By Jon Fuchs, Music Director
[Tha Lights Global; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Gucci Gang”, “Molly”
Ok, let’s be real here: Lil Pump is trash. Even his own fans can’t deny that he’s one of the stupidest and most annoying figures in the rap game currently, and his music is no different, as he constantly stumbles his way through lazy bars and repetition. However, there’s still something about the 17-year-old Floridian rapper that makes songs like “D Rose” and “Elementary” so tolerable. Whether it’s his pretty good flow or his quality production team, something about Lil Pump’s self-titled debut makes him so listenable, despite the actual songs containing nothing of substance.
From start to finish, Lil Pump is filled with the repetitive bars and distorted bass that Soundcloud rappers like XXXTENTACION and Ski Mask The Slump God helped popularize. “What U Sayin’” and “Gucci Gang” start the mixtape off exactly how you’d expect a mixtape like this to sound, with sugary instrumentals and a mindless, fun vocal delivery that immediately grabs your attention. The rest of the record continues this catchy, inconsistent flow through every track, and doesn’t stop until the record ends.
Although the flow is admittedly hard not to stop listening to, there are only a small handful of tracks on Lil Pump that are actually memorable. Lil Pump’s older singles, like “Molly” and “D Rose” still pound at the listeners’ heads like an anvil, with extremely distorted bass lines and Pump’s vocal delivery filling up each track. What makes them more memorable than other songs on the record is Pump himself, who, at times, loses his charisma and becomes pretty bland. His lack of energy doesn’t stop the loudness of the production, though, as every single track has similar beats that are always perfect with Pump’s flows.
Lil Pump has plenty to offer in terms of features, but the people he brings on this album are pretty hit or miss. There’s some excellent features on here, including Lil Yachty on “Back”, Rick Ross on “Pinky Ring” and Gucci Mane on “Youngest Flexer”, who all bring their own styles to a project desperate for something new. Chief Keef and 2 Chainz also make appearances on the tape, but show off with extremely mediocre verses that aren’t even really worth talking about in full.
While it’s not hard to say that Lil Pump is a bad record, it’s a bit more difficult to say that there’s nothing redeemable about it. Sure, it’s a record that offers some of the laziest and most repetitive bars of the year, but despite its lack of consistency or substance, it’s still a pretty likable record, with good production, decent features and worthy vocal deliveries.