Lil Pump

Claiming to have dropped out of Harvard University in order to save the rap game, badboy Florida MC Lil Pump rose from the mumble rap scene with a notorious reputation and social media following, planting his lo-fi, woozy beats and goofball rhymes into the US top five with hit single 'Gucci Gang' in 2017. Born Gazzy Garcia in Miami, Florida to Colombian parents, he met long-time friend Smokepurpp when he was 13, but his rebellious nature saw him thrown out of a string of elementary schools and he was expelled from an alternative education school programme after inciting a riot. He turned to music when Smokepurpp began teaching himself to make beats, and encouraged Garcia to freestyle along with him. It led to them uploading the track 'Pump' to SoundCloud in 2016 and, to their surprise, the stream count began to rise from hundreds to thousands and eventually millions. Early self-made tracks such as 'Ignorant', 'Drumsticks' and 'Moving' also built his reputation in the local underground rap scene, and he was still only 16 when he co-headlined the No Jumper festival tour a few months later. Lil Pump was part of a generation of SoundCloud rappers who injected a more rambunctious, anarchic energy, and he took inspiration from Ludacris, Fredo Santana and Wiz Khalifa as his first YouTube videos 'Boss' and 'D Rose' started racking up millions of views. His multi-coloured dreadlocks, tattoos and scruffy, grungey look also added to the misfit image, and he signed a deal with Warner Bros before single 'Gucci Gang' became a huge national hit and reached number three on the US charts in 2017. His self-titled debut album also made it to number three and featured guest appearances from 2Chainz, Gucci Mane, Chief Keef and Rick Ross, and he turned his yelled catchphrase "ESSKEETIT" into an infectious hit, before teaming up with Diplo to create the EDM-rap crossover banger 'Welcome to the Party' for the soundtrack to movie 'Deadpool 2'. Despite getting himself banned from Denmark for two years and having a few other run-ins with the law, Lil Pump cemented his reputation as one of rap's great, young court jesters when he teamed up with Kanye West on the top ten hit 'I Love It', and he was still only 18 when he returned with second album 'Harvard Dropout' in 2019.

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