Review: Lil Pump Brings Raw Energy To Manchester In Sold Out Gig

  • Rap's youngest talent fills The Manchester Academy in sold out gig
  • Lil Pump is currently touring the UK promoting his new album, 'Harvard Dropout'
  • At just 18, the rapper has already collaborated with the likes of Kanye West and Gucci Mane

With viral success at just 16 years old, American rapper Lil Pump has emerged out of the Florida underground rap scene and landed success in the charts as well as gaining platinum certification for his hit ‘Gucci Gang’.  Now 18 years old, Pump has already released a self-titled album, a ground-breaking mixtape, headlined the ‘No Jump’ Tour and collaborated with the likes of Gucci Mane, XXTENACION and even Kanye West.  
Born as Gazzy Garcia from Miami, Florida, he began his music career writing raps after being kicked out of high school and posting them on the music platform, ‘SoundCloud.’ His recognition in the rap scene stems from his friendship with producer/rapper, Smokepurpp who together produced track after track on SoundCloud; each one expanding Pump’s reputation and immense fan base.  
Too young to sign a record deal, Pump continued to release music and videos via Youtube, which generated an immense social media following, particularly amongst the younger generation. However, his biggest breakthrough landed in 2017 with the release of his triple-platinum track ‘Gucci Gang’ which hit #2 in R’N’B/Hip Hop chart and gained world-wide recognition. Following this success, Pump has since collaborated with the likes of Diplo and French Montana for the ‘Deadpool 2’ soundtrack and Kanye West for the track ’I Love It’ which, accompanied by a viral video executively produced by Spike Jonze, reached the top ten in the UK and the US.  

Whilst standing in the dark, crowded venue masked with vape smoke, I began to wonder if this show was worth the hour-long delay. The crowd, the majority being a lot more patient than myself were throwing their plastic cups of red stripe up in the air chanting “We want Pump” at the top of their lungs and drowning out the noise of the interval music.  
Finally, the spotlight hit and all eyes were on his bleached dreads, eccentric facial tattoos and full Gucci attire. The welcoming chants only got louder and transformed into echoing lyrics when Pump burst into the first bars of his early hit, ‘D-Rose.’  

His mischievous flair and raw energy shone through the entire performance as he dominated the small stage he was given and made it his own. By climbing up the towering speakers and jumping into the crowd, who were more than willing to hold him up high, he demonstrated impressive performance skills which was something I was shocked to witness considering he is so new to the game. But perhaps the most extraordinary element of the evening was the visible dedication of his fans who were rapping back the lyrics to Pump as he held his mic high in the air and resonating the entire room, even for his less well-known tracks. 
As unlikely as it sounds, the show exhibited an element of punk. His beats and their accompanying lyrics were violent and energetic which caused the crowd to escalate into mosh pits every other song.  However, like every storm, the calm arrived as the set ended on an emotional tribute to XXXTenaction who was fatally shot earlier this year. The crowd traded their angry-mob personas for a calmer, more sentimental demeanor as they lit up the academy with their I-phone torches in the air and passionately sung along to Pump and Tenacion’s collaboration, ‘Arms Around You.’  
Lil Pump is currently touring the UK to promote his ‘Harvard Dropout’ album and working on new music. Having already released a platinum-certified record as well as collaborating with the likes of Kanye West at just the age of 18, it is evident that Lil Pump is no flash in the pan and is here to stay.