover, Victor wrote on Twitter that he would be “making a change” to the album artwork.
He also added that “Pop would listen to his fans.”
Moments later, the music executive took to Instagram to expand on his tweets. “As Pop’s label and as his friends/family, it is our obligation to bring his vision to life. He wanted Virgil to lead creative, we fulfilled his wishes however, unfortunately, he’s not here to give his final approval. His fans, are,” he said.
“You know why you love Pop, your voices are loud and clear. He loved his fans and listened to his fans. Changes will be made. See you July 3rd 2020," he added.
Abloh, who has yet to respond to the outrage, wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post, “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 the concrete of his hood in Canarsie, Brooklyn.” The designer also said that he “Just finished it yesterday,” though the album is scheduled to drop in a couple of days.
The Louis Vuitton Men’s creative director is also responsible for the album artwork for Kanye West’s “Yeezus” and Westside Gunn’s “Pray for Paris.”
Pop Smoke, who was born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was shot to death during a home invasion in Los Angeles on Feb. 19. He was 20-years-old.