Album Review: Lil Pump (Self-Titled)

Lil Pump is objectively not the best rapper in the world. He’s a man who seems to cover the same three topics in every song (xanax, Gucci, how many bands he has in his kitchen/trap at a given time) and whose rise has been primarily fuelled by him being funny on social media more so than his music. The seventeen year old hails from Florida, along with XXXTENTACION and Ski Mask the Slump God, and is one of those responsible for the state’s brand of blown out, simple trap becoming the style du jour for rappers on Soundcloud. This surprise new mixtape collects most of his previously released singles (‘Gucci Gang’, ‘D Rose’, ‘Flex Like Ouu’, ‘Molly’) but adds a few tracks and some big name features to make up a full project.

Lil Pump has built his career on making slappers about trappers with repetitive hooks and lyrics which are basically what you’d imagine a perpetually xanned out seventeen year old with a ridiculous amount of money would write. On this new mixtape, Lil Pump tackles subjects like family (“Selling cocaine to your grandma”), the housing crisis (“My lean cost more than your rent/Your mama still live in a tent”) and attempts to build bridges between countries (“I fuck foreign bitches/I ride foreign cars”). It’s all ignorant as fuck, but that’s pretty much the charm. Pump’s delusional self aggrandisement manifests in an obnoxious energy that’s genuinely fun to listen to. In fact, everything about the tape is obnoxious, from the lyrics to the usually shouted delivery to the distorted, filtered bass that takes over everything in the mix.

A Lil Pump track usually averages at about two minutes and any more would be overkill, which would imply that a full mixtape would definitely be overkill. In fact, despite a definite lull in the middle, this tape is surprisingly consistent. The tape opens with the average ‘What U Sayin?’ but picks up with ‘Gucci Gang’ before ‘Smoke My Dope’ with frequent collaborator Smokepurpp makes a case for best Lil Pump track to date, doubling down on the blown out sound that Pump and XXX pioneered. This run of form continues through to sixth track ‘D Rose’ but by this time Pump’s schtick starts to get old, which is not helped by the run of four tracks after which barely get off the ground, ’Youngest Flexer’ with Gucci Mane feeling like the biggest missed opportunity. The tape ends strong though with the pre-released bangers ‘Molly’, ‘Boss’ and ‘Flex Like Ouu’ all making appearances before the Rick Ross featuring ‘Pinky Ring’ closes out the tape, with detuned synths that give the track an exciting urgency.

This tape achieves what it set out to do. Most of the tracks on here are bangers and there’s enough decent new stuff to merit its release. While it’s hardly To Pimp A Butterfly, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place in the world for throwaway party tracks with nonsensical hooks like “COCAINE ON THE BOAT!/I JUST HAD A STROKE”.


Words by Jack Hollis

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