Lil Pump is contagiously atrocious. The South Florida rapper submerged onto the pop-trap scene after his SoundCloud hit “ELEMENTARY” reached millions of views over a year ago. Being associated with the likes of other South Florida Internet rappers like Kodak Black, Xxxtentacion, Smokepurpp, Wifisfuneral and $ki Mask The Slump God, Lil Pump earned steadfast attention with his brass persona, Go-GURT colored dreads and “Esketit” mantra.
After receiving equal amounts of positive and negative criticism since his come-up, Lil Pump has finally released his self-titled debut mixtape. The hollow output of the bombastic rapper’s project makes him more of a coked-out fetus and less of a visionary. A Mac-Miller-esque twang accompanied with a simple approach to genre-building is certainly appealing to many people, however it is undeniable that Lil Pump is simply terrible.
Lil Pump falls perfectly into the category of “party pop-trap,” joining the likes of Rae Sremmurd, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, among others. However, what distinguishes Lil Pump from these acts, as well as other South Florida rappers right now, is, juxtapositionally, the lack of distinguishable musical content. Travis has a meticulous eye for creamy basses and unfound energy. Rae Sremmurd possesses hit-making abilities as well keen harmonic and melodic talents. Uzi has a patented chaotic nature that, to be honest, created an alley for SoundCloud rappers to emerge. Lil Pump has peanuts for a brain.
Sure, the sonic elements of Lil Pump’s music could be used as an archetype for an up-and-coming producer who lures at the sound of metallic and aggressive melodies, distorted bass and muffled snares – in fact, several of the production elements on this mixtape work quite well with Pump’s demeanor, specifically on tracks “Flex Like Ouu,” “Gucci Gang” and “Boss.” Nevertheless, the bleak commentary on his wealth, how he treats women and his drug addictions is disgustedly unsettling – a great example of this is the Smokepurpp-assisted “Smoke My Dope.”
Lil Pump does contain quite the number of star-studded features, including guest verses from Lil Yachty, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Chief Keef and 2 Chainz that make Lil Pump’s bars seem like nursery rhymes for unstable teenagers. Lil Pump’s potential as a serious artist skirted once he touched a microphone, but unfortunately, Pump will always have his connections to some of the industry’s biggest names, making him eternally (and regrettably) relevant.