Album Review: Harverd Dropout
by Nick Hernandez
On February 22nd at 12:00 AM, Miami rapper Lil Pump finally released his long awaited Harverd Dropout.
Harverd Dropout is the second album Lil Pump has dropped in his 3 years of being in the rap game. His debut album Lil Pump was released in October of 2017, eventually being certified Gold, having sold 500,000 copies. His newest project, Harverd Dropout, much like his first has an assortment of features from highly acclaimed rappers – including Kanye West, Smokepurpp, Offset, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, YG and 2 Chainz – and his tracks sponsor the boastful lifestyle of the 18-year old rapper.
The album’s titled Harverd Dropout intentionally spelled incorrectly, paying homage to the time Pump incorrectly spelled Harvard University. Even more so, it is derived from the rapper’s fanbase and the ongoing joke that Pump attended Harvard University only to drop out of school to pursue his rap career. He has addressed this multiple times in tracks outside of this album, but the song on this project that offers a glimpse into how Pump views it is “Drop Out.”
As Lil Pump puts it, “[I] dropped out, then I got rich … [I] dropped out, knowing I was going be a star.” He says this in a nonchalant manner, implying that his rise to fame was fairly simple and his career so far has been very successful.
Throughout the album, each track follows Lil Pump’s generic style involving sex, money and drugs; in his circumstance this seems to be a subject which he will not break from any time soon as – in a sense – it is what sells his music.
In addition to him continuing to talk about these profanities, it should be taken into account that Pump can still be defined by the stereotype of being very repetitive. The most popular culprit in this case is Lil Pump’s 2017 platinum record, “Gucci Gang” and in Harverd Dropout, his repetitive nature seems to be nowhere near ending. In total, of the 16 songs on Harverd Dropout, 11 feature an absurdly monotonous chorus.
The 11 songs which contain a repeating chorus are “Drop Out”, “Nu Uh”, “I Love It”, “Racks on Racks”, “Off White”, “Too Much Ice”, “Multi Millionaire”, “Vroom Vroom Vroom”, “Be Like Me”, “Stripper Name” and “Drug Addicts”, wherein the tracks replay the chorus at maximum, three times. Another detail to take note of is that from his 16 track album, seven of the songs were singles – that is – they were released prior to Harverd Dropout yet Pump still included them in the project.
One of the singles that was included in Harverd Dropout received a lot of controversy over a racial slur that Pump wrote into the song. The offender, “Butterfly Doors” released on January 4th of this year, and many of his fans noticed the blatant racial connotation when Pump in the song was quoted as saying the following, “Smoking on dope, they call me Yao Ming cause my eyes real low (Ching Chong).”
Pump is notorious for his drug-related lyrics and way of life; this verse is a nod to Pump’s love for marijuana but he didn’t consider the negative repercussions that would follow the song’s release. “Butterfly Doors” received a lot of backlash from multiple racial and ethnic communities and their reception to the song forced him to censor the line that contained the offense. Pump made a public statement through an Instagram post where he apologized for what was said and everything seemed to settle down for the rapper.
Reception of the album was particularly mixed, in that most reviews came to the consensus that although the album was not particularly good substance-wise, it is a successful “crowd pleaser.” Despite Lil Pump’s efforts to produce content with high grade lyrical quality, the album does serve its purpose with respect to who the composer is and his fanbase. Pump often creates music that entertains the younger generation’s partying lifestyle and the album he constructed fits perfectly into this class.