Virgil Abloh Pop Smoke cover art ditched, designer accused of stealing ideas from artist Ryder Ripps

Rapper Pop Smoke
Artist Virgil Abloh is being criticized over his cover art for Pop Smoke’s posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Pic credit: Pop Smoke/YouTube

Virgil Abloh is getting called out on social media over his cover art for rapper Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.

Many Twitter users took to the social media platform to slam Abloh for what they considered a shoddy job.

Some rap stars, including 50 Cent, also joined the chorus of voices criticizing Abloh on social media, saying it did not appear that he cared to spare the time to do a good job.

Abloh unveiled the cover art for Pop Smoke’s album on Instagram

Abloh took to Instagram on Monday to reveal the proposed cover art for Pop Smoke’s debut album.

He explained in the now-deleted Instagram post (see image below) that the artwork was developed in memory of the late rapper Pop Smoke (Bashar Barakah Jackson), who was killed at his home in Hollywood Hills in February 2020.

Pop Smoke was only 20 years old.

“This album cover was one of like five things we talked about,” Abloh wrote in the Instagram post. “He mentioned his story felt like the metaphor of a rose and thorns growing from the concrete of his hood in Carnesie, Brooklyn.”

The cover art for Pop Smoke's posthumous album
The cover art for Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album by Virgil Abloh. Pic credit: @HotFreestyle/Twitter

Abloh’s design was widely panned on Twitter

Abloh suffered an immediate backlash on Twitter after unveiling the cover art.

Many fans took to Twitter to criticize the work, saying it was poorly conceived and hastily executed. Fans argued that the artwork was not good enough to honor the memory of the rapper.

“Virgil put zero effort into that album cover,” one fan tweeted. “He literally used the first photo that comes up when you search Pop Smoke’s name on Google.”

“Virgil really couldn’t [have] spent more than 5 minutes on that,” another fan said.

Virgil Abloh's cover art for Pop Smoke's album
Pic credit: @nuffsaidny/Twitter


Virgil Abloh faces backlash on Twitter
Pic credit: @CrypticNo/Twitter

Rapper 50 Cent also joined the conversation, describing the design as “b***lsh*t” and advised Abloh to try again.

50 Cent reacts to Virgil Abloh
Pic credit: @50cent/Twitter

Artist Ryder Ripps accused Virgil Abloh of ripping him off

Amid growing backlash on social media, Ryder Ripps, a creative director and conceptual artist who had worked with Abloh in the past, took to Instagram to accuse Abloh of stealing his ideas.

“This man took the entire chrome rose concept from me, ruined it with careless graphic design and then wrote some bulls**t about it,” Ripps wrote on Instagram.

“So sad that someone would care this little about art, design and the memory of a human who was so loved to wrap his name up in lies and theft.”

Ripps then asked people to follow a link on his Instagram bio page to learn more about Abloh’s alleged “history of theft.”

A petition was started to ditch Abloh’s cover art

Some fans started a petition on to get Abloh to change the cover art.

The petition which, as of writing, has received more than 20,000 signatures, reads:

“Virgil dead**s was wild lazy with Pop Smokes Album cover and he needs to fix it.”

Abloh ditched the design, working on another

Pop Smoke’s former manager, Steve Victor, later took to social media to announced in a series of tweets that they were listening to fans and making a change to the cover art.

“Pop would listen to his fans,” Victor concluded.

This was understood to mean that Abloh had withdrawn the proposed design and that he was working on another.

Pop Smoke’s posthumous album is set for release on July 3.

The album includes tracks such as Bad Bitch From Toyko, Aim For The Moon (feat. Quavo), For The Night (feat. Lil Baby & DaBaby), and Gangstas.

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