Favorite Track: "Off My Chest (feat. Lil Pump)" Least Favorite Track: "Hangin Out the Roof"
Florida rapper Smokepurpp’s original success may have seemed as though he was riding the wave of his longtime collaborator, Lil Pump, who had a large number of hit singles and had a few songs featuring Purpp when he hit the big time. However, I personally thought that the two had a distinct sound from each other, with Purpp’s 2017 Deadstar mixtape showcasing his ability to make some very catchy trap bangers that put his smoky voice on display very well. Since that original mixtape, however, Purpp has continued to disappoint. Every project since Deadstar has felt more and more oversaturated and half-assed, as though Purpp doesn’t care about the music nearly as much as he does the paycheck. The last three albums Purpp has released have been littered with filler tracks, dime-a-dozen beats, and some of the laziest deliveries and lyricism that I can think of in recent years. His newest project, Florida Jit is his magnum opus of mediocrity. Every complaint I have about previous Smokepurpp projects is exacerbated greatly on this LP, and at points it is borderline unlistenable. The lyrics are repetitive and astonishingly stupid at times, the beats are boring and offer little to nothing new in terms of musicality, and even the features on this album seem to attempt to match the mind-numbing energy that Purpp is brings on this project.
While there are so many things about this record that irk me, the biggest issue I take with it is the complete lack of creativity. With Deadstar, I thought Purpp had a promising sound. It was grimy, his lyrics weren’t anything special, but they fit the vibe, and he found a great mix of overdriven bass and plucky, claustrophobic instrumentals that complimented his voice well. On Florida Jit, it sounds as though he took those assets and immediately tried to twist them into the most painfully typical collection of trap instrumentals and lyrics that you could possibly imagine. Some songs present in the tracklist almost sound as if someone was making a caricature parody of the genericism of mainstream trap music. There is nothing I hear on this record that makes me think Purpp had any inkling of originality, apart from his ability to write mind-blowingly moronic lyrics like “If she bad, I might just go pee in there”.
I don’t necessarily think this project’s unwillingness to improve upon previous sounds is all Purpp’s fault. I truly believe that there is a mentality in the trap community that if you make a record and it doesn’t earn critical acclaim, they’re just hating and you should continue doing whatever you want. The average trap listener isn’t going to stop listening to Purpp just because he made an album that is a dud to a critic, and I think that is very clearly showcased in reactions to this project. I was seeing comments on some of the songs that I personally thought were insanely boring saying that it was “SOTY” and “Straight flames”, which reinforces that mindset in the community. The other issue is that due to the materialistic nature of the genre, a lot of rappers don’t seem to care about the music as much as they do the money or the fame, and mediocrity and poor critical status comes as a result. At the end of the day, critics are there to help artists grow, not to bash an artist just because they made a project we don’t like. I know I want to hear artists grow and make good music, it’s the main reason I do this, but projects like Florida Jit make the role of a critic feel like an uphill battle.