Lil Pump, Lil Pump | Album Review
Lil Pump represents the new breed of rapper – the ‘SoundCloud rapper’ – for better or for worse. His self-titled mixtape has its fair share of moments.
There is a new breed of rapper that’s quite different from rappers of the past. It’s the SoundCloud rapper. Some members characterized as such lack profundity when it comes to their rhymes. A perfect example is teen rapper Lil Pump. Lil Pump seems to thrive off of trap production that extremely heavy on bass and distortion, repetition, and his personality. While his rhymes aren’t transcendent, his personality, coupled with the beats, makes him interesting. Perhaps that’s why his self-titled mixtape, Lil Pump, ends up being interesting at the least.
“What U Sayin’”
“What U Sayin’” kicks things off energetically, with Pump receiving the assist from Smokepurpp. Honestly, neither rapper says much over the course of two minutes and 20 seconds, but set the tone for album. “Gucci Gang” is arguably a step up, contextually speaking. Lil Pump flexes hard, with little substance to back him up. His subject matter encompasses the clichés: bitches, material things, and drugs. While it’s shameful to a mature, moral person, there’s something endearing about Pump’s unapologetic, ‘bad boy’ behavior, or rather, the vibe.
The better Smokepurpp features arrives on “Smoke My Dope” where the modus operandi is quite similar. The ad-libs are over-the-top, while the rhymes are outrageous. As misguided as the chorus may be, like “Gucci Gang,” there’s charm, even if it’s bad.
“I just smoke my dope / Suck me ‘til she choke… / Dick up in her throat / Dick up in her throat / Cocaine on the boat / Cocaine on the boat.”
Lil Pump references oral sex (again) on his verses, not to mention material things (again) and El Chapo. As for Smokepurpp, he spits about dime sacks, sex, and blowing cash. The best part of the song is the production, among the most malicious-sounding joints of Lil Pump.
The beat goes on for Lil Pump. “Crazy” is driven by one key lyric: “Jump in this bitch and go crazy, ooh.” Besides the repeated lyric, there are few others as the song is comprised of one verse. Again, he feels like we should know what a nameless woman is doing to him sexually. On “Back,” he enlists another ‘deep’ rapper, Lil Yachty. Expectedly, “Back” is the key lyric, repeated countless number of times for emphasis. On his verse, Pump speaks about hustling, diamonds, and sex. As for Yachty, he focuses the most on his sexual desires, but makes time to reference his wrist.
“D Rose” is less about Derrick Rose than it is about flexing. Over and over, “D Rose” is repeated, when Lil Pump isn’t rapping, “100 on my wrist, 80 on my wrist.” His cockiness continues at an all-time high as he asserts, “Lil Pump never spendin’ money on a bitch.” Expectedly, “At the Door” is more and more of the same. Clearly, the dude thanks highly of himself:
“Yeah I’m drinkin’ Molly water / While I’m fuckin’ on your daughter / Bitch, I’m bustin’ at your father / Call me Lil Pump Vince Carter.”
If we weren’t already aware, Lil Pump is the “Youngest Flexer.” Clearly, producer Big Head isn’t the only one with a ‘big head.’ Fitting, he brings along Gucci Mane for the ride. On the hook, Pump spits:
“I just bought three thousand dollar Gucci pants / I just left the trap, and I’m off the Xans / Bitch, I’m high as fuck, I feel like Superman / I’m the biggest flexer, you know who I am.”
To his credit, “Biggest Flexer” offers a bit more ‘song’ than much of the album. Gucci Mane takes the second verse, doing what he does best – flex.
For “Foreign,” Pump musters up just 1:53 worth of song. Listen to it and it’s easy to see why it’s so short. Cliché, cliché, cliché. The foreign metaphor has grown tired. On “Whitney” he brings along Chief Keef. Naturally, “Whitney” is a metaphor for cocaine. He continues to show a lack of respect for women, whether it’s supplying the coke, or his high standards despite showing little regard for them. Still, that fits the persona he’s established.
“I’m on the molly, I’m on the bean.” Keeping the drugs afloat, he shifts from “Whitney” to “Molly.” For those of us who thought molly rap was dead…it is. Been there, done that. He’s vain as always:
“Lil Pump, rich, he finna get richer / I popped a bean, and fuck on your sister / Nut on her lip, and then you gon’ kiss her / Ice on my neck, it lookin’ like glitter.”
On “Iced Out,” 2 Chainz joins the show. While “Iced Out” is predictable, it’s a fitting joint for a 2 Chainz feature. It’s well produced, features a catchy chorus, and feels more developed than much of Lil Pump.
Two more sub-two-minute joints follow in “Boss” and “Flex Like Ouu.” Naturally, the cards are revealed by the title. Lil Pump ends on a high note with “Pinky Ring,” featuring Smokepurpp (again) and Rick Ross. “Pinky Ring” is arguably the banger to beat. The production is nasty, the rhymes are nasty, and the record, well, it’s plum NASTY.
All in all, Lil Pump the album should be judge for what it is – more vibe and more sound than substance. After listening, the listener doesn’t take much away from this effort. There’s no bigger message, no transcendence, and really, little redeeming about it. What it is, however is a vibe, which has quite a fan base. Why? Not sure, but Little Pump the rapper and Lil Pump the album certainly aren’t market to yours truly.
Gems: “Gucci Gang,” “Smoke My Dope,” “Youngest Flexer,” “Ice Out,” & “Pinky Ring”
Lil Pump • Lil Pump • Warner Bros • Release: 10.6.17
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.