1. Track List (36)

Confidence From The Jump Is What Carried Lil Pump To The Top: Album ‘Lil Pump’ Is A Culmination Of That Cockiness

taylor
Written by taylor
/ 6 mins read

Having heard the same singles over the last little while from Lil Pump, I decided to give his albums an actual spin, and I just assumed that I wouldn’t dig his debut as much as his sophomore album, which I just assumed would feature a more mature rapper. I was dead wrong. I found Harverd Dropout to be a pretty weak musical effort – and so working backwards, I assumed the self titled Lil Pump would be worse right? But it simply wasn’t. It’s actually a better album, with better production, and on the songs where Lil Pump actually tries to do more than repeat the same few words over and over, he does have a certain quality that keeps my attention. I am specifically vibing to his carefree annunciation, his humorous demands from women, his singular focuses on drugs and dripping. It’s both invention and reality, since, all of these things that he has rapped about from the beginning were a façade I’m pretty sure, but with progressive success, he ended up attaining the attention and the rewards he felt he deserved from day one. Dude’s psychic for telling it how it would eventually end up being.

Quick Songs From A New Punk

I really used to trip when I started realizing Mumble/SoundCloud rappers were posting songs that clocked in at under 2 minutes – and it took me the better part of a year to get over what I felt was really lazy songwriting. I didn’t get it, but I get it now. First of all, if it’s not the drugs slowing perceptions down, it’s the ADHD of a sober mind unable to cope with anything close to long format. Secondly, there are Punk songs that famously clock in at the same durations, and Mumble Rap is the Punk of today’s youth culture. Thirdly, yeah, they are lazy – in the case of Lil Pump, he can’t even be bothered to complete high school, so I shouldn’t expect Beethoven length symphonies anytime soon. But honestly in the beginning, I was infuriated with his singles because how are you gonna not really write any bars, and instead take up half the song singing the repetitive hook over and over again, then have the song only be a minute and thirty seconds or something. Your song is so short, couldn’t you have at least tried to provide some proper bars? But that, I learned, was never what it was about. It was only ever about flexing using the least amount of effort. Making money based off of ego alone, just to make haters mad. With some of those frustrating questions answered, I could hear this anti-rap with fresh ears, and I have to admit, the deconstructed energy here is its own thing that is valid and worthy. Plenty of tracks here have won me over; I love the opener “What You Sayin’”, “Crazy” with its bratty digital bells, “At the Door” with its spooky and laid back piano line meeting up with Nintendo Trap sounds, “Foreign”and its foul sexual lyrics and punctuated 808 bass, “Whitney” for its busy piano melody and dark wave, “Molly” with that bleeding South Florida bass buzz, “Iced Out” for the cheap 808 melody, and likewise for the heavy low frequency laser-like subs on “Boss”, and finally “Pinky Ring” because it sounds so different from any other track on the album. Whether these tracks are occasionally 3 minutes or a minute and thirty seconds, they get the party hyped, and certainly have enough variety to not sound all the same, which is something I can’t say about Pump’s second album Harverd Dropout and it’s lack of song to song diversity.

It’s Like He’s Not Even Trying Sometimes

Notice that I didn’t say ‘all the time.’ If you actually listen for it, Lil Pump can actually take off when he tries for a fast or creative flow. It’s just that he can hardly ever maintain these flourishes of decent technique for very long. And on so many other songs, he just raps about the same stuff using the same disses and boasts, or worse, just says the hook over and over again. Tracks like “Gucci Gang”, “Smoke My Dope”, “D Rose”, “Youngest Flexer”, “Flex Like Ouu” just don’t do it for me, often messing up somewhere pivotal within the song. But is this album a bunch of repeated “Gucci Gang” hook tracks? No, not really. Look out for the moments when Pump clearly strives for more rapping variety or speed, and especially check for the real cool features from especially Chief Keef and Rick Ross. In Keef’s case on “Whitney”, it’s one of the best flows I’ve heard from him, as he comes at the mic with originality and a dope casualness that contains a taste of melody. Lil Pump tries to follow the act here, but he sounds really inexperienced and lazy. Lazy versus casual; they are not the same thing in this case. Rick Ross meanwhile sounds like such a boss with his beast of a voice, dishing some pretty dope lines about dope and Carol City life on “Pinky Ring.” I actually dig that Pump was not intimidated by rapping with better rappers, since he clearly doesn’t care and is making money. I have to concede a little bit to his sound’s relevance and his ability to interest other rappers to stay relevant with him – and I can certainly do that without digging his music. I am also pretty surprised that this is a better album than his sophomore effort – which is not a good sign for his career right, yet at the same time, I don’t know, I feel like it could totally go the other way, and Lil Pump might surprise me with some more skillful rapping on album three. It just seems like he is someone who could do it just to flex on folks who say he’s trash.

3. Official (12)

4. Audio (35)

5. Live (1)

6. Featuring Remixes (35)

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12. Artist Info