All hail the Harverd Dropout. Lil Pump might just be one of the 21st century’s most polarizing rappers, and it’s not just because of his bars—his extra-musical antics, too, have plenty to do with his reputation. Here, we run down some of the most audacious, hilarious and sometimes regrettable things Gazzy Garcia has done in the past couple of years.
1Pump upsets the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
The world first took notice of Lil Pump thanks to “Gucci Gang,” a hypnotizing exercise in repetition that was all but inescapable in 2017. That the song propelled Pump beyond SoundCloud stardom is wild in itself, but what’s even more bizarre is the aftermath of the music video’s release.
It turns out the clip, which depicts Pump stalking down a school corridor with a tiger and removing bags of weed from student lockers, was filmed at a Catholic elementary school in Hollywood—without the permission of its authority, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Archdiocese had no inkling of the video’s existence or its content, a spokeswoman told FOX 11: “The Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not approve the content of this video nor its filming at Blessed Sacrament School, which is a school of the Archdiocese and property of the Archdiocese.”
The cherry atop this controversial cake? When FOX 11 contacted Ben Griffin, the director of the video, for comment, he said he had none—and promptly hung up on them.
The Lil Pump-Kanye West collab “I Love It” and its Roblox-indebted music video were, of course, shoo-ins for this list. Last September, the rap sphere went into a mini-meltdown when Kanye West unveiled the Spike Jonze-directed clip for the raunchy track—at the inaugural Pornhub Awards no less.
And when people thought this creative pairing couldn’t get any weirder, they kicked off a new season of SNL later that month with a performance of the song—in costumes resembling bottles of Perrier and Dasani, in reference to West’s lyric about “sparkling or still” water. Needless to say, Halloween-observant hip hop heads were spoilt for costume choices last year.
3Pump pisses on his own cash
Astonishing sums of money are always thrown around in disussions about Lil Pump, whether it’s his “Racks on Racks” of cold hard cash or his multi-million-dollar record deal with Warner Bros Records.
And the rapper’s gotten used to living large. That much was obvious from the outrageous clips Pump posted to Instagram last year showing him urinating on stacks of bills he’d casually dropped into the sink and on a staircase in London. In the caption of the first video, he said he did it because he was “bored,” and in caption of the second, he encouraged everyone to follow suit in the “piss on a hunnid bandz challenge.”
Pump doesn’t appear to endorse wasting money, though—he did note in the second post that he picked up the piss-stained money afterwards.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Pump fancies himself a provocateur. Nowhere else was that more evident than in his recent, head-scratching declaration that “it’s scientifically proven that I’m the most lyrical rapper of all time.”
But just months ago, Pump made a significant lyrical misstep that cost him fans and goodwill. A teaser snippet of the Harverd Dropout single “Butterfly Doors” contained the lines, “They call me Yao Ming ’cause my eyes real low,” and a “ching chong” ad lib for good measure. After swift blowback from listeners and fellow rappers—including many artists from China—Pump apologized, and released the song without the gauche line.
Just when the world thought the era of “Gucci Gang” was over, the SoundCloud rap crown jewel reared its head again. Last year, upon the release of the 2019 Coachella line-up, fans were confused when the song title appeared on the poster. As it turns out, that referred to a supergroup comprising Pump, his good friend Smokepurpp and Gucci Mane, who had featured on the song’s official remix. The trio will take the desert stage in April together, presumably to perform the titular track and other cuts.
Stream Lil Pump’s sophomore album, Harverd Dropout, here.