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Concert Review: Lil Pump at Pop’s Nightclub

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Xanax. Dyed dreads. Kurt Cobain sunglasses. This is the holy trinity of Soundcloud rap, the three ingredients needed to get a No Jumper interview and the adoration of millions of stupid Hypebeast virgins. In other words, the oft-sought after “clout.”


I enjoy certain artists that inhabit this world. $uicideBoy$, Denzel Curry, Lil Peep, and even XXXTentacion on occcasion. But I find myself hating many more: Pouya, Bones, Fat Nick, Ghostmane, Famous Dex…I can’t stand any of them, largely due to a clear lack of talent and overtly derivative style.


And then there’s Lil Pump, perhaps the most notoriously untalented of them all. I believe that, in hip-hop, eschewing technical ability in favor of raw energy is fine, but you have to be good at it and you have to do it in a unique manner. I’ve always found that Lil Pump fails at this. He sounds lobotomized on all his tracks, and the beats he raps over are trite. So I’ve always hated him.


But then I saw him live earlier this week with a few friends, and I learned something: though his music may be sort of terrible (although I will concede that it has a lot of novelty factor,) he knows how to get a crowd moving, and he is best experienced live, by far.


Prior to the show, I had some anxiety but mostly excitement in regards to the venue. Pop’s Nightclub, a notoriously trashy establishment, located in East St. Louis. I knew that there was a good chance that something bad would happen or that I could get hurt. But I also understood that that makes for an awesome show.


As we pulled into the Pop’s parking lot, we were greeted with Lil Pump’s pubey face adorned across a billboard. We were sure to arrive a couple hours early to ensure a spot towards the front, but, to our chagrin, we discovered there were already many people who had beaten us.


The line was full of the aforementioned Hypebeast virgins, as well as thots. Many, many, thots. I like thots.


After two hours of waiting with insufferable douchebags that I couldn’t wait to take on in the mosh pit, we were finally allowed to enter the venue. It was small and dank, perfect for a punk rock style show. We ended up getting a spot pretty close to the stage, but once we were there, there was no turning back. If you leave the pit, you won’t get back in.


Luckily, I had urinated prior to leaving. But I failed to sufficiently hydrate that day, so I was forced to sit through two crappy DJs and three (yes, THREE) putrid openers while dying of thirst. As an avid concertgoer, I really should be used to this by now, but I’m not.


Once all the openers were finished, which took around two hours, we were forced to wait another hour because of “technical difficulties.” But when we all checked our phones and saw that Lil Pump was livestreaming on Instagram, chilling in his hotel room, we realized that the little bastard was slacking off. Some people feared he wouldn’t show up at all .

But eventually, when we all least expected it, Lil Pump ran onstage and the venue instantly blew up. What followed was around 40 minutes of primal, sweaty moshing and incessant eskeetits.  


“I wanna see a fat-ass mosh pit!” Lil Pump yelled through his dense braces as gunshots sounded off, indicating “D Rose” was about to play. This was by far the wildest concert I’ve been to in terms of crowd participation and energy. The aggressive movement and knocking into one another was nonstop. Luckily, I came out with no injuries other than a hurt jaw. Three fights broke out. Someone shoved another dude’s girlfriend, and when confronted he loudly proclaimed that his girl was a hoe. I got in a screaming match with some girthy bald dude, which was also pretty cool.


Lil Pump closed the show with “Boss,” which elicited the most potent energy of the night. After that, we all shuffled out, drenched in sweat and, some of us, blood. I finally learned to appreciate Lil Pump after that. He may not sound the best through your earbuds, but when you’re in a mosh pit full of stupid kids looking to wild out while “D Rose” is on, you finally get a grasp of the purpose behind it all.


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Concert Review: Lil Pump at Pop’s Nightclub