Pion-Ear: Lil Pump

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Pion-Ear: Lil Pump

Art by Maggie Burton

Art by Maggie Burton

Art by Maggie Burton

Art by Maggie Burton

Daniel Kim, Feature writer


Lil Pump is stepping onto the big stage. At the age of 16, the South Florida native gained nationwide attention after releasing his mixtape “D Rose” on SoundCloud in 2016. Inspired by Derrick Rose, a Cleveland Cavalier guard and the youngest player in the NBA to win the MVP award, the song garnered over 36 million plays on SoundCloud. Soon enough, the teenage rapper solidified his status in the rap scene with subsequent releases such as “Flex Like Ouu,” “Boss” and “Gucci Gan
g,” the latter being the second most streamed song on Spotify as of Nov. 9, 2017.

Riding the upward trend, the now 17-year-old dropped the much-anticipated album, self-titled Lil Pump, Oct. 13. At a first glance of the tracklist, the album features A-list names likes of 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Lil Yachty and Chief Keef. The first track “What U Sayin’” featuring fellow SoundCloud artist Smokepurpp sets the tone of the entire album: overblown bass and repetitive lyrics so catchy and simple that after the first listen it will last and gnaw on your brain.

The second track “Gucci Gang” carries the colorful and exciting, almost hypnotic melody from “What U Sayin” and replicates the mood. While the songs are relatively brief, averaging two minutes and 27 seconds, those couple of minutes are filled with bursts of energy driven by a punchy beat and Lil Pump’s delivery that screams I don’t care, I’m going to have fun. When the song is over, the instrumental abruptly cuts and passes the baton to the upcoming track. The song stops, but the energy carries into the next track. But like watching the fastest runners in the world sprinting in circles gets old after a minute, the punchy and invigorating beats became dull to my ear.

Look, let’s state the elephant in the room. The lyrics in Lil Pump are elementary. The SoundCloud rapper makes Dr. Seuss’s “A Cat in the Hat” sound like a Shakespearean sonnet. Clearly, he’s not the most creative, like Andre 3000, or innovative, like Biggie, in hip-hop history. He does not pour his heart out like Kendrick Lamar, or invest his time like Eminem, on his works. This is why listening to the entire album in one sitting is not nearly as exhilarating as plugging in the AUX and playing one of the songs. Doing so is like a rollercoaster that only goes downward; briefly exciting, but after awhile you would be thinking, “This is dumb.”

Overall I’ll give Lil Pump’s Lil Pump two out of five overall. The quality of his music is bush-league in the hip-hop market set by names of Jay-Z and Tupac. Of course, a 17-year-old with neck tattoos and Skittles-colored braids stands out. But his music does not in Billboard charts saturated with mumble-rap hip hop. All 15 songs’ sole purpose is to satisfy what the young generation looks for: catchy party anthems. Granted, there are few things more electrifying than blasting Lil Pump in a carpool or at a party. But 15 of them at once is too much.

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