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photos by jason goodrich

creative director - lil sabotage

interview by lil sabotage

styling by grace bukunmi

make up by damaris santana

Gazzy Garcia, known to the world as Lil Pump, was barely old enough to drive a car when he started uploading tracks to SoundCloud. The streaming platform was still in its relative infancy, but Lil Pump, as well as artists like XXXTentacion, Juice Wrld and Smokepurpp, were very quickly proving to the world that you didn’t need a record label and the publicity machine that comes with being signed to make it big. Once you recorded your track all you needed was a computer and a middling internet connection to share the song with the entire world instantly. Lil Pump learned the power of SoundCloud immediately as he went from a teenager trying to break into Miami’s underground scene to a superstar in a split second.

In August Lil Pump will be releasing his fourth studio album, “Lil Pump 2.” The timing of the release will coincide with the veteran rapper’s 22nd birthday, putting in perspective just how young he was when he broke through and how prolific he has been in those six years. Renowned for his raucous live performances, Lil Pump was in New York City on one of his rare off days when Inked was able to catch him for a photo shoot. After everything wrapped we asked Lil Sabotage—who served as creative director on the shoot—to get inside of Lil Pump’s head. Their conversation went all over the place as they discussed music, travel and the unexpected origins of Lil Pump’s Powerpuff Girls tattoo.

Photos by Jason Goodrich

Photos by Jason Goodrich

Inked: Let’s start from the beginning. You popped off at a really young age. What do you think that taught you?

Lil Pump: It taught me a lot, cuz I grew up pretty quick. I got into the industry basically at 16 and I just shot straight up. I didn’t have that moment where, like, you know how artists go from being small to being medium and then being big? My shit just shot straight up right from the start.

Why did you gravitate to SoundCloud and a more DIY aesthetic?

SoundCloud is just a wave. I love SoundCloud. I love the way they operate. And that was really a platform where I just wanted to drop music on. It’s fun. I just woke up the next day, I was literally just uploading songs by myself.

Was the transition to fame difficult to maneuver?

Yes and no. Now, I know how to move, I’m not just going to go to the supermarket by myself. Like, I don’t do that, but back then it was different. I’d just go anywhere. Just walk down the street, not giving a fuck, but now I can’t be doing that type of shit. I’m way too big for that.

Photos by Jason Goodrich

Photos by Jason Goodrich

When did you realize that you couldn’t go to the supermarket by yourself?

When I was, like, 17, I started getting mobbed at the mall all over Miami. I’d go to a random Gucci store and then, like, the whole mall would just be waiting for me outside. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t do this anymore. I need security.’

Are any of your tattoos influenced by your career?

I have tattoos for my mom and my father, they both pushed me to keep going. My mom gives me a lot of good advice. She’s like my best friend.

You used to have a tattoo of a frowning face right above your nose that you have since covered up. Why?

It was just because I wanted to get a tattoo that looks better over it. I think the cross tattoo that I got in the middle of my forehead looks way better than the one that I had before.

Photos by Jason Goodrich Fashion Credits: Jacket: Ian Alexander Shirt: Marsanne Brands Glasses: Celine

Photos by Jason Goodrich Fashion Credits: Jacket: Ian Alexander Shirt: Marsanne Brands Glasses: Celine

You have a tattoo that ties you to Jah [XXXTentacion], can you tell us about it?

Yeah. Jah was a very special person, man. He was gone too soon. I remember one time I was in LA and this was probably the second time I was in LA and I was, like, 17, and I didn’t have a spot to stay in and then X literally hit me up and was like, “Yo, you can stay at my hotel.” After that I was like, that’s a very genuine person. It was like, that’s my brother.

You have some pop culture tattoos as well. Tell us about some of them, like the Powerpuff Girls one, for example.

I got that Powerpuff Girls tattoo around when I dropped “Harverd Dropout.” For that whole month I was having threesomes, like, every single day. So that was the reason I got the Powerpuff Girls on my neck. It was an amazing month.

On the topic of pop culture, are you a fan of “Saturday Night Live?” And what did you think of the sketch they did on “Gucci Gang?” [Pete Davidson played Lil Pump in a music video praising beloved character actor Stanley Tucci called “Tucci Gang” on the late night program]

Yes. I’m a fan of SNL. The “Gucci Gang” sketch was so hilarious. I was dying when I saw it.

Photos by Jason Goodrich Fashion Credits Top: Chrome Hearts Bottom: Artist's Own Shoes: Prada

Photos by Jason Goodrich Fashion Credits Top: Chrome Hearts Bottom: Artist's Own Shoes: Prada

Would you be on SNL?

Yeah. Why not? [laughs]

So you’re Colombian, how was your recent trip home?

It was amazing. I was eating very, very good food, like, salmon on salmon on salmon, boy! Shit felt amazing! And then I was eating bandeja paisa [the unofficial national dish of Colombia, a workman’s lunch consisting of rice, plantain, arepa, avocado, minced meat, black sausage, chorizo, fried pork rind and a fried egg on top] and I love bandeja paisa, but it’s different when you eat it from your hometown. That shit’s just really good. I just enjoyed the food a lot. And man, the salmon over there… crazy!

Does travel inspire your music?

Yes. Since I basically talk about everything I do when I’m in different cities, travel just gives you different vibes of everything.

Are you excited about your new project, “Lil Pump 2?” Can you tell us when it’s dropping?

Yessirski! It’s dropping in August around my birthday. It’s about to be crazy. This is gonna be a masterpiece.

Photos by Jason Goodrich

Photos by Jason Goodrich