Virgil Abloh Explains Canceled Pop Smoke Album Cover Art & Catches Fraud Allegations

Fans weren’t happy with Virgil Abloh’s work on Pop Smoke’s posthumous album cover, expressing so much discontent the late rapper’s manager Steven Victor confirmed it would be changed. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Abloh attempted to explain his much-maligned creation yet ending up catching more flack for it in the process.

“the last conversation i had with @realpopsmoke was about what we were gonna do in the future,” the famed designer wrote. “this album cover was one like 5 things we talked about. he mentioned his story felt like the metaphor a rose and thorns growing from concrete his hood in Canarsie, Brooklyn. in your memory I just finished it yesterday.”

He added, “as evident the whole idea, the t-shirt insinuates it’s mandatory we put an and to this cycle violence that plagues us, we need to shoot for the moon & aim for the stars. as heavy is it is we are celebrating your life the whole way thru. rest in peace young one.”

In response to the post, a conceptual artist named Ryder Ripps claimed Abloh’s cover art was not only shoddy but also a ripf. Ripps accused the Off-White founder stealing the concept and shared a link detailing more Abloh’s alleged theft.

“This man took the entire chrome rose concept from me, ruined it with careless graphic design and then wrote some bullshit about it,” he wrote. “So sad that someone would care this little about art, design and the memory a human who was so loved to wrap his name up in lies and theft. For a fuller picture this guys history theft check the link in my bio.”

Pop’s Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon LP is scheduled to drop on Friday (July 3). The slain artist’s manager unveiled the Abloh-helmed cover art on Monday (June 29) and faced a swift blowback from fans on social media.

Virgil Abloh Explains Canceled Pop Smoke Album Cover Art & Catches Fraud Allegations

50 Cent Says He Warned Pop Smoke’s Manager About Cover Art & Orders Virgil Abloh To Fix It

50 Cent, who serves as the executive producer for Pop’s upcoming project, called on Abloh to design new artwork on Tuesday morning (June 30). The G-Unit boss also said he told Victor the cover art wasn’t up to par before it was publicly unveiled.

“Hey Virgil we need new album art, they ain’t going for this bullshit,” 50 wrote Twitter. “Love ya work let’s get to it. Steven i told you this shit was eww let’s get it right! #bransoncognac #lecheminduroi.”

View the now-infamous cover art below.