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Pop Smoke’s manager, Steven Victor, sat down and explained exactly what went on with the artists’ album cover designed by Virgil Abloh that caused a backlash.

The late rapper’s manager recently sat down for an interview on the latest episode of the Rap Radar podcast, which aired Friday (June 30). Victor, who also hails from Brooklyn, addressed the criticism directed at him over how he’s managed the affairs of Pop Smoke, with the album cover of Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon, and his work with the late designer Virgil Abloh.

“That was bullshit,” Victor began when asked about the controversy beginning with the fan reception for Pop Smoke’s debut posthumous album release. “People sit back and think they know, but they don’t know s–t. They’re like, ‘oh, this is not what Pop would like.’ I’m like, ‘f–k you talkin’ about?’”

Months after Pop Smoke, aka Bashar Jackson’s murder in February 2020, Victor showed off the album cover artwork from Abloh on his Instagram page. Comments piled up, with many calling the artwork from the Louis Vuitton designer “lazy” among other scathing descriptions.

He continued: “When we did the video for ‘Shake the Room,’ like that whole concept and idea was Virgil’s idea, and when we were going through the process, like at first, Pop was like—’cause, y’know, he’d never had a video like that—he was like, ‘I don’t know,’ but he trusted Virgil’s vision, so it would’ve been the same thing.”

The backlash – which included a fan petition – compelled Victor and the label to replace the cover art, and Abloh would later delete the image from his own social media accounts. Conceptual artist Ryder Riggs was then commissioned to create a new album cover. It would eventually be a chrome rose against a pitch-black background.

“I was brought on to do design and creative direction for this project, and I was experimenting with flowers in 3D at the time,” Riggs said in a Complex interview after the cover’s debut. “While I was experimenting, I realized, ‘Oh my God, this is so perfect.’ People use flowers to memorialize people, and by fixing it in metal, it’s taking something that’s fleeting and making it permanent.”

Check out the entire interview below.