Christopher Walking

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"Christopher Walking"
Single by Pop Smoke
from the album Meet the Woo 2
ReleasedJanuary 16, 2020
  • CashMoneyAP
  • WondaGurl
Pop Smoke singles chronology
"Mary Jane"
"Christopher Walking"
"Slide (remix)"
Music video
"Christopher Walking" on YouTube

"Christopher Walking" is a song by American rapper Pop Smoke. The song was written by Pop Smoke, also known as Bashar Jackson, alongside Alex Petit, Ebony Oshunrinde, Derrick Gray, and Dylan Cleary Krell. 808Melo and WondaGurl handled the song's production. The song was released as the lead single from the mixtape on January 16, 2020, by Victor Victor Worldwide and Republic Records. It is a drill and rap track that sees Pop Smoke comparing himself to Frank White, a character from the 1990 American neo-noir crime thriller film King of New York

It samples the lyrics of 50 Cent's "Window Shopper" (2005). "Christopher Walking" received generally positive reviews from music critics, with several of them praising its lyrics. An accompanying music video was released the same day and was directed by Brennan Rowe. The video features Pop Smoke driving around New York meeting fans as and historical African American figures.

Background and release[edit | edit source]

Taking to Instagram, Pop Smoke teased a preview of the song a few days before its release.[1] Fans started to notice that Pop Smoke was criticizing fellow Brooklyn rappers Casanova and Smoove L in the song's preview, mentioning the former as "Trashanova" and the latter as "Scary L'.[2][3] The song was written by Pop Smoke, known as Bashar Jackson, alongside Alex Petit, Ebony Oshunrinde, Derrick Gray, and Dylan Cleary Krell. 808Melo and WondaGurl handled the song's production, while the former was credited as the song's programmer. Corey Nutile handled the song's recording while Jess Jackson mixed the song. Sage Skofield was credited as an assistant mixing engineer.[4] "Christopher Walking" was released on January 16, 2020, for digital download and streaming by Victor Victor Worldwide and Republic Records as the lead single on Pop Smoke's second studio mixtape Meet the Woo 2.[5]

Music and lyrics[edit | edit source]

"Christopher Walking" is a drill and rap track.[1][6][7] The song prominently samples the lyrics of 50 Cent's 2005 hit single "Window Shopper".[8][9] The song sees Pop Smoke comparing himself to Frank White, a character played by Christopher Walken from the 1990 American neo-noir crime thriller film King of New York.[1][10] Pop Smoke raps about taking shots at his enemies throughout the streets and mentions his love for Dior and bust-downed jewelry.[1] Reed Jackson of Pitchfork magazine stated that Pop Smoke raps about threatening to fight with someone: "Tie that boy up like a cowboy."[11] Pop Smoke raps: "We gon' tie that boy up like a cowboy/I'm the one that they envy like Calboy/Broke bitches ain’t allowed/She wanna fuck with a real one, but real niggas back in style/I ain't no window shopper, your man out here window shoppin'/I be in all the stores, and no, we ain't window shoppin'."[12]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

"Christopher Walking" has been met with mainly positive reviews from music critics. Bianca Gracie of Paper magazine called the song a "head-rushing hit."[13] Erin Lowers, writing for Exclaim!, described the track as "fresh," and said it is "the power of short and sweet."[14] The staff of HipHopDX praised the song as a "danceable Brooklyn drill rap anthem."[6] Courtney Wynter of GRM Daily stated that the song is a "forceful Cashmoney AP-produced beat with his distinct low tones and boastful lyrics."[7] Torsten Ingvaldsen of Hypebeast labeled the song as "characteristic".[1] Writing for Stereogum, Tom Breihan that "Christopher Walking" had the same "eerie singsong charisma" as "Window Shopper", mentioning that it had the "ability to be sweet but threatening at the same time." He continued, saying the rapper has a "sound as thick and dark and absorbing as his voice." And that it sounds "casual and conversational, cool and uncaring. But he also sounds like a horseman of the apocalypse." He concludes by saying it is a "strong combination."[9] "Christopher Walking" was praised by Complex's Andre Gee, who described it as "urgent", "cocky", and so "charismatic that certain lines stayed in our head all year". He concluded by saying: "The sheer force of Pop [Smoke's] vocal presence is impossible to deny, though."[15]

Music video[edit | edit source]

A music video for "Christopher Walking" was released the same day as the song.[16] The video was directed by Brennan Rowe.[12] It features Pop Smoke driving around New York, showing his sense of style as he meets fans as he passes by them.[1] The video later shows archive footage of Malcolm X, Black Panther protests, and other historical Black American figures.[1][12][17] Writing for The Fader, David Renshaw described the visual as "glossy".[17] Wynter opined that the "visuals for 'Christopher Walking' capture the song's jumpy vibe."[7] Ryan Shepard of Def Pen stated that it was "definitely a major step up as [Pop Smoke] continue[d] to rise from New York to international success."[12]

Credits and personnel[edit | edit source]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[4]

  • Bashar Jackson – vocals, songwriter
  • Alex Petit – producer, programming, songwriter
  • Ebony Oshunrinde – producer, songwriter
  • Dylan Cleary Krell – songwriter
  • Derrick Gray – songwriter
  • Corey Nutile – recording engineer
  • Jess Jackson – mixing engineer
  • Sage Skofield – mixing engineer assistant

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ingvaldsen, Torsten (January 16, 2020). "Pop Smoke Drops Murky New Single 'Christopher Walking'". Hypebeast. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  2. Zidel, Alex (January 16, 2020). "Pop Smoke Continues Terrorizing New York's Rap Scene With 'Christopher Walking'". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  3. Gil, Joan (January 16, 2020). "Pop Smoke Latest Track 'Christopher Walking' Has Dropped". WWPR-FM. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Credits / Christopher Walking / Pop Smoke". Tidal. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  5. "Video Alert: Pop Smoke Releases Video For New Single Christopher Walking" (Press release). Pressparty. January 16, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Best Rap Verses Of 2020". HipHopDX. December 24, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Wynter, Courtney (January 16, 2020). "Pop Smoke Unleashes Visuals For Latest Single 'Christopher Walking'". GRM Daily. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. Fu, Eddie (July 3, 2020). "Pop Smoke Flips A 50 Cent Classic On 'Got It On Me'". Genius. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Breihan, Tom (February 12, 2020). "Pop Smoke Could Be New York Rap's Next Great Demon". Stereogum. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  10. Viral MVP (January 16, 2020). "Pop Smoke – Christopher Walking". OnSMASH. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  11. Jackson, Reed (February 13, 2020). "Pop Smoke Meet the Woo Vol. 2". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Shepard, Ryan (February 20, 2020). "Music Video: Pop Smoke – Christopher Walking". Def Pen. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  13. Gracie, Bianca (July 3, 2020). "Pop Smoke's Debut Album Solidifies His Legacy". Paper. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  14. Lowers, Erin (February 20, 2020). "Pop Smoke Meet the Woo 2". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  15. Mckinney, Jessica; Gee, Andre; Skelton, Eric; Schube, Will; Khal; Aramesh, Waiss; Cardoso, Deborah (December 15, 2020). "The Best Songs of 2020". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  16. "Watch: Pop Smoke Hops In A Beamer + Cruises Through NYC In New Christopher Walking Video". SOHH. January 16, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Renshaw, David (January 16, 2020). "Pop Smoke shares new song 'Christopher Walking'". The Fader. Retrieved November 12, 2020.

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