At the time of his death, Pop Smoke was one of the hottest commodities in the rap game but he wasn’t the only drill-influenced artist with a stranglehold on radio and playlists. Chicago artist Polo G, working from the blueprint established by Windy City forebearers like Chief Keef and Lil Durk, also had a parade of hits traveling down the pipeline. Although the two shared common roots — they were even the same age — they never got to work together while Pop was alive. That’s a shame because “Fashion,” their posthumous collaboration from the Boogie soundtrack, is a stone-cold banger.
Built over a more New York drill-style beat — which is, technically, more of a UK drill style — the track leaves plenty of space for the two rappers’ lyrics to breathe, although there is a truly thunderous low-end typical of the style as well. There’s an interesting contrast between their styles as well, Pop’s gravelly, laid-back growl offering a smooth complement to Polo’s jagged, high-energy cadence.
Boogie, Pop Smoke’s acting debut and Eddie Huang’s directorial one, is out today via Focus Films. It follows a first-generation Chinese-American high-school hoop star as he tries to decide what to do with his future, with Pop Smoke playing his rival. Pop appears multiple times on the soundtrack, including on the song “AP.” The music for the film is by New York rap legend Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and go-to New York hip-hop television composer Adrian Younge, who previously worked on Marvel’s Luke Cage.
Listen to “Fashion” above.