SoundCloud Rap is taking over. Leading the way are viral rappers Smokepurpp and Lil Pump. The genre boasts lo-fi trap beats with heavily distorted bass. Substance abuse takes center stage while the acts mostly brag about typical rap shit. I’ll be honest: It’s not compelling music. However, this new wave has its high points. Smokepurpp and Lil Pump are best friends who grew up in Dade County, Florida. They both dropped out of high school, dabbling in a life of drugs and music. Purpp began as a producer. He is responsible for convincing Pump to start his rapping career. Together, they make some intriguing trap cuts. Despite their blind eyes to lyricism, both artists work well within their niche. Never in a million years did I think I would end up liking this style of music. But I do. I cannot handle it all the time because it’s senseless.
Nevertheless, on his debut commercial mixtape, Lil Pump has found a winning formula. After playing through this project numerous times, I see the hype with this kid. This pink-dreaded drug lord has a savvy vision for quality control. And he’s only 17 years old. Rather than extend his painfully repetitive tracks for three to five minutes, the Florida rapper keeps it concise. I appreciate that so much. When you see a track name on the listing, there is no beating around the bush. What you see is what you get — over and over and over again. This teen’s hooks may be redundant, but they’re also sneakily catchy. Five of the 15 tracks here are over three minutes. The rest are barely two, if that. Personally, I love this strategy. Nobody needs to hear the same four words shoved down their ears for five minutes. Or even three, for that matter.
Lil Pump lets his energy and electric instrumentals do most of the talking. The bars here lack almost any kind of substance. That is, unless you count all the references to drug use. I do not. Quality is present on this tape, however. Trendsetting production courtesy of Bighead, Ronny J, TM88 and others supplies Pump with all the tools necessary to paint infectious drug-trafficking tales. While the material here grows old, this tape’s 36-minute runtime allows for maximum accessibility. It’s far from perfect yet it serves a purpose. Lil Pump is a start-to-finish party starter. A few tracks are most certainly worthy of omission, though. Additionally, this genre requires a previous interest in trap music. This mixtape will most likely not convert non-believers. Nonetheless, it will turn believers into fiends. The beats are simply that fresh. Smokepurpp must have given his boy a few pointers on how to pick instrumentals.
Because these beats slap hard. I’m talking Donkey-Kong-down-special hard (for all my Smash Bros. lovers). In many ways, the Miamian resembles his likeness on this project’s cover art. Excessive, obnoxious, and cartoonish, Lil Pump is mind-numbing fun. Quality control awareness is rare nowadays in rap music due to streaming. More available tracks means more available cash. Although this project spans 15 songs, it feels closer to nine or 10. My favorites include: “Smoke My Dope,” “At the Door,” and “Iced Out” featuring 2 Chainz. Tity Boi’s intro is laugh-out-loud funny. Mr. 2-17’s production is raw on both of his tracks. Lil Yachty makes an appearance on “Back” and, surprisingly, his verse isn’t wack. The guests on this project are noteworthy. Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Lil Yachty, Chief Keef, Smokepurpp, and 2 Chainz is quite a lineup. If you dig trap, give this a listen.