Amherst Wire

Album review: Lil Pump’s self-titled debut gets old quick

While the project lacks substance, there are plenty of songs perfect for going stupid in the middle of a party.

Lil+Pump%27s+new+album.+%28Liam+O%27Connor%2FAmherst+Wire%29
Lil Pump's new album. (Liam O'Connor/Amherst Wire)

Lil Pump's new album. (Liam O'Connor/Amherst Wire)

Lil Pump's new album. (Liam O'Connor/Amherst Wire)

Jonathan Kermah, Writer

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AMHERST — South Florida rapper Lil Pump released his self-titled debut album on Oct. 6, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hip-Hop Albums chart. The project includes Pump’s hit singles “Gucci Gang,” “Molly” and “D Rose,” and it has a pretty strong guest list with fellow young artists like Smokepurpp and Lil Yachty as well as trap influencers Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, 2 Chainz and Rick Ross. While the project lacks substance, there are plenty of songs perfect for going stupid in the middle of a party.

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes Lil Pump popular as an artist. Lyrically, he’s so weak it’s almost comical, with endless Xanax references and absurd lines like, “I just had a stroke, yeah your baby daddy broke,” being his calling card. His mechanics are pretty underwhelming as well, using the most basic of trap flows for the majority of the project. While Lil Pump provides an abundance of energy in every song, that can only go so far when the content is lacking.

The South Florida-style production on the album hides a lot of Lil Pump’s flaws. Beats like the ones on “Crazy” and “Smoke My Dope” have enough bass to make the foundations of a house shake, which is perfect for mosh pits and mindless partying. The bass and heavy distortion make lyrically unimpressive hooks like the repetitive yelling of  “jump in this b**** and go crazy” into a super catchy party anthem.

In songs that feature less bass and distortion, Lil Pump fails to maintain the same level of energy and catchiness. “Youngest Flexer” sounds less like a Lil Pump song and more like an instrumental straight off a 2012 Maybach Music Group song. Here, the simple repetitive hook of, “I’m the youngest flexer,” doesn’t have that same catchiness as “Gucci Gang” or “Crazy.”  

The biggest issue with Lil Pump is that the songs are too similar. An example of this comes in the song “Pinky Ring,” where Lil Pump basically regurgitates the hook from “Gucci Gang.”

If there was a Lil Pump song creation checklist, it would go something like this: Does it have a lazy repetitive hook? Check. Does it have unimpressive lyrics about drug use or sex? Check. Does every other line end with an “ouu” or “damn” ad lib? Check. Add some bass to it and it’s another two-and-a-half minute song ready for release.

Even with most songs sounding similar on the album, there are still fun moments. “Back,” which features Lil Yachty, has such a hard-hitting beat it’s impossible not to enjoy. Yachty provides a comical verse with lines like, “I’ma have a kid just to dress him up in Gucci,” while Lil Pump exhibits one of his best moments in terms of flow on the entire album.

Smokepurpp is another artist on the project who proves to have great chemistry with Lil Pump, in his features on “What U Sayin’” and “Smoke My Dope.” Like most Lil Pump songs, both tracks lack substance, but Pump and Purpp’s energy and ad libs make them fun songs that are perfect for partying.  

While the younger guests thrive on this project, Lil Pump and the older guest artists never seem to click. Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz both feel like halfhearted features for cash, lacking more than a line or two worth remembering. Rick Ross provides a solid verse on “Pinky Ring,” but it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the song.

Listening to this album is like watching a Kevin Hart movie. People don’t watch Kevin Hart movies expecting an Oscar-worthy script or superb cinematography; they watch it expecting to laugh no matter how bad the plot is. Lil Pump is similar in that regard. If hip-hop fans listen to this album in search of some sort of deep message or a unique and intricate flow, they’re playing themselves.

Lil Pump doesn’t make music to digest and think about; he makes music to ingest and wild out to. Individual songs, as well as the album as a whole, are short, lasting less than 40 minutes which is close to ideal for such a bare-bones project with so little substance. But even at that length, Lil Pump’s repetitive Xanax party songs can get pretty old real quick.  

Songs to check out:

  • “What U Sayin’ (feat. Smokepurpp)”
  • “Gucci Gang”
  • “Crazy”
  • “Back (feat. Lil Yachty)”
  • “Boss”

Email Jonathan at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JKermWrites.

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Album review: Lil Pump’s self-titled debut gets old quick