Photos By Anthony Sokolov
Written By Ariana Hwang
ESKETIT!!!!!!! I’ve never seen an unusual email subject line like this before. What does it mean? “Let’s Get It” according to Urban Dictionary. Huh. And who was the rapper who coined this catch phrase? Lil Pump. I caught a glimpse of him once before, when a friend of mine was showing his music video “Gucci Gang” off of Youtube. Without thinking much about the music, I vividly remembered the tiger and the signature pink and blonde dreads. I had another friend who recently changed her Instagram handle to fucci.gang, so I was getting the sense that this Lil Pump guy was an Internet sensation who was becoming a bigger deal each day. An invite to his New York show in the following month would soon confirm all of this.
It took a few blocks and shivers through the icy wind to get to Playstation Theater. There, I met with my friend, Anthony, a photographer, before being greeted by Cristina, who introduced herself as part of PR for the venue. To my surprise, she took us underground to reach the theater. Anthony went with her to the photo pit; I stayed to the side of the stage, blending with part of the crowd.
The good thing about being alone at this moment was that I could really examine the audience. They were mostly young, strikingly younger than me. I was next to a 15 year old girl who came out for her friend’s birthday and asked how old I was. 21, I replied, suddenly feeling like I aged five or more years (when I found out Lil Pump was 17 years old, this made a lot more sense). I also noticed how everyone was restless as openers, or “hype acts” came on, one after another while a DJ provided the beats (although, there was another rapper named Squidnice who raised some hype). The people pushed and squished to the front, hoping Lil Pump would come on next.
Never at any other rap show did I see so much water chucked at the audience. Seeing a straight-faced security guard burst out laughing as photographers dodged the streams of water made it all the better. In fact, the stage was so wet, a few of the openers came out to dry the stage, sweeping the floor with towels under their feet. Apart from this frivolous scene, and in between, Lil Peep was also honored with “Awful Things”.
Close to 10, Lil Pump finally glided onto stage. He started off his set with “Crazy”. Following after was a series of songs coupled with loud bass and overly simplistic lyrics, “Broke My Wrist”, “OK”, “Lil Pump”, “What You Gotta Say”, “Flex Like Ouu”, and the catchy “Boss” (my favorite Lil Pump song). It didn’t matter where you were positioned as a viewer. Lil Pump brought the energy to each stage corner, wildly pacing back and forth, leaving the stage multiple times, and kneeling above the front row of people as they waved their hands to touch his bare upper body like he was some sort of Messiah.
Before the break, with other songs to soon follow, sweaters were tossed around until he noticed one in particular, a Harvard sweatshirt. Interrupting the flow of music, he asked the crowd to pass it to him. “I fuck with that.” He held up the burgundy sweater and shouted, “ Bitch, I’m a Harvard dropout!” The crowd cheered on, echoed every time “ESKETIT” was chanted, and opened a mosh pit at Lil Pump’s every request.
For the finale, Lil Pump leaped off a balcony to “Gucci Gang”, falling into his possessed crowd. Confetti and smoke kept building more and more drama. This was a new sight for me, but Lil Pump fans know he’s certainly fearless when it comes to heights. His show was a big distraction for me, from thinking it was Tuesday, from feeling rushed to catch the LIRR train and reach home at a modest hour. You remember a lot, but then sometimes you forget a lot too. For me, I blame the forgetfulness on having fun.