DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Rapper Who Endorsed Trump Never Voted

Turns out Lil Pump was not even registered

NOVEMBER 13--In what will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, the rapper Lil Pump, who endorsed Donald Trump and appeared onstage with him at his final 2020 campaign rally, did not cast a ballot in the presidential election, owing to the fact that the performer has never bothered to register to vote, records show.

The 20-year-old star (real name: Gazzy Garcia) revealed his endorsement of Trump in late-October, days after rappers Ice Cube and 50 Cent expressed support for the incumbent president.

In a video posted online, Garcia exclaimed, “All I gotta say is Trump 2020, bitch.” Garcia then claimed that he would pay an extra 33% in taxes if Joe Biden were elected. “Fuck Sleepy Joe, nigga. Trump 2020, bitch,” he added. On his Instagram page--which has 17 million followers--Garcia posted a Photoshopped image purporting to show him shaking hands with Trump in the Oval Office. A second image morphed Trump’s face with that of the rapper, who has multiple piercings and facial tattoos.

Garcia’s embrace of Trump received quick approval from MAGA disciples. “We welcome @lilpump to the Trump Train!” conservative commentator Tomi Lahren wrote in an October 26 tweet.

Garcia, a Miami, Florida native who began his career as a teenage SoundCloud artist, has recorded several hit singles, including 2017’s “Gucci Gang” and “I Love It,” which was released in 2018 and features him trading verses with Kanye West. His songs include all the familiar rap tropes--bitches, drugs, designer goods, conspicuous consumption--and the kind of sexually explicit lyrics that would surely dismay the average Trump supporter.

On Sunday, November 1, Garcia attended a late-night Trump rally at an airport hangar outside Miami. Wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and standing with friends in the front row, the rapper recorded himself beaming as Trump delivered a rambling 60-minute address that ended early Monday morning. After the rally concluded, Donald Trump Jr. approached Garcia and thanked him for attending, saying, “It takes balls to do what you’re doing, so I appreciate it.”

Later that day, Garcia and his crew traveled via private jet to several of the final events of the Trump campaign, which concluded with a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan that began after midnight on Tuesday, Election Day.

About an hour into his speech, Trump saluted Ted Nugent, who was near the stage. Reading from the teleprompter, Trump then said, “Speaking of sound, music, and other things, one of the big superstars of the world, Little Pimp.” Spotting the 5’ 6” Garcia, Trump laughed and invited the cartoonish rapper onstage. “Little Pump, come on up here.” As the crowd cheered, Garcia said, “Mr. President, I appreciate everything you’ve done for our country. You brought the troops home and you’re doing the right thing.” Garcia concluded by reminding the audience, “And do not vote for Sleepy Joe at all!”

The president, who showed Garcia more courtesy onstage than he afforded Sen. Martha McSally days earlier, appeared to get a kick out of the Trump x Pump collab. “That’s great, thank you very much. I appreciate it, that’s very nice,” Trump said after Garcia returned to the crowd. “Big star. Big star.” Later that day, a video shot by a campaign staffer and titled “Lil Pump on why he is voting for Donald Trump!” was uploaded to Trump’s YouTube page (where it has nearly 500,000 views).

On Election Day, Trump Jr. tweeted, “Amazing!!! @lilpump got called up onto the stage in Michigan by @realdonaldtrump totally impromptu at 1 am last night and crushed it!!!” A November 3 tweet from the Republican National Committee’s national spokesperson quoted what “Lil Pump says” about Trump’s accomplishments.

Garcia and his entourage flew to Washington, D.C. after the Trump rally and attended an election night party at the Trump International Hotel (Mike Lindell, the My Pillow founder, was also there). On November 4, with election results still up in the air, Garcia wrote to his 1.1 million Twitter followers, “Remain calm. Remain patient. Have trust in the system. Our man will be re-elected.”

But despite Garcia urging others to vote for Trump, the rapper himself was not among those who helped deliver a decisive victory in Florida to the incumbent president.

According to Florida state voter rolls, Garcia has never been registered to vote (he turned 18 in August 2018). Additionally, a supervisor with the Miami-Dade County Elections Department also reported that Garcia is not registered to vote. The official, Robert Rodriguez, said that the county’s voter registration records are up-to-date.

To be eligible to vote in the November 3 election, a Florida resident had to register by October 5. It appears Garcia’s political awakening--or his crass move to make easy headlines--came weeks after the registration deadline passed.

Garcia, a Miami native who has “DADE COUNTY” tattooed across his stomach, last year bought his first home, a $4.65 million waterfront residence in Miami Beach (he financed the purchase with a $3.25 million bank loan). Mortgage records signed by Garcia describe the five-bedroom, 4935-square-foot home as his “principal residence.”

Upon purchasing the property in July 2019, Garcia posted a short video tour of his new home. His social media feeds have since been filled with photos and videos taken inside the house, around the pool, and near its rear dock (where he seems to enjoy firing a paintball gun at wooden pilings). Sometimes he just poses with friends holding a Trump flag. When not recorded partying (pot and lean are Garcia favorites), the rapper is seen playing on his Pop-A-Shot arcade game, lip syncing, or showing off new acquisitions (furniture, jewelry, a Gucci bicycle that he said cost “30 racks”).

What Garcia has not been paying for, however, are the real estate taxes on his residence, which backs up to Biscayne Bay. The rapper’s unpaid bill for 2019 is about $45,000, according to county records. Collection of the debt is now the responsibility of a private firm that recently purchased Garcia’s lien at a county auction.

Garcia did not respond to requests for comment that were sent to his manager and an e-mail address listed on the performer’s Twitter account.

Garcia, of course, is not the first public figure to fail to vote after urging others to do so. Thirty years ago, several musicians featured in the inaugural “Rock the Vote” campaign were either not registered or they failed to cast a ballot. In 2000, after traveling across the country in a get-out-the-vote effort for Al Gore, Ben Affleck did not vote. And Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and his former campaign manager, Brad Parscale, both did not vote in the 2016 general election.

On October 29, the rapper Lil Wayne met with Trump and discussed criminal justice reform and the candidate’s “Platinum Plan” to aid black communities. In a tweet about his “great meeting” with Trump, the 38-year-old performer (real name: Dwayne Carter) noted that the president “listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.” A photo accompanying the tweet showed Trump and Carter smiling and giving the thumbs-up.  

The seeming endorsement, which Trump retweeted from his personal account, prompted criticism of Carter in the hip-hop community. But if the entertainer was signaling his backing for Trump’s reelection, he, like Garcia, failed to support the incumbent with an actual vote.   

Carter, a Miami Beach resident, is not registered to vote, according to state voter rolls and Miami-Dade County Elections Department records. Carter lives in a waterfront Miami Beach mansion he purchased in late-2018 for $16.75 million. The 11,470-square-foot residence replaced Carter’s prior Miami Beach digs, which he bought for $11.6 million in 2011 and sold for $10 million in mid-2017.