With Lil Pump’s debut mixtape, Yachty’s legacy continues


Christopher Walker, Contributer

Internet sensation/Soundcloud rapper Lil Pump’s self-titled debut mixtape is here, and with it the bizarre artist has sprung fully into the mainstream. With this mixtape, Lil Pump builds off the same trademark sound and substance that got him this far; distorted funhouse trap beats with repetitive and catchy choruses.

“Lil Pump” is doing incredibly well on the streaming charts, and it occupied Apple Music’s coveted “editor’s pick” top spot for an entire week. The mixtape is fun, energetic, and at only 37 minutes, does not overstay its welcome.

Lil Pump knows his strengths and plays to them well on this project; he conjures up images of intense partying and intoxicated early mornings he has partaken in, while making music likely to be the soundtrack of his listener’s similar nights.

Granted, the lyrics break no new ground here. One can expect derogatory and explicit content going into this mix tape. However, one should not write off the project just because Pump does not want to tackle social issues or delve into his consciousness.

Regardless of lyrical content, both the production and how Pump interplays with it is on the cutting edge of hip-hop; whether that cutting edge is a good or a bad place to be is completely subjective.

“Lil Pump” gives off a consistent sound with just enough variety to keep the listener fully engaged. Pump is charismatic and his verses are catchy, while all guest rappers bring their A-game and liven up the track list.

Many hip-hop fans concerned with the genre’s direction have already fiercely debated the project’s merits and vices. Truthfully, though, no criticism of Pump’s new mixtape will be anything different than what critics going back generations have already said about hip-hop made specifically as party music.

The tell-tale sign of a genre alive and well is creative metamorphisms; if a genre is stagnant, it’s dead. That’s why hip-hop purists in every generation completely miss the mark when they criticize “party rappers” for a lack of focus on lyrics and reliance on their beats.

Nobody today gets mad when a Lil John song comes on, but in his day he was despised by snobbish hip hop heads as “the death of hip-hop.” Of course Lil John’s lyrics aren’t stellar, but that’s not the point of his music, the point is to get everyone at the party on their feet and rapping along.

No one would have any interest in a Kendrick Lamar-type rapper if every other MC was attempting to be a socially-conscious rapper; hip hop would be a boring genre without the staggering variety of music it encompasses.

With Lil Yachty’s debut album being such an incredible commercial and critical letdown, Lil Pump’s album, more than any project over the last two years, epitomizes exactly where contemporary left-leaning party-anthem hip-hop is.

“Lil Pump” is dumb, loud, energetic and a hell of a lot of fun. Long live the party music.