Last December, 17-year-old rapper Lil Pump got ridiculously famous for Gucci Gang, a song and video that shuffles between catchy and cringeworthy, partly due to its ostentatious displays of wealth. The young rapper takes over his high school in the video (bottom), with a tiger, drugs, decadence and more. Apart from the repetitive refrain “Gucci Gang”, he raps, “Spend ten racks on a new chain” and “My lean cost more than your rent”.
Indian rapper Divine, famously from the streets of Mumbai, has the perfect response to the song with a freestyle rap, Gully Gang. Born and brought up in the streets of Mumbai, with a penchant for topical lyrics, Divine makes music that isn’t about the money, drugs or decadence.
His hard-hitting lyrics subvert Lil Pump’s lines to capture the struggle of those in the Gully Gang, people from the slums and artists who have to struggle to make it. He reminds artists to come back down to earth and get real. It’s clearly more about substance than spectacle.