Music: A Look Inside the Debut Album From Lil Pump – “Harverd Dropout”

Florida-rapper and drug-enthusiast, Lil Pump, released his debut album “Harverd Dropout” to mixed reviews. Fans of the rapper were impressed (a whopping 86% of listeners claimed to have enjoyed the album), but many critics knock Lil Pump for his empty, nonsensical lyricism and lack of originality. Despite what the critics have to say, the album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart — not an easy feat to accomplish.

Like most young rappers these days, Lil Pump has managed to craft a successful and profitable career off of catchiness alone. In the words of Kendrick Lamar:

“we never do listen
unless it comes with an 808, a melody and some hoes.”

And boy, does Lil Pump make sure to mention hoes a lot in his songs, along with rapping over a fire beat that you just can’t help but to like.

As far as talent goes, that’s where it begins and ends with Pump. The 18-year-old rapper is great at producing party music that doesn’t require much brain power to enjoy, but can’t deliver when it comes to quality music production. If you’re looking for meaningful and significant lyrics, a diverse flow, and artistic variety, then you might want to steer clear from “Harverd Dropout.”

Lyricism

What went wrong: There are three themes that Lil Pump bases his music around: drugs, sex, and money. It’s even likely for you to find all of these themes within the same song. To criticize Lil Pump for capitalizing off of tired and worn-out subjects would be hypocritical since all rappers are doing it; but, I can call him what he is for recycling the same themes: unoriginal. Alluding to his young age, it seems as though Pump is only interested in rapping about juvenile things — and not well, might I add. From one of the best songs on the album — “Racks on Racks” — for its infectiously catchy beat and high energy, we see the lack of depth to Lil Pump’s lyrics:

“Fuck a bitch once say, “Now I’m finished” (finished)
Popped two Percs, now I don’t feel it (woo)
Is you with it? Show me your titties (titties)
Ugly ass hoes cannot come kick it (brrt)
Ooh, all black Lambo (Lambo)
I fuck a bitch in my Versace sandals (sandals)
Got a new bando, look like castle
Told that bitch, “Let me sniff coke off her asshole” (yuh, yuh, yuh, let’s go)”

How beautiful.

What went well: Despite Lil Pump’s inability to stimulate your mind with his lyrics, he does bring a refreshing amount of energy to each of his songs. No matter what trash he’s speaking, you just can’t help but get hype to it. You can hear that he genuinely enjoys being in the studio producing music for his listeners.

Originality

What went wrong: Even the most devote trap-rappers occasionally switch up their sound by rapping about themes like love or pain, but Pump never sways from his drug-abusing, ignorant, and oversexed narrative. Obviously, fans love him for rapping about these exact things, but after the third or fourth song, it begins to become repetitive. Add on the fact that Pump’s songs tend to follow the same musical construction — a fast, “trapesque” beat, with an off-kilter flow and a lot of ad-libs — and you have a recipe for an originality disaster. While the songs are all very catchy, after a while it gets hard to distinguish one from another.

What went well: Lil Pump doesn’t give a damn about what people think of him or his “art” and he’ll be the first one to admit it. In his song “Be Like Me,” he raps:

“Everybody got fake dreads and love to take drugs
Why you didn’t switch and do whatever you want, huh?
Yes I’m hella ignorant, I don’t give a fuck”

How can you condemn an honest man? Lil Pump is highly aware of his limitations and low-grade talent but capitalizes off of it by playing it up even more and making a joke out of it. By doing so, he brings an element of fun to his music that a lot of artists can’t match.

Sound

What went wrong: Lil Pump’s flow is poor at times. Switching up your flow is often a good thing, but Pump seems to not stick to one at all. Some songs sound rushed and off-beat, like “ION,” and the overwhelming amount of ad-libs only contributes to it, not to mention that all of his songs are trap songs. Pump doesn’t add one slow song or mix any elements from other genres, like Reggaeton or Afrobeat (increasingly popular in today’s music climate). The lack of variety causes the album to have a repetitive feel.

What went well: Despite everything I just said, it still sounds good.

Overall rating: D+

Lil Pump’s debut album “Harverd Dropout” is not compelling in the slightest. However, the artist sticks to his roots and continues to do what he does best. While Pump can’t hold a candle to rappers like J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, or A Boogie wit da Hoodie when it comes to lyricism and variety, he makes songs that make you want to move your feet and let your hair down. You probably won’t want to bump this album every day, but you know when you put it on that you’re in for a fun time.

Have you heard “Harverd Dropout” by Lil Pump? Leave a comment below.

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Nijer Cheyenne Reaves
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