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Lil Uzi Vert’s career has been one of varying quality. While its filled with some of the most defining music of the mid-2010s, songs like “Super Saiyan” & “You Was Right” being inescapable, their later career music has been somewhat lackluster. Eternal Atake saw a stylistic change that was not favorable, opting for a punch-in flow & heavily repeated lyrics to make for meme material (the Balenci’ moment on “POP” stands out). The production choices, going with producer group Working On Dying for a majority of the album, made sense with the Philly connection. However, Working On Dying has admittedly made much better beats for a wide range of artists, and for whatever reason their beats on Eternal Atake is some of their weakest material to date.
Lil Uzi Vert – POP
What Uzi brings on Red & White though is some of his most consistent work to date. In every way calling back to that prime era of Soundcloud hip hop, from the production choices (seeing the likes of Sonny Digital, Dun Deal, Maaly Raw), to hearing that older flow; Uzi feels right back in form. That isn’t to say it isn’t to say this is a complete retread, there are plenty of moments here to push their sound further, but still feel satisfying for older fans.
Take the newly added track “Cigarette,” which aims for this heavily spacey feel more than the album that was spaced-theme. They deliver these drawn out bars that become instantly memorable, along with these patois lyrics similar to what Robb Bank$ was doing on his album. With a beat that feels other-worldly, Uzi still makes time to bring everything back to reality when it comes to the verses.
No I’m not two or three, or just four
No I’m not five or six, never seven (Ayy)
Since I was ten, I said fuck 12
So I was scared when I was eleven
Lil Uzi Vert – Cigarette
Meanwhile, tracks like “Hit My Shoulder,” feel like that take you back to LUV Is Rage 1 era. Dropping some of the most firey delivery on the entire album, with these relentless flows that end in some sudden hums, it feels like Uzi hasn’t missed a step. Its a song that would feel right at home on that album, yet still feeling modern enough. Uzi’s music when they’re working effortlessly has this timeless quality, where the sound no matter how old stays relevant.
Even when Uzi is pushing their sound to the extremes, “Believe Me” knocks it out of the park. Seeing the return of their collaborative work with Maaly Raw, the song starts with this punkish intro & drops into a hectic frenzy with Uzi ripping right through the beat. With their unique blend of flexes of fashion brands & staying real, their lyrics never get trying against the glamorous sample.
Lil Uzi Vert – Believe Me (Prod. by Maaly Raw)
Its a rare moment when even the lazier tracks on an album overachieve. “Issa Hit” sees Uzi hitting these adlibs that fly around adding to the hype of the track, along with the constantly ingraining hook. Their energy is undeniable here, especially at the end of the first verse with the extended delivery of “ten.” Its a track that feels thought of in less than 10 minutes, but is executed in such a way that it lands perfectly.
Uzi does way more than what could’ve ever been expected from a Soundcloud EP. Last time a bigger artist did this, it was delivered so lazily that it was instantly forgotten (Trippie Redd). They once again prove they’re an act to stay on constant look out for, where even their random material is better than majority of artists out today. If this is just the EP, the album might exceed any expectations previously set.