An Intro To Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert is a 25 year old rapper from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who started rapping with friends when he was in tenth grade. He started to pursue a career in rap after he got kicked out of home, resulting in him receiving his first face tattoo. He released his debut EP ‘Purple Thoughtz Vol. 1’ in January of 2014. The EP gained the attention of groups such as A$AP Mob and labels such as Def Jam, and in mid 2014 he was signed to The Academy Imprint label by Def Jam A&R Don Cannon. Cannon helped Uzi produce and release his debut mixtape ‘The Real Uzi’ which released in August of 2014. Following the release of the mixtape Uzi signed to Atlantic Records with hemp from Don Cannon and DJ Drama. Following the signing Uzi started grinding even harder, starting off 2015 by featuring on hit songs such as Carnage’s ‘WDYW’, touring with Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa, and releasing a bunch of tracks to Soundcloud, with some of them becoming quite popular.
In October of 2015 Uzi released his second mixtape ‘Luv Is Rage’ with features from big artists such as Wiz Khalifa and Young Thug, and a roster of upcoming producers such as TM88 and Sonny Digital. The mixtape was received generally positively, and attracted the attention of publications such as Fader and XXL. Uzi started of 2016 with the release of his single ‘Money Longer’ to Soundcloud, which became Uzi’s first big hit and is still to this day one of his most popular tracks. He followed this up with the release of his third mixtape ‘Lil Uzi Vert vs The World’ in April. The mixtape debuted at 37 on the Billboard 200, his first charting project and by far his most successful up to that point, spending a total of 55 weeks on the chart. As 2016 progressed Uzi toured with fellow Up-and-comer Kodak Black, and then in June was named as one of XXL’s 2016 Freshman. In July of the same year Uzi released his fourth mixtape ‘The Perfect Luv Tape’, and then in December he collaborated with Gucci Mane for their ‘1017 vs The World’ EP. Both projects received generally good reviews and acclaim, but neither reached the popularity of ‘Lil Uzi Vert vs The World’.
The big next boost to Uzi’s career came in the form of a feature, with the Uzi assisted ‘Bad and Boujee’ by Migos teaching number 1 in January of 2017, Uzi’s first number one of any sort. He capitalised on this by releasing his ‘Luv Is Rage 1.5’ EP in February, which performed well and gave us his biggest hit so far in ‘XO Tour Life’. Uzi spent the early parts of 2017 touring with The Weeknd, and it was then that he started performing XO Tour Life live as it had started gaining a lot of traction on Soundcloud. The positive reception continued and in March he released it officially to streaming, with the song peaking at number 7 and going 7 times platinum since. Uzi spent the next few months hyping up his debut album whilst also featuring on a number of hit songs, most notably ‘Woke Up Like This’ with Playboj Carti, and ‘RAF’ with A$AP Mob, Quavo & Frank Ocean. After a bunch of delays Uzi’s debut album ‘Luv Is Rage 2’ finally dropped in August of 2017. The album was spearheaded by lead single ‘XO Tour Life’ and debuted at number 1, eventually going platinum. The album spawned a total of 10 Billboard 100 entries and was by far Uzi’s most successful project of his career.
In the 2-3 years following that release Uzi has been teasing his ‘Eternal Atake’ album, dropping a bunch of random singles throughout the years as the album continued to be delayed. He continued featuring on other artists songs while releasing his own singles to hype up the eventual album; most notably 2018’s ‘New Patek’ and the 2019 singles ‘Sanguine Paradise’ & ‘That’s A Rack’, none of which made the final cut.
And that brings us to the present day! On March 6th 2020 Lil Uzi Vert finally released his long awaited album ‘Eternal Atake’. The album contains 18 songs and a sole feature from Syd. In the lead up to the album Uzi released a number of tracks, with the 2 most recent being included as bonus tracks (Futsal Shuffle 2020 & That Way). Below I’m going to review the album in 2 parts, first will be my informal and unedited notes on each song as I listened through, and following that will be a slightly more formal and fleshed out opinion on the album as a whole. I’ll include some links to stream the project at the bottom, along with a couple discussion questions. Enjoy!
Track By Track Review
1. Baby Pluto – Great Flows From Uzi straight out the gate, changes it up a bunch too. Some enjoyable parts and some average parts. Beat is real basic to start with, but gets more exciting after about a minute when the bass comes in. Uzi is real enjoyable after the beat picks up too, great flows all the way through. Real catchy little hook. Nice final verse, some nice melodic rapping and some real fun flows. Good song I think, don’t know how I feel about the first verse.
2. Lo Mein – ooh love the minimalistic beat at the start, Uzi sounds amazing over it. Lots more enjoyable flows and a great delivery from Uzi in the first verse. Hook is catchy and has a solid rhyme scheme. Second verse has more great flows and delivery but a couple bars that I’m not a fan of. This is a banger, good song overall.
3. Silly Watch – kinda haunting vibe to this one with this eerie little piano melody. Super enjoyable delivery from Uzi and love the way he changes it up every few bars, thoroughly enjoyable flows too. Lots of quality bars with great rhymes. Hook goes hard, real addictive flow from Uzi and just sounds amazing. Love the way Uzi transitions so crisply from the hook to the second verse. Second verse is fire all the way through, real impressive in every way really. Great song
4. POP – Real interesting synth melody on this one, sounds like this old school fighting game. More great variation in both delivery and flow from Uzi, lots of really impressive flows with soli rhyme schemes. Delivery is actually incredible throughout this, changes up a lot, and is thoroughly enjoyable throughout. Hook is strange but is super catchy, really enjoy it despite the repetitiveness. Uzi goes ham on the second verse too, more impressive flows and captivating delivery. The repetition of certain words is oddly enjoyable, I usually don’t like unnecessary repetition but love it in this. Unique and amazing track
5. You Better Move – Okay this synth is definitely from a video game, sounds like an evacuation alarm, is utilised real well though. Love the way the beat subtly changes up every now and then with parts fading out. Uzi flows really well in the verses, but I’m on the fence about the hook, the repetition is a bit annoying but is done quite creatively once again. Some great bars and cultural references in the second verse, some real funny bars too. Pretty basic flow and delivery for the most part though. On the fence about this one, has some real enjoyable moments.
6. Homecoming – Beat bangs, real thumping bass and some other subtle elements that keep it exciting. Uzi starts off flowing pretty basic but progresses in his flow as he goes on, stepping it up to a much more high energy flow and hungry delivery. Hook is long but has a great rhyme scheme and Uzi flows amazingly throughout, good hook overall. Second verse starts off super well with some great flows and an enjoyable delivery but calms down a little towards the end. Still a really good song overall
7. I’m Sorry – Much more mellow beat than most, has this real upbeat positive vibe with minimal bass, playful synths and these pitched up vocal samples. Hook is one of the most poppy so far but is really catchy, has some pleasant melodies and a solid little rhyme scheme. A good variety of flows again from Uzi, but a much more laid back and calming delivery than the last few songs, fits the vibe of the instrumental perfectly. A couple of lame bars but for the most part they’re quite nice, has some pretty serious lyrics at times. Hook was one of the best parts of this song, love the beat too. Good song
8. Celebration Station – Hook is definitely catchy, but I’m not a big fan of the delivery and flow of it, is a bit too generic. Love the vocal sample and the tribal sounding drums in the beat, really fun beat overall. Verses have some decent flows, really enjoy the more melodic flows Uzi uses at times. Some decent bars and some average bars. Great beat, but everything else felt lacking. Decent song but nothing special.
9. Bigger Than Life – Hook has a really solid flow all the way through, and is decently catchy too. Beat is a bit simple but I love the guitar melody, is strangely addictive. Some really great flows on display from Uzi again, changes it up quite a bit as well. Hook is definitely a grower, just flows so well. Second verse has some fairly average bars and flows at times, but has some great moments too. Enjoy the choir-like sample and the clapping in the hook. Good song, think it will grow on me more too
10. Chrome Heart Tags – Some quite personal lyrics from Uzi, enjoy how this song didn’t start with the hook like most the rest. Good lyrics, but the flows and delivery isn’t too special. Hook is okay but isn’t as catchy as most. Beat is quite basic mostly, has some more nice vocal samples at times. Just an average song, probably my least favourite so far, but not a bad song
11. Bust Me – Hook has a real catchy rhyme scheme but I’m not a big fan of the melodies, and the delivery isn’t too great either. Enjoy the beat switch after the hook but second beat isn’t too exciting. Good variety of flows and delivery but none are overly impressive or exciting. Bars are quite basic too. Whole song is a bit too slow for me, doesn’t really go anywhere. Just okay overall
12. Prices – Some pleasant female vocals in the beginning, along with the really grandiose instrumentation it gives the song this triumphant vibe. Hook is quite catchy but I’m not a fan of the repetition on it. Solid rhyme scheme throughout the first verse but lacks exciting flows and delivery until the last few bars. Definitely not a big fan of the hook. Some decent bars in the second verse, but more mediocre flows from Uzi. Not a bad song, not a good song.
13. Urgency (ft. Syd) – not a big fan of Uzi’s singing at the start, but I love it when Syd comes in and starts harmonising. Pretty basic melody but sounds really nice. Some enjoyable flows from Uzi throughout the verse, and changes it up a bunch as well. Syd sounds amazing on the hook, and on her verse too, beautiful voice and rides the beat really well. Hook gets better each listen. Good song in the end
14. Venetia – Really enjoy the melodies from Uzi on this hook, he flows really well, Catchy hook overall. Some enjoyable flows and bars from Uzib throughout the verse. Beat is great too, has these fun synths that come together to give this real atmospheric vibe. Second verse is even better than the first, Uzi varies his delivery at lot more and has some super enjoyable melodies. Real good song
15. Secure The Bag – Another atmospheric vibe but this is more of an eerie outta-space feel. Beat is kinda catchy but is a bit basic. Verse is actually quite basic too, some real simple and slow flows that aren’t too exciting. A couple of enjoyable bars but nothing else is too good. Hook sounds like Trippie Redd at times. Second verse is pretty bad at times, has some unpleasant delivery with more simple flows. Song drags on way too long. Below average song
16. P2 – Real somber sounding beat with the kinda sad sounding guitar melody. Uzi’s melodies and flows sounds very reminiscent of ‘XO Tour Life’. Verse is still super enjoyable though, lots of impressive flows and melodic sections, and Uzi rides the beat with ease. Hook is really good but just can’t shake the feeling it sounds exactly like XO Tour Life. Some great bars and more enjoyable flows and delivery from Uzi in the second verse. Drags on too long at the end. Strange song cause it feels like I’ve heard it, enjoyable track though.
17. Futsal Shuffle 2020 – Heard this when it dropped. Glad it is listed as a bonus track. Is just a fun and enjoyable banger that shouldn’t be taken too serious. Beat is high energy and unique in the current hiphop soundscape. Hook is super catchy. Good track
18. That Way – Heard this when it dropped as well, and am also glad it’s a bonus track. Not a big fan of this overall, but I really enjoy the use of the Backstreet Boys sample and Uzi’s interpolations Of part of the song sampled. Other than that though I think the verses are average and the beat isn’t too special. Just an average song
In the end I honestly thought Eternal Atake was a really fun and consistently enjoyable album, that showcased Lil Uzi’s talents as an artist really well, and exceeded my expectations. Unlike a lot of people who went into the album with massive expectations due to the 3 year build up, I went into this expecting it to be a bunch of average songs with a couple of gems (which is what I felt about his past projects). Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quality of the project, with around 10 thoroughly enjoyable tracks, amazing production throughout, and some super impressive bars from Uzi.
With a total of 18 tracks, 10 of which I think are really good, and another 5 or 6 which are decent, there aren’t really a whole lot of bad moments on this album, just certain songs with more mediocrity than others. I think Uzi’s strange delivery on the first verse of Baby Pluto brings the rest of the song down. I thought Uzi used repetition really effectively for the most part, but on certain songs such as ‘You Better Move’ and ‘Prices’ the repetition is just too much, decreased the overall quality of each track. And despite loving the production on songs like ‘Chrome Heart Tags’ and ‘Secure The Bag’, I felt like Uzi delivered some of his least impressive performances of the album with basic bars and a lack of exciting flows and delivery. Other than those minor flaws I felt like most of this project was really good, a couple of songs dragged on a little too much or had some cringey bars but nothing bad enough to bring down their respective songs.
Eternal Atake had a lot more highs than lows fortunately, with consistently intriguing production and a plethora of impressive performances from Lil Uzi. The instrumentals throughout the album were quite captivating, with some of them sounding nothing like anything I’d heard before, and others sounding like incredible recreations of beats and sounds I’ve heard before; but regardless of the individuality nearly every song had something captivating about the production that draws you in and keeps you interested throughout each song and therefore the whole album.
Whether he was going hard over a haunting instrumental like on ‘Silly Watch’ or providing beautiful melodies and lyrics on songs such as P2, Uzi was at his best during this album and showcased what an amazing versatility he has. I loved the way ‘Lo Mein’ started with Uzi rapping over a minimalistic beat before the beat progresses and Uzi hits us with a constant barrage of solid bars. The bass heavy tracks such as ‘Silly Watch’ & ‘Homecoming’ combine a ridiculously catchy hook with some of the most impressive rapping of the album and a plethora of fun flows. The album seems to take a turn sonically about half way through, with some of the latter songs such as ‘I’m Sorry’ & ‘Bigger Than Life’ showcasing not only Uzi’s addictive flows, but his knack for piecing together some beautiful and catchy melodies only some calming, atmospheric production. This is also apparent on ‘Venetia’ which has some of the best rapping of the album contrasted with this beautiful instrumental, and on ‘Urgency’ which sees Uzi enlist Syd for not only an incredible feature verse, but for some impressive harmonies during the songs Hook. I could go on about positives for even longer, but you get the point; this album had a lot of enjoyable songs filled with enjoyable moments.
So in summary I felt like this was the album a lot of people had been hyping it up to be in the lead up to release. With the 18 song track list and only one feature I was worried it would get stale at times, but Lil Uzi easily carried this project from start to end with a range of catchy hooks, pleasant melodies, and some of the most impressive flows of his career. Paired with some immaculate production, this album was a fun project to listen through in its entirety, and despite the flaws and low points was one of my favourite long albums of the last year. Whether you’re an Uzi fan or not I’d highly recommend this album, I’m sure there is at least a couple of tracks on here for everyone!
Or listen for free on YouTube here!
My Favourite Songs were Lo Mein, Silly Watch, POP, Homecoming, I’m Sorry, Bigger Than Life, Urgency, Venetia & P2.
What were your favourite songs on Eternal Atake?
Do you think the album lived up to the expectations?
The album lacked features; who would you have liked to have seen featured on this, and on what song?
Thanks For Reading!
– Shan –