Virgil Abloh Defends His Widely-Panned Art for Pop Smoke's Album Cover
WENN/Instagram/Patricia Schlein

In a now-deleted Instagram post, the Louis Vuitton designer claims that the artwork he designed for the late star's upcoming posthumous debut album was inspired by his last conversation with the rapper.

AceShowbiz - Virgil Abloh has explained his widely-criticized art for Pop Smoke's posthumous album cover. After the reveal of the artwork was met with backlash from fans who accused the Louis Vuitton designer of being "lazy," he revealed his thought process behind the art.

"the last conversation i had with @realpopsmoke was about what we were gonna do in the future. this album cover was one of like 5 things we talked about," he wrote in a now-deleted post along with the album cover. "he mentioned his story felt like the metaphor of a rose and thorns growing from concrete of of his hood in Canarsie, Brooklyn."

"in your memory I just finished it yesterday," the CEO of the Milan-based label Off-White went on sharing. "as evident of the whole idea, the t-shirt insinuates it's mandatory we put an and to this cycle of 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."

Virgil has been slammed for the artwork, with one person calling out his "lack of creativity" in making the cover art. Another social media user commented, "Wow look like the fair spray paint shirts. Issa a no. RIP Pop Smoke."

An online petition was also launched demanding a change on the album's artwork, with the petition creator writing, "Virgil deada** was wild lazy with Pop Smokes Album cover and he needs to fix it." One person who signed the petition shared, "I'm signing because this n***a Virgil is an artistic terrorist." Another chimed in, "Never let this n***a touch a computer ever again."

50 Cent also weighed in on the cover art, suggesting that he had seen it before it was unveiled and never approved it. "Hey Virgil we need new album art, they ain't going for this bulls**t. Love ya work let's get to it," he posted on his Instagram page on Tuesday, June 30. "Steven i told you this s**t was eww let get it right!" He has since shared numerous alternative versions for the album cover.

Steven Victor, the head of late rapper's label Victor Victor Worldwide, quickly responded to fans' outcry, promising that the album cover art would be changed. "BRB. MAKING A CHANGE," he tweeted, adding, "POP WOULD LISTEN TO HIS FANS."

The album itself, which will mark Pop's debut studio album, is set to be released on July 3 and the date likely won't be affected by the cover's change. The 19-track set will serve as the follow-up to the "Welcome to the Party" spitter's mixtapes "Meet the Woo" and "Meet the Woo 2".

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