Iggy Pop made his entire career as an artist that relentlessly pushes against boundaries. He’s perhaps the primary example of going against the grain, creating your own world and not giving single consideration to what others may think about it. Through a lifetime of noise, combative performances, and a frightening lack of shirts, Pop has carved out his own legend as the godfather of punk.
But that doesn’t mean punk is the only music that Jim Osterberg listens to. Pop found as much inspiration in the frantic rock and roll of Little Richard as he did the avant-garde jazz of Sun Ra, and his own music showed a progression that incorporated electronica, new wave, and even acoustic folk. Iggy Pop is a sponge for all styles and sounds, and with his place on the Mount Rushmore of music secured, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for him to pretend what he enjoys and, subsequently, what he doesn’t.
Case in point: Pop has expressed his admiration for a song that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Pop or his punk-rock background – Lil Pump’s ‘Gucci Gang’. To hear the punk pioneer describe the material, however, ‘Gucci Gang’ is about as combative and punk rock as anything released Green Day or the Ramones. “I was so interested in the construction of a song a while ago called ‘Gucci Gang,'” The Stooges frontman told the NME. “He took, what, a minute to write it? He went straight to the hook and did the hook have a melody? Nooooo. Did it have a phrase? It had no pre-chorus. It’s just ‘Gucci Gang Gucci Gang Gucci Gang Gucci Gang Gucci Gang’, and I thought, ‘This is great!'”
Simplicity is certainly a mindset that Pop utilised himself as inspired by an unlikely source: children’s television host Soupy Sales. As he explained in the Jim Jarmush documentary Gimme Danger: “He encouraged kids to write him, but he said always ‘When you write the letter, please, 25 words or less.’ And that always stuck with me, and when I wanted to start writing songs for our group, I thought, ‘This is the way to go. Try to make it 25 different words or less.’ I didn’t feel like I was Bob Dylan. I thought, ‘Keep it real short and none of it will be the wrong thing.'”
In that way, there seems to be a connection between the ethos of ‘No Fun’ or ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and that of ‘Gucci Gang’, as strange as it may seem. In any case, no one is going to tell Iggy Pop that he’s got bad taste, so maybe it’s time we all revisit ‘Gucci Gang’ with the Iggy Pop seal of approval.