Dropping Out with Lil Pump
March 12, 2019 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Even Lil Pump Can’t Have It All, a profile of a successful young musician. "He pours more cough syrup into his fluorescent Fanta and then onto his steak while someone records him."

Some video links: Gucci Gang, Be Like Me, I Love It.
posted by Nelson (107 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 


Contemporary mainstream hip-hop seems to have a seemingly endless well of middlingly-talented, utterly disposable "stars" that can be bought for what effectively amount to baubles, churn out some forgettable music that can be characterized as the next big thing for a few weeks, and then be ushered off stage into oblivion or death.

Lil Pump seems sad, stereotypical, mediocre and mentally spavined even by that scene's generally very low standards.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:42 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]


While this debut is lower than his first album, it’s still pretty successful for a guy who pours cold medicine on reheated steak.

this timeline is so weird
posted by salt grass at 9:43 AM on March 12 [20 favorites]


wow this interview just made me sad

"If you wanted to watch a crush of white people gleefully sing the n-word along with Lil Pump, boy, do I ever have the nightmare nightclub for you."

why am I reading this
posted by mr. manager at 9:45 AM on March 12 [25 favorites]


I am (finally) at an age where I have learned to stop hating music that I merely don't like. Buuuuut I have still reserved a place in my heart to hate Lil Pump's music and image. His whole career is a celebration of stupidity.

The interesting thing that I took away from this article is to confirm an impression I got of him from his videos - if you watch Gucci Gang, it looks like he's throwing this crazy party but he's not necessarily enjoying it or even interacting with his "friends." Lil Pump often looks like he's going through the motions because he thinks that's what he's supposed to be.
posted by Edgewise at 9:50 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


I am not proud of this, but just pictures of Lil Pump or Post Malone are enough to annoy me on a level I didn't even think possible for someone outside the Trump administration. They may, in fact, be perfectly wonderful human beings (though, you know, I'm skeptical) but everything about their image just screams of willful idiocy and ... I don't even know.

And I dislike them doubly for inspiring the same sort of oldster rage that my dad used to express about 80s bands and punk, or Marilyn Manson when my brother went through his teens and fascination with Manson.

The difference, I think, is that it seems to me that Jello Biafra (for example) had something to say that was worth consideration. Same with Manson, but... I'm not so sure about Post Malone or Lil Pump.
posted by jzb at 10:01 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]


On my way to a Boy Scout camp I met Lil Pump he was high as fuck and thought I was in the military

Some gold in the comments there:

- 34 year old checking in ...no idea who this is. By the hair and Adidas track suit, I thought he was in Korn.

- he's just the next big thing because people hate him, therefore people love him. He has no substance, so therefore people hate him, but he got famous for having no substance, so people love him. He seems to be handling it pretty well.

- It looks like you caught a Pokemon

- I'm kinda old and I've seen music trends come and go, but this one I do feel confident that the children are wrong.

posted by ryanshepard at 10:06 AM on March 12 [25 favorites]


Back in my day people used to understand microphone mathematics
posted by SystematicAbuse at 10:09 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Real life seems to be less glamorous than what he portrays for fans. Take, for example, his Instagram videos of him peeing on money. Turns out, he cleans that mess up himself. “I look back on it and I’m like, Fuck, I gotta pick it up.”

Some part of me is going to be thinking about this for the rest of my life.
posted by penduluum at 10:16 AM on March 12 [58 favorites]


Lil Pump often looks like he's going through the motions because he thinks that's what he's supposed to be.

That sort of reminds me of the NYTimes piece on Tekashi 6ix9ine (did I misspell that correctly?), which described how he got famous on Instagram because of how he looked, so he decided to be a rapper, so he decided to join a gang. Because that's the order of things.
posted by entropone at 10:25 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


Purple Stizzeak!
posted by thelonius at 10:28 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


His whole career is a celebration of stupidity.

Well, he's better than this guy:

Woods claimed to be sophisticated at credit card fraud when, in fact, he is not,” said federal prosecutors on Thursday (March 7). “Woods frequently posts pictures and videos on Twitter and Instagram containing large amounts of money, credit cards, and credit card skimmers to promote his proclivity for credit card fraud.”
posted by thelonius at 10:31 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Ugh. This reminds me of that Lil Tay article on the blue a while ago. I feel so old when I read these things.
posted by snwod at 10:31 AM on March 12


So there’s also something almost refreshing about a joyous, reckless teen with still relatively minor legal woes amid all this dread, a celebrity who isn’t being accused of using a child in a sexual performance or domestic abuse of his pregnant girlfriend.

We know we're in a particularly dark era where a drug-addicted teenager who abuses the N-word, objectifies women, and enjoys peeing on money is considered "almost refreshing."
posted by noxperpetua at 10:35 AM on March 12 [26 favorites]


MetaFilter: sad, stereotypical, mediocre and mentally spavined
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:36 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


persistent media and nostalgia culture means that kids are always aware of the aesthetics and values that previous generations rebelled against, and so every successive iteration of parent-vexing youth idols has no choice but to be more ridiculous than the last.

“I’m a drug addict, I’m richer than my professor (man, fuck school).”


and yet some themes are timeless

“I’mma go invest in houses, strippers, and cars,” he tells me at one point while we sit in front of the fireplace in the living room. “And mushrooms. ’Cause mushrooms are healthy. They grow everywhere.”


my favorite part of the interview! my fervent hope is that someday in the future, I will be able to go to the grocery store and pick up a bag of pre-sliced and washed baby bellas with Lil Pump's smiling face on the packaging.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:37 AM on March 12 [31 favorites]


Well, he's better than this guy:

Woods claimed to be sophisticated at credit card fraud when, in fact, he is not,” said federal prosecutors on Thursday (March 7). “Woods frequently posts pictures and videos on Twitter and Instagram containing large amounts of money, credit cards, and credit card skimmers to promote his proclivity for credit card fraud.”


In case you arent tempted to click through, that dude's stage name is "Selfmade Kash"
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:45 AM on March 12 [8 favorites]


that dude's stage name is "Selfmade Kash"

Really he should have been a counterfeiter.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:47 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Really he should have been a counterfeiter.

Or an independent web archivist.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:53 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]


With the wisdom of time we can see the obvious self destructive habits inside each generation. We know there is a 99%+ chance Lil Pump ends up dead or a broke hasbeen. Sizzurp is just liquid opiate addiction.
posted by ShakeyJake at 10:54 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


I try not to be too 'get off my lawn' about things but I remain utterly mystified why the Soundcloud rappers have the absolute worst scribbly/doodle-like tattoos all over their faces.

I was randomly watching some youtube vidz on the 90/00s metal scene re bands like Korn and Slipknot etc and the hardcore rock and roll lifestyle just ended up sounding grim and miserable after a few short party years turned into full-on addiction and death.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:56 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I find everything about this Lil Pump person just fucking infuriating, but he is indirectly responsible for the comments in that reddit thread, so I can't hate him too much.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:01 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


With the wisdom of time we can see the obvious self destructive habits inside each generation. We know there is a 99%+ chance Lil Pump ends up dead or a broke hasbeen. Sizzurp is just liquid opiate addiction.

Worth noting that the same way that NFL owners profit by steadily cycling through young athletes whose bodies get used up, record companies execs profit by steadily cycling through performers/content-creators who wind up broke, addicted, imprisoned, or dead.

Lil Pump will fade away and then it's on to the next one.
posted by entropone at 11:01 AM on March 12 [19 favorites]


Even Lil Pump Can’t Have It All

Well shit, if even Lil Pump can't have it all, what hope is there for the rest of us?
posted by Spathe Cadet at 11:01 AM on March 12 [15 favorites]


I feel bad for this kid. He's clearly got a serious opiate addiction and needs help.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:01 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


Worth noting that the same way that NFL owners profit by steadily cycling through young athletes whose bodies get used up, record companies execs profit by steadily cycling through performers/content-creators who wind up broke, addicted, imprisoned, or dead.

Maybe the owners and managers should be assigned a percentage of the jail time....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:07 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's hard to imagine any kind of non-horrifying future for him.

This article made me feel 87 years old. So I decided to listen to some of his stuff on Spotify, and you know, it's not bad.
posted by something something at 11:07 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Some gold in the comments there:

Oh my God - "He looks like a ventriloquist dummy for juggalos."
posted by thelonius at 11:08 AM on March 12 [19 favorites]


This article made me feel old too, so I googled Kriss Kross, and yep, one of those guys died of an overdose at 34.

Something something Frankie Lymon
posted by SystematicAbuse at 11:13 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Near the end of our formal interview — one that sprawls over 10 hours because Pump has the attention span of an 18-year-old on cough syrup because he is an 18-year-old on cough syrup — he stands over me with a childlike smile on his face and puts a hand on my shoulder. Gently, he rocks my entire body back and forth and asks me shyly, like a child asking his mother to stop wasting time in the grocery store so he can go home and watch television, “When are we gonna be done with the interviewwwwww?”

LOL Scaachi Koul brought the goods. 5/5 profile. Very well done
posted by jcruelty at 11:20 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]


I will admit to copping Lil Pump's ESKEETIT hoodie
posted by jcruelty at 11:21 AM on March 12


Even though Lil Pump is no role model. Lil Pump aint for the kids
posted by jcruelty at 11:21 AM on March 12


Also +1 he is kinda cute
posted by jcruelty at 11:21 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


But -1 to the casual default misogyny that pervades pop rap these days :(
posted by jcruelty at 11:22 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


The final challenge is gonna be canceling all these rappers... it's hard cos I love rap. And I don't mean Conscious Lyrical rap, I mean trap and whatever shit the kids are into... Lil Mosey etc... it's gonna be hard but I do think this is the final frontier of #metoo
posted by jcruelty at 11:23 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


The person in this article that I felt the most sympathy for (aside from the author) is Riley Reid.

She's just hustling. Recognizes the role her porn star persona is playing in this bizarre fantasy world and treats it like a performance. She probably doesn't give a fuck. If Pump flames out tomorrow she'll be fine.
posted by allegedly at 11:28 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Contemporary mainstream hip-hop seems to have a seemingly endless well of middlingly-talented, utterly disposable "stars" that can be bought for what effectively amount to baubles, churn out some forgettable music that can be characterized as the next big thing for a few weeks, and then be ushered off stage into oblivion or death.

This is different from the entire rest of popular music history how, exactly?
posted by Maaik at 11:48 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


This article made me feel old too, so I googled Kriss Kross, and yep, one of those guys died of an overdose at 34.

That's pretty sad. The old show business saying "The way up is the same as the way down" is pretty well true - it is a really small minority of pop artists who hold the attention of the public for more than a few years. 25 years ago, I was in North Myrtle Beach; the sign outside a little bar said "FOGHAT", who had probably been playing, if not arenas, at least Six Flags, 5 years before that.
posted by thelonius at 11:53 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Gucci Gang is meh, but needed to exist to inspire SNL's ode to Stanley Tucci, "Tucci Gang".

(Also, Hasan Minhaj just did a great Patriot Act episode on hip-hop and streaming.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:01 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Sometimes it really is the children who are wrong. SoundCloud rap is Exhibit A.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:06 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


And I dislike them doubly for inspiring the same sort of oldster rage that my dad used to express about 80s bands and punk, or Marilyn Manson when my brother went through his teens and fascination with Manson.

Post Malone was the answer to a question at trivia night several months back; our team members range in age from about 30 to 45. No one had heard of him. I googled him later that night and listened to a few tracks - I immediately filed that moment as my hard border into being old in a pop-culture sense.

But it is interesting finally getting to this age and having to work through not immediately falling into the time honored tradition of shitting on the next generation; it's exponentially harder when there's exponentially more media available to confirm your fears, biases, ego and blind spots. I mean, from an art perspective the existence of these artists says exactly nothing about the state of music as a whole. Despite tens of thousands of template think pieces claiming otherwise - "what person x tells us about the state of -ism."
posted by MillMan at 12:07 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Post Malone was the answer to a question at trivia night several months back; our team members range in age from about 30 to 45. No one had heard of him. I googled him later that night and listened to a few tracks - I immediately filed that moment as my hard border into being old in a pop-culture sense.

I'm in that age range also. I recently realized that my knowledge of popular music is probably going to be limited to what was relevant in the Pre Malone era, too.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:15 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


This is different from the entire rest of popular music history how, exactly?

Yeah, that entire paragraph could be dropped into a discussion of popular music at absolutely any point of its history since it's beginning until now, and probably from now until there is no longer popular music.
posted by sideshow at 12:29 PM on March 12


At least face tattoos are becoming mainstream
posted by SystematicAbuse at 12:33 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


I did used to wonder what the olds would find outrageous or at least grating when I was finally among them, given that piercing, gauging, and tattoos were already pretty common in the 90s.
posted by salt grass at 12:45 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


In case you arent tempted to click through, that dude's stage name is "Selfmade Kash"

The Selfmade Kash story immediately reminded me of this guy - who honestly makes me feel better about "the kids" of contemporary rap because a.) it's fun, b.) he's being funny on purpose, and c.) it goes to show that Bay Area rap never loses its identity.
posted by atoxyl at 12:50 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


i hate everything about this dude... except that I applaud that he was part of a video that made Kanye appear even stupider, which is quite a feat. That video they're in is astoundingly bad.
posted by dobbs at 1:15 PM on March 12


I always wonder how much of the "I own these houses, look at my one million dollars in diamonds" stuff is really real and how much is either lies or the record label misleading someone. If the guy actually owns a couple of houses and a bunch of diamonds free and clear, that's at least something that will last after the rest of this goes away, but if it's all rentals and loaners and so on that's really too bad. At least his brother is in med school and can presumably help pick up some of the financial pieces later on.

I'd feel a bit different about this sort of thing if we had a social safety net - although if we had a social safety net the emotional appeal would be different. It's distasteful to enable and then marketize some young person's foolish behavior, but it's especially distasteful in a society where access to medical care, education, housing and secure retirement are out of most people's reach.
posted by Frowner at 1:21 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


>I’mma go invest in [...] strippers

Interesting. Is this a market in which you can short sell?
posted by CaseyB at 1:22 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


With me, he veers between the character he’s playing in public, talking about the drugs he likes (mushrooms at the beach...

Well, there it is. I have at least one thing in common with this young man.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:40 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


this reads like "Fifteen Million Merits" except Lil Pump is still under the impression that he's the one in control
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:41 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Huh, he got Charlie Sheen to act in his video Drug Addicts. Celebrity culture is weird.
posted by peeedro at 1:41 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


I am almost 51 years old, and rather than dis Lil Pump because I'm an Old, I instead am joining the game and my new rap name is Cockamamie Horsie. I will now go on to put my first joint up on Soundcloud, entitled "I'm a Two-Story Tall Imaginary Teddy Bear (Always Hustlin')".

In which I will extol the virtues of a good salad, my incense collection, and women's soccer equity.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:54 PM on March 12 [28 favorites]


I did used to wonder what the olds would find outrageous or at least grating when I was finally among them, given that piercing, gauging, and tattoos were already pretty common in the 90s.

I know! When I was a kid in the 70's, tattoos were pretty hardcore. If you saw a person with a tattoo, at minimum they had been in the Navy or Marines, or possibly were a part of some outsider subculture like bikers. It wasn't a thing that people did lightly. I used to wonder, by the 90's, what people would have to do to attain that kind of signifier in the future, which is now here, it seems.
posted by thelonius at 2:19 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


Rob Delaney:
A neck tattoo used to say "Watch out, motherfucker." Now it says "I'd love to read you a poem about my vegan bicycle!"
posted by Sangermaine at 2:33 PM on March 12 [19 favorites]


i hate everything about this dude... except that I applaud that he was part of a video that made Kanye appear even stupider, which is quite a feat. That video they're in is astoundingly bad.

Fun fact: That video was a career low for Kanye and a high point for Pump at the same time.
posted by Edgewise at 2:36 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine in the restaurant business calls face tattoos “everlasting jobstoppers”.
posted by freecellwizard at 2:47 PM on March 12 [28 favorites]


I feel bad for this kid. If you're going to go out young in a blaze of sex drugs and rock and roll you should at least enjoy it. He sounds miserable.
posted by fshgrl at 3:36 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


"Spavined"? "Apparate"? Who is this miracle writer?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:37 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


“No one in his family does interviews. His management did, however, mention that his younger brother is currently in medical school working toward becoming a brain surgeon.”

Since Lil Pump was born in 2000, are we to take this statement at face value and just accept that Pump Minor is something of a med school prodigy? This sibling pairing sounds like a bad sitcom pitch to MTV.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:43 PM on March 12 [17 favorites]


I'm old, white, and completely out of touch with pop culture, so I'm going to give you my perspective on this (you're welcome):

You likely know a Lil Pump song even if you can’t name it.

I really don't.

He’s among the young, face tattoo–bearing rappers that have exploded in the last few years, guys like XXXTentacion, Lil Peep, Lil Skies, Lil Xan, Tekashi 6ix9ine, and Smokepurpp.

I think I heard one of these ASCII-sneezes died? The Tentacle one?

You probably heard “Gucci Gang” in 2017

Just checked; I didn't.

...or you may recognize Lil Pump’s signature dreads.

I mean, they look like dreads, so...?

Or you saw him perform on SNL with Kanye West, dressed up like an expensive bottle of water.

Still no.

But anyway good luck to him with the codeine thing I guess?
posted by The Tensor at 3:52 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


That sort of reminds me of the NYTimes piece on Tekashi 6ix9ine (did I misspell that correctly?), which described how he got famous on Instagram because of how he looked, so he decided to be a rapper, so he decided to join a gang. Because that's the order of things.

It worked, though, so it kind of is? There's a really good essay or a hundred that has probably been written on the problem of acquiring the authenticity required to perform certain kinds of rap and the broader consequences of that. Ideally, many of them avoid the trope that rap is bad for kids in general.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:57 PM on March 12


Since Lil Pump was born in 2000, are we to take this statement at face value and just accept that Pump Minor is something of a med school prodigy?

A regular Doogie Howser. Thanksgivings will be interesting.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:59 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


"No one in his family does interviews. His management did, however, mention that his younger brother is currently in medical school working toward becoming a brain surgeon."

When I read that I could hear the article's author's eyes rolling through my computer screen. It was very odd.
posted by snwod at 5:03 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I'm old, white, and completely out of touch

flagged as double
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 5:19 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


It's funny, as you get older you think to yourself "I won't be like the last generation, I will keep up with current trends and be a cool old person." and time passes and you learn to appreciate new music and keep up with popular culture, and you feel pretty proud of yourself. Then stuff like this begins to happen and you seriously question if it's necessary to keep up with every dumbshit artist that explodes out of Instagram and implodes into themselves shortly thereafter.

This is nothing new, the Simpsons parodied this when Abe said " I used to be with 'it', but then they changed what 'it' was. Now what I'm with isn't 'it' anymore and what's 'it' seems weird and scary. It'll happen to you!"

They got it almost exactly right, except what's "it" now isn't weird and scary, it's stupid and tiresome. You don't stop being with "it" because "it" changed and you couldn't change with it, it's because "it" changed and you didn't want to change anymore. This, more than anything else, is what it means to be old.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:58 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]


Ideally, many of them avoid the trope that rap is bad for kids in general.

It's certainly not good for the kids around Takeshi 6ix9ine
posted by Reyturner at 6:00 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Since Lil Pump was born in 2000, are we to take this statement at face value and just accept that Pump Minor is something of a med school prodigy?

Unless that's a falsehood, I can see two or maybe three reasonable possibilities:
They meant his older half-brother, who I learned of by wiki (I also had not heard of this specific rapper, but know the type), and it hasn't been clarified, possibly on purpose.

His younger brother was born within a year of him, which isn't terribly strange, and is a first year college student who has declared for med school (anyone can do that), taking some form of college courses as a high school kid with that focus (also not uncommon, I took one), or in some form of specialty high school.

The sense I get, and I could be totally wrong, is that he grew up probably not very wealthy, but at least in a household with some resources. He doesn't sound like a guy who ever really had to worry about much, and the fact that he's so paranoid about violence despite seemingly not having a pre-fame history or association with violence coupled with being really quiet about his family, limiting his comments to “I got them a house,” he says. “I like to take care of them. Yeah. Hell yeah.” makes him absolutely read like the child who succeeded in the wrong direction for his family's taste to me.
posted by neonrev at 6:44 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I know I'm officially Fucking Old (33!!!) because all I can think now that I've learned about the entire phenomenon of soundcloud rappers is that Tupac died at 25, Biggie died at 24, and at least both of them made songs you could dance or make out to.

I'm very concerned for the next generation.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:54 PM on March 12


Man I sure hope someone in this kid's life is making him stick some of this crazy money he's getting in the bank because he sure sounds like he's not gonna make any smart long-term decisions any time soon.

Admittedly he might just be on a short course to a posthumous album's sales blowing up. Possibly with some help from his handlers, if I want to be cynical.
posted by egypturnash at 7:15 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


I'm 34 years old, and I dressed up as Lil Pump this past halloween (not joking).

You people seem really boring.
posted by wats at 7:31 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


You don't stop being with "it" because "it" changed and you couldn't change with it, it's because "it" changed and you didn't want to change anymore. This, more than anything else, is what it means to be old.

Well, after a few iterations, the project of renovating your tastes every five years, to align with the new cohort of 18 to 25 year olds, loses its appeal. What’s the payoff - someone half your age might one day say “that old guy is pretty cool”? And eventually, trying to pretend you are still 28 starts to feel sad and pathetic.
posted by thelonius at 7:48 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


Am legit very, very boring
posted by salt grass at 8:04 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]


If this guy makes it alive to 30 or even 40 (doubt it) he will.... oh god, I can't even picture that. To be that miserable and dosing yourself up at 18 constantly while supposedly having it all.

And yet this guy will be more successful in his like 2 years at max of "stardom" than most people will be ever.

I'd go drink, but I'm still at work.

But I don't give a shit if I'm "cool" and listening to what the "cool kids" do. I'm a nerd, I was never cool, I'll listen to what I want and not just this sad shit. I pity da fool.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:22 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Well, after a few iterations, the project of renovating your tastes every five years, to align with the new cohort of 18 to 25 year olds, loses its appeal. What’s the payoff[?]

The payoff is you get to hear new music. You get to hear things that challenge you. Combinations of sounds you never expected. And then there's being a part of the larger culture. Understanding where the culture is going. And the simple pleasure of understanding a joke or meme about whatever the current thing is. Plus: once you reach a certain age, it's liberating to keep the evils of nostalgia at bay for as long as you can. At least for me, nostalgia is a straight path to the abyss.

It's not about thinking you're 25 when you're 50. I'm almost 50. I still enjoy new music. That fact does not make me 25 again nor does it make me pretend I'm 25. But when I'm talking to younger friends and relatives, it's fun knowing what they're discussing. It's fun using my old man knowledge of certain genres to give them recommendations when they're suddenly interested in, for example, shoegaze. And it's fun to get their recommendations in turn and occasionally go to shows with them.

If it wasn't fun anymore, I wouldn't bother. Enjoy new music or don't. It doesn't matter what we consume.

Lil' Pump isn't my thing. But some of the vaguely related "sadboy" (for lack of a better term) stuff is really good. Bones and Night Lovell have been huge for me personally. Though sometimes it makes me feel a little odd that I'm old enough to be their father. And then I get over myself and just enjoy the music.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:35 PM on March 12 [20 favorites]


Since Lil Pump was born in 2000, are we to take this statement at face value and just accept that Pump Minor is something of a med school prodigy? This sibling pairing sounds like a bad sitcom pitch to MTV.

I'm not sure it's actually explained outright in this article but the title of Pump's album comes from his onetime claim that he got into Harvard but didn't attend. Which is not true! So the bit about his brother feels like something of a callback.

It worked, though, so it kind of is?

It worked for 6ix until he got RICO charges over his buddies' gang business, and of course turned on them right away.

I can only imagine the contempt he's going to be held in by the guys who used music to get out of that life.
posted by atoxyl at 8:47 PM on March 12


Well, after a few iterations, the project of renovating your tastes every five years, to align with the new cohort of 18 to 25 year olds, loses its appeal.

I mean I just try to pay a little bit of attention to what's going on, because some of it is good.
posted by atoxyl at 9:04 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine in the restaurant business calls face tattoos “everlasting jobstoppers”.

It's why so many trendy barber shops and microbreweries are opening up all over the place, as the legions of face-tattooed find themselves suddenly needing something to do.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:54 PM on March 12


It worked, though, so it kind of is?

It worked for 6ix until he got RICO charges over his buddies' gang business, and of course turned on them right away.


Doesn't he still have a single in the top 40, though? He didn't exactly vaporize.

The payoff is you get to hear new music. You get to hear things that challenge you. Combinations of sounds you never expected.

New music isn't the only challenging music, though, and the music that blows up on the pop charts isn't the only music that exists. Knowing what is new and popular is good for an awareness of what is new and popular. The idea that new material is somehow artistically better or more challenging than what was happening years ago seems strongly biased towards the present. Most streaming services provide me with access to the majority of all popular song from the last century. There are a million places to go if you don't want to focus on the "it" of the moment, all of it novel.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:32 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


He makes me rather sad (doesn’t he have anyone to care for him?), but I’m also worried about his puppy. Probably, given all the givens, the dog is better cared for. The whole phenomenon is disheartening....
posted by but no cigar at 11:52 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Doesn't he still have a single in the top 40, though? He didn't exactly vaporize.

I wont pretend to be a... 6ixpert (sorry) but I think he charted with a feature on somebody else's track this year, presumably recorded a while ago. I'm just thinking - if he is able to escape going to prison for decades it will be by cooperating with prosecutors, and if he does that will he feel safe leading a public life? It just seems like it's a rough outcome no matter what at this point.
posted by atoxyl at 12:38 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Edit: Some of the videos linked below should probably have some kind of trigger warning for drug use, violence, etc. (Youtube, at least, thought so, given that they took down two of their videos before allowing them to be be put back up.)

It's gonna be a weird day when y'all hear about the talented City Morgue, featuring former 6ix9ine ghostwriter Zillakami

I think that they have their shit together more than Lil Pump, but they're quite a bit more jarring, in an enjoyable way.
posted by bootlegpop at 12:47 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


The payoff is you get to hear new music. You get to hear things that challenge you. Combinations of sounds you never expected.

If you want to hear some new music without listening to young men with no life experience beyond doing drugs and making a spectacle of themselves, I would recommend instrumentals.

Let's be honest, even in styles that could be great, lyrics are usually trash and lower the listening experience. They take a track from a cool soundtrack to your life and turn it into "music to debase yourself and ruin your life to." at best and "music for white people to chant the n-word along with" at worst.

New instrumental music is pretty good right now. There are a lot of artists dropping sick beats and not selling them to drug-addled rappers to shit all over. (Not that there aren't a lot of great non-spectacle rappers right now, but it's hard separating the wheat from the chaff and I often find that three clicks deep into their discography they'll often say something that makes me have to cut all ties with them. Even the spectacle boys can have good tracks, but the lyrical content doesn't hold up for an album.)
posted by yonega at 4:01 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


[I]n “Be Like Me,” [Lil Pump] raps, “I’m a millionaire, but I don’t know how to read,” which is objectively hilarious.

Is that objectively hilarious, though?
posted by Going To Maine at 5:07 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Doesn't (or didn't) "pump" have an idiomatic meaning close to "whore" (or "bitch" as it's used in rap?) The "town pump" may be an anachronism at this point but I feel like I've heard it used more recently in mafia slang (or Hollywood's idea of it), which rap likes to borrow from.

I know this whole trap/cloud genre likes to play with softer images and ironic inversions, but there's still enough toxic masculinity and misogyny that I doubt calling oneself "Lil [Bitch]" is intentional.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:04 AM on March 13


Thanks for all this discussion, y'all. I posted this here because I thought Scaachi Koul's article was particularly well written. Also because I knew this is exactly the discussion Metafilter would have, we collectively are all "old" here and have aged up to where "it" is is weird and scary.

Except no. In this case I agree "it" is stupid and tiresome. I posted a bunch of video links because I honestly wanted to give this musician a fair shake. And, um, it was difficult. I don't often make this case, but I think the music is just objectively awful.

The lyrics are terrible. Simplistic ideas, simplistic rhymes, a huge amount of repetition. Many young rappers distinguish themselves with their flow, or ability to freestyle, or something along such poetic lines. Not so much Lil Pump.

I like some of the beats but I assume as in the way of hiphop those are all produced and selected by semi-anonymous producers and engineers, not Lil Pump. I was also struck by how in the whole article Lil Pump never talked about his musical process. This could just as easily been an interview with an Instagram influencer or a Kardashian-style aesthete, there's nothing about making music in the whole profile other than a photograph of a laptop with Youtube open on it.

I'm left with the conclusion that Lil Pump is like a Boy Band. But instead of a front of wholesome edge-of-puberty boys singing melodies about teenage love, it's one obnoxious punk with fake gang tattoos and about codeine abuse and fucking. Which then makes me wonder who is behind Lil Pump. Who manufactures his music, his image? Who brings him his tin cans of weed and drives him to the clubs and makes sure his mom got the house he wanted to get her? Is there a string of manufactured bad boy rappers coming out, eager to top Lil Pump and 6ix9ine?

A lot has been written about how this type of musician is a star for the Instagram generation, perfect at SoundCloud and Youtube. I'm sure that's part of it. But I don't know that I wonder who else goes into manufacturing the success and where they go from here.
posted by Nelson at 6:23 AM on March 13 [7 favorites]


I'm glad this thread took as long as it did to devolve into "if you don't enjoy this bit of cultural production, you must be pretty old and ossified", but come on. First of all, can we decouple "finding new music" from an appetite for personal coolness? That shit is exhausting. I seek out new music, as I suspect a lot of commenters in this thread do, cos it gives me nice frissons or otherwise makes me have responses I enjoy. Lil Pump does give me frissons, just not the enjoyable kind--but that absolutely does not correlate with some lack of initiative on my part in finding new and nifty artists. Yeeeesh.
posted by salt grass at 7:17 AM on March 13 [7 favorites]


my fervent hope is that someday in the future, I will be able to go to the grocery store and pick up a bag of pre-sliced and washed baby bellas with Lil Pump's smiling face on the packaging.

The ironic part is that mushrooms don't have a vascular system, so they're not lil' pumps
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:22 AM on March 13 [7 favorites]


It's gonna be a weird day when y'all hear about the talented City Morgue , featuring former 6ix9ine ghostwriter Zillakami

These guys are an example of the trend of rap doing metal/punk (as opposed to when metal was doing rap) which my inner teenager genuinely respects, even though at the same time I kinda do feel too old for a lot of it.
posted by atoxyl at 8:39 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Okay, in re new music and being old: We underestimate the importance of the sort of music one liked when young. Like, if you didn't keep up with top 40 as a young person, why would you suddenly start now? (I mean, you could; I admit that the popular kind of pop music on the radio now is a lot better than it was when I was young.)

But when I was a young person I was both too nerdy and too snobby for popular music and didn't really listen to most of it - I don't think I've kept up with radio pop since I was about 13. Thanks in large part to the internet, I actually do listen to more new music than I did five to ten years ago, but it's nerdy-snobby music. The "do you listen to new music" test isn't "do you like whatever a new cohort of random 18 year olds like", it's "do you listen to music that is, literally, new".

Also, we like different kinds of new music as we get older, and I think that's okay. Like, sad music about heart-break really sent me at one point; sad music about heart-break says little to me now that I'm an Old because I'm a different person with a different relation to heart-break, relationships and romance and a lot more "sad things have happened that are not about love and they're still pretty sad" under my belt. If anything, it would be sort of weird if I liked exactly the same music at my age that I did at 20 - it wouldn't be a sign that I was changing, it would be a sign that I hadn't.
posted by Frowner at 8:59 AM on March 13 [7 favorites]


"I know I'm officially Fucking Old (33!!!) because all I can think now that I've learned about the entire phenomenon of soundcloud rappers is that Tupac died at 25, Biggie died at 24, and at least both of them made songs you could dance or make out to.

I'm very concerned for the next generation."

Surely folks that age and older were saying similar things about Tupac and Biggie at the time of their deaths, hell, many of them probably still think Tupac and Biggie left behind nothing of value, despite millions of people demonstrably enjoying their works.

"Let's be honest, even in styles that could be great, lyrics are usually trash and lower the listening experience."

I totally agree with this sentence if applied to literally all music. Lyrics for me, are best when they are just additional instrumentals using a human voice. Like, there are songs I really enjoy, but come to enjoy them less if I start to actually parse the lyrics beyond the pitch and notes and rhythm etc. Don't get me wrong, I like vocals in music, I just don't like words in music. Like if you took a beautiful painting and chose to paint over it with lettering that explains what the painting underneath was supposed to mean and represent. Hey, cool, useful information, just... why is it all over the painting instead of somewhere less obtrusive.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:20 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


I think I heard one of these ASCII-sneezes died? The Tentacle one?

I just wanted to say that I am sitting in a completely silent waiting room and snickered so loudly at this that every. single. person. in here is staring at me. And I am snorting again at it just posting this.

What I mean to say is: Gucci Gang is an earworm and Lil Pump's Twitter feed is something.
posted by biscotti at 9:27 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Well. We are dog sitting right now and thanks to this thread, doggo is now being referred to as Lil Pup. (Doggo is, in fact, diminutive)
posted by salt grass at 9:47 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


It's gonna be a weird day when y'all hear about the talented City Morgue , featuring former 6ix9ine ghostwriter Zillakami

These guys are an example of the trend of rap doing metal/punk (as opposed to when metal was doing rap) which my inner teenager genuinely respects, even though at the same time I kinda do feel too old for a lot of it.


I mean - at almost 30 I don't think I can be impressed that you smoke PCP in your video and kill a guy at the end. But fifteen-year-old me would have been all over it, so I can identify with these kids. And - ICP aside - I appreciate that the idea of horrorcore always comes back in style.

Lil Pump just seems like a pure pop performer. His songs are clearly designed for catchiness, and they're mostly about getting fucked up as far as I can tell. He almost reminds me of a new era Kid Rock or something.
posted by atoxyl at 10:33 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


You people seem really boring.

You've been here for 6 years and you're just now figuring this out?
posted by ryanshepard at 2:09 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


I would like to point out that "Gucci Gang" is a fantastic singalong song, even if you've only heard the SNL spoof and the only lyrics you know are "Gucci gang." It's like Baby Shark and the Ying Tong Song got absolutely wrecked on Xanax and Robitussin and made a baby song together and didn't raise it right. Highly recommended for road trips, especially if you have teenagers.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:17 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Well this was a weird rabbit hole of culture that I had no idea existed, so thanks. Really reminds me of the background television in Robocop for some reason. Also, Black Mirror. I literally wouldn't believe this stuff was real, for whatever value of real this is, had I not read about it here. I would have had to spend too long checking it all wasn't some elaborate hoax.

The social media involvement is amazing! 6ix9ine and Selfmade Kash both seem to have used social media to provide footage that can be used against them in court, which is quite something. GG Allin would be proud, maybe. Some kind of lifestyle Edgelord-ism going on too.

I am not sure that we can separate the visual content from the musical content with these social media stars. The constant updates and social media presence is probably more important than the music is as regards the brand. I mean, look at Lil Tay. Or don't, because that particular part of this world is possibly the most disturbing, which is saying something.

I just remembered I had encountered something from this world before, Bhad Bhabie, a girl who got famous because she was the subject of a meme and spun it into a music career. She has already done some kind of world tour, she'll be 16 in two weeks. I saw girls queuing up four hours before her gig to see her perform in Melbourne. They all had tickets, they just wanted to be at the front.

My recent Hip Hop discovery was the Blindspotting movie, which is excellent, and has some pretty good spin off EPs and a great soundtrack made in Oakland.

Anyway, this all has very little to do with encountering new music, which incidentally is something that is only interesting to around 15% of people (can't find the article that I read about this via Metafilter), most people are only really interested in the music they heard as early teens. With an internet radio (or pretty much any device that goes online) one can listen to literally endless hours of music from all over the world. There are still plenty of things that are not on Spotify or known to Shazam, which themselves have an incredible range. My Spotify Wrapped stats for last year showed that I listened to over 11,000 individual tracks. That is a lot of music! It obviously doesn't include what I listened to on the radio and other media. So, plenty of music to check out there people, no need to worry!

I contribute to a collaborative playlist on Spotify that is updated on most Thursdays, around 3 hours of almost all completely new (to me) music. It's chilled out music this week.
posted by asok at 2:50 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


I've read a little about Bhad Bhabie because I felt she represents the awfulness of celeb culture perfectly. It was annoying to realise that she actually seems to have her shit together far more than the rest of her cohort, and famously works her ass off at all times.
She's horrible and her music is awful but Ms Bhabie may turn out to be a force.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:03 PM on March 13


why is she horrible? she's sixteen. she's a kid.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:10 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Someone mentioned Lil Tay, so in case like me you haven‘t read the reveal about her in The Cut, here it is.
(Plus, bonus Lil Pump picture).
posted by Omnomnom at 3:32 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


The Lil Tay story is fairly mind boggling, thanks for the link.
On their breakthrough TV appearance Jason didn't want to admit that Lil Tay was an act. At the time the character Lil Tay is nine years old:
'She grew up “broke as hell” in Atlanta but worked really hard “moving bricks.” Eventually she got into Harvard and then dropped out. At one point, like her friend Vicky, she claimed to be “partially black.” Now she lives in “the hills”.'
SMH
A lot of this stuff seems to rely on appropriation of black culture, a distorted view of a media representation of black culture. I doubt that a tiny black girl mouthing off would have the same luck.
posted by asok at 5:34 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


One other running thread in the article that bothered me was the idea that Lil Pulp's conception was a "teenage" conception of celebrity. I kind of hate to be all "not all teenagers" but this, but… this seems to be a very particular idea of celebrity, and that we are treating it as a given that this is how teenagers think of fame seems like a real indictment of adults and how they think of kids.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:58 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


He’s objectively really good looking (despite the awful face tattoos, racism and misogyny) and I feel really bad for him after reading this long and condescending profile. Koul is a really good writer, she did an amazing job portraying the sadness and emptiness of his life. I look forward to reading more from her.

If you read the whole thing, which I did despite zero interest in the topic, he was sexually assaulted at age 12 by a 17 year old and seems to have been exploited by several older women. It’s disturbing to me that when this happens to a boy it’s considered somehow admirable. That kind of thing definitely is bad for children’s mental health and it makes me wonder what else happened to turn him into this complete nihilist.
posted by rainydayfilms at 4:48 AM on March 14


„Lil Pulp“ is a pretty awesome typo, Going To Maine.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:48 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


Saying that a thing is "objectively X" is not any different from saying it is "X". See, it's otiose to say that the previous sentence is "objectively pedantic". I know it's a popular idiom, but I need to say this.
posted by thelonius at 5:41 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


His management did, however, mention that his younger brother is currently in medical school working toward becoming a brain surgeon.

This may come in handy.
posted by chavenet at 7:56 AM on March 14


Since Lil Pump is 18, this younger brother must be in quite the high school.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:16 PM on March 14


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