The Lowdown: Similar to Doja Cat, 6ix9ine, Lil Xan, and a few other hip-hop youngsters, Lil Pump rose to fame through a ridiculous song that people came to love over time. While some might question his ability (and rightfully so), the 18-year-old artist has already gained the attention of some respected music figures like Kanye West, Gucci Mane, J. Cole, DJ Khaled and even has top-charting singles to his name.
Harverd Dropout is a project inspired by a line on “Iced Out”, a single off his self-titled debut, in which he rapped: “Could’ve been at Harvard servin’ juugs/ But I don’t give a fuck.” This was followed by tweets and acts of trolling insinuating that he had actually attended Harvard University. As exciting as the promotional escapades might have seemed then, the namesake album turns out to be a disappointing reality. Insubstantial lyrics, dreary hooks, and directionless melodies make up the large part of Pump’s 40-minute sophomore project.
The Good: The tracks with guest artists help salvage the project from total wreckage. Listening to Lil Wayne, Quavo, Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, and Offset rap on the same beats as Pump, one can sense a distinctive artistic prowess in rhythm and lyricism. Also on the good side are a few hooks with a nice ring. The best thing about his breakout single, “Gucci Gang”, is the chorus, which caught the attention of many. Luckily, on songs like “I Love It” (with Kanye West), “Racks on Racks”, and “Fasho Fasho” (featuring Offset), he is able to create something notable (arguably his best attempts on the project).
The Bad: However, teetering between bad and ugly is where you’ll find most of Harverd Dropout. Classy beats by Diablo, CBMix, and Fizzle go to waste as the Florida artist delivers drabby lyrics on “Drop Out” and cringe-worthy choruses on “Nu Uh” and “ION”. Meanwhile, other tracks like “Vroom Vroom”, “Drug Addicts”, and “Off White” are almost too empty to even mention.
The Verdict: The Florida rapper’s limited strengths and many weaknesses become highly detectable on Harverd Dropout. Under Pump’s control, the album piles up songs without structure, lines without meaning, and hooks without melody; it’s utterly tasteless. While fellow trap artists like Future, 21 Savage, and Travis Scott continue to poetically tell stories with their music, this 16-track listening experience absolutely disappoints in nearly every possible way. Stay in school, Pump.
Essential Tracks: “I Love It” (with Kanye West), “Racks on Racks”, and “Fasho Fasho” (feat. Offset)