"Parents just don't understand": Music is generational but this statement has perhaps never rung as true as with the rambunctious rap duo of Smokepurpp and Lil Pump.
Hailing from the hotbed of underground rap that is South Florida, the two are poster children for the new generation of hip-hop that draws more from the the likes of GG Allin than JAY-Z (the cover art for Smokepurpp's forthcoming debut DEADSTAR depicts the rapper posed in the same position as a famous GG Allin funerary photo). Loosely pulled together by social media, this wave of music is often called "Soundcloud Rap," but Pump and Purrp, who are 16 and 20, respectively, prefer not to define it. On a recent trip through the VICE LA office, they happily declared that what they do is just "ignorant."
Through the haze of prescription drugs and under the war cry of "ESKEDDIT!" each rapper has achieved immense recognition for his own brand of raw, infectious, bass-boosted records, many of which are crafted by South Florida-via-New Jersey superproducer Ronny J. Purpp's "Audi" and "Ski Mask" are modern punk anthems. For Lil Pump, tracks like "D Rose," "Flex Like Ouu," and "Molly" have kept him in the upper regions of the Soundcloud charts for months.
Beyond that, there are viral antics that would overshadow almost any other rappers' music. In their case, for better or for worse, the extracurricular rockstar shit just adds to the burgeoning legend of the respective rappers. The two recently sat down for an episode of Noisey Radio on Beats 1 and an extended, faded interview.
Noisey: Where are you from? How did you get into this shit?
Smokepurpp: We're Smokepurpp and Lil Pump. Uh, we're from Florida, South Florida, like Miami. And we're just ignorant.
And you guys recently moved to LA? Why'd you decide to move?
'Cause it's lit out here. I mean, I wanted to always get out of there. I don't know about you.
Lil Pump: Yeah.
Smokepurpp: Yeah, I wanted to always get out there. And that was partly for my career, too. So.
What was working with Ronny J like for you?
Lil Pump: Lit. I started working with him like last year.
Was it something about his beats that just clicked with you, or what about his style?
Yeah, I fuck with his beats. He's hot. One of the best producers out of Florida.
Where did y'all first meet?
Um… I forget.
When did you two meet?
Smokepurpp: We met like a few years ago, in Florida. I got down for a few years.
And you're a few years older than Pump?
You were rapping first right?
Uh, yeah. I had dropped a few songs, and then I was like yo, just, I just told him to do that shit. That he could do it. Then he just recorded at my crib.
What was some of the first tracks you recorded?
With Lil Pump? "Elementary."
And so what's life like now for you guys, with tour coming up?
Uh, yeah. Tour coming, everybody fuckin' with us, the bitches fuckin' with us. Fuckin' everybody's hoes.
Lil Pump: All the thots.
Is it to the point now where you can't really walk around without fans mobbing you and shit?
Smokepurpp: I don't like going to the mall.
Lil Pump: I can't even shop.
What's the craziest shit recently, that's happened with a fan?
I was in LA, and then I went to the mall. There was some kids and they started jumping on the table. They was saying some wild shit. Like, in the middle of the food court. They was just standing up like, "Lil Pump for XXL!" They started screaming and shit. I'm like, "yo, what the fuck!" (Laughs) Yeah, that shit was funny as hell.
Your fans are like real fucking die hard.
Why do you think that is? Do you think that your sound is connecting with them in a real emotional way?
Yeah, people fuck with me.
Smokepurpp: You know how we rocking, man. (Laughs)
I was in Mexico, and people were blasting "D Rose."
Lil Pump: Yo, that's mad lit.
Talk about that song a little bit because that's one of your breakthroughs. Are you a basketball fan?
A Bulls fan?
Nah, I'm a Heat fan. I just made that "D Rose" song 'cause it sounded fire. It sounded fire, so I was like, I'm gonna lead with that shit. And that shit really started going crazy.
What about D. Rose do you think kicked off that track?
He just needed to do a comeback. In real life. I fuck with D. Rose.
Were you surprised that that track took off?
What's that like when you play it live?
That's the craziest song. Everybody goes nuts. Fat-ass mosh pit, everybody dying. Going crazy.
Purpp, were you surprised when "D Rose" started going crazy?
Smokepurpp: Uh, no man. I knew we was fire. ( Laughs) Like, you feel me? I wasn't surprised. I knew this shit was going to happen.
Can you talk about "Audi" a little bit? That track's going crazy right now.
That track's produced by Ronny J. It's one of my biggest songs right now. Shout out Ronny J. We made that shit up at my homeboy's crib. I was like, "yo, just use, like, the weirdest sounds. Like, look for a siren." Just random industrial shit. I was just like "yo, make a weird-ass beat." Now because of that, he just knows my style. I'm like, bro, just do it. ( Laughs) Just do it bro, I'm on some weird shit.
Together you guys have a group called Gucci Gang, right?
So that's me and Pump, and like our other homies that be rapping from like Florida. And we just mad ignorant.
Lil Pump: Mad ignorant.
What is it about Florida that's so ignorant right now?
Smokepurpp: Everything. The whole wave.
What was it like growing up there? Was it just partying, going crazy every day?
Lil Pump: Type shit.
Smokepurpp: Turnt up, yeah. I mean it is Miami, so.
What are you like, now that you're in LA?
Lil Pump: Better weed.
Smokepurpp: Yeah, that's the number one thing. Better weed, and you can smoke like anywhere. Type. Um, besides that, I just like LA overall.
Are you working on cohesive projects you're gonna drop coming up?
Lil Pump: It's fire. We 'bout to drop some crazy shit.
There was a New York Times article about you guys and your whole wave of what people are calling Soundcloud rap. In the podcast about it , the author called it "grunge rap." Would you say that that's an accurate description?
Smokepurpp: What's grunge rap?
Like, how would you define the movement y'all are leading right now?
Ignorant. I mean you can call that shit whatever the fuck you want.
What are some tips to being ignorant?
Lil Pump: Stop giving a fuck.
Smokepurpp: Not saying "ignorant." Saying "ih-norant!" You feel me?
Do you remember the last time you gave a fuck?
Correction: A previous version of this article stated Ronny J was from Broward County, Florida. He is from New Jersey.
Listen to Lil Pump and Smokepurpp on Noisey Radio on Beats 1.
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