Of all the various locales that have been pivotal to the overall dominance and growth of hip-hop over the past three decades, it’d be hard to argue against Brooklyn as the genre’s number-one force. It’s the birthplace of acts like the Juice Crew, The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim, and many folks’ GOAT, Jay-Z. However, it turns out that one of the borough’s residents has a different view of the lattermost name, preferring a more recent Brooklynite as his dream collaborator.
During a recent appearance on DJ Akademiks’ Off The Record podcast, Bobby Shmurda explained why he’d rather collaborate with late Pop Smoke than the all-time great Jay-Z (who recently had Bobby out to his 40/40 club to celebrate its anniversary). Akademiks presented the two options to Bobby, positing that “the hood gonna go crazy for” a Pop Smoke collaboration or “a song with Hov.” Without hesitation, Shmurda replied, “Pop Smoke,” taking the host aback with his on-point impression of Pop’s booming bass voice and memorable ad-libs. “I love Jay too, but I like it,” he said.
It’s no surprise; despite his familiarity with rap fans thanks to the 2014 smash “Hot N****,” Bobby is only 27 — much closer to Pop Smoke’s 20 years than Jay’s 52(!). It makes sense he’d be much more tapped into Pop Smoke’s contemporary approach than any of Jay’s latter-day output — let alone his 10, 15, and 20-year-old classics, the oldest of which would have dropped when Bobby was just seven(!!).
Unfortunately, it looks like only one will ever be available for the newly-independent rapper, who drops his first post-Epic Records single this Friday. Hopefully, Jay won’t take this news too personally if Bobby ever decides to reach out for that verse.