By: Samuel Anthony//
I was originally late to the Lil Uzi Vert fan club, but out of nowhere I became obsessed with his sound, style and everything he represents. People place him in the mumble rap category and he is definitely a controversial figure with his outrageous sense of style and his cryptic content. His first Luv Is Rage project was groundbreaking with a fresh energy that he had complete control over. He announced the follow up project, Luv Is Rage 2, back in December of 2016 and the fans were eagerly awaiting its arrival until he unexpectedly released it on August 24, 2017.
“Two®” was an interesting way to start this project off. He continued a skit that he used on the first Luv Is Rage, which I liked a lot but I thought the instrumental sounded low in quality. It also doesn’t compare to introductions he’s had in the past. “444+222” was an odd song that I actually found annoying. It doesn’t make sense at all, and it just sounds like he just threw words together over a trap beat. I thought he would’ve dove into a dark topic on this song because of the title, but it was misleading. At this point I was not impressed with how Lil Uzi Vert introduced this long awaited project. “Sauce It Up” would be a great song to hear live as it just has a great energy and I can imagine a crowd of people jumping along to it. However, “No Sleep Leak” didn’t feel like anything special to me, and although it has a catchy chorus, it takes more than that for me to really enjoy a song in its entirety.
There is a reason Nicki Minaj told Uzi to make “The Way Life Goes” a single and to send her the beat over Snapchat and Instagram. It sounds very mature lyrically and the production is immaculate. He uses flows he’s never used before, and it definitely is one of my favorites off this project. “For Real” is a good song because it sounds different, but it somehow also feels obnoxious and hurts my head as well. However, “Neon Guts” (feat. Pharrell) is such an amazing song. Not only does Pharrell look young, but he also has that young energy to perform in the same realm as Lil Uzi Vert. It’s great to hear them both alternate on the verses and the chorus. I love how unique this song sounds with great raps, amazing melodies, and a hard instrumental that sounds other worldly.
If you’ve checked his Twitter, Uzi tweeted that “Early 20 Rager” isn’t a song, but it’s the feeling you get when molly hits you. There is a lot of reverb on his auto tuned vocals, questionable lyrics, twinkly synthesizers and typical trap drums/bass. It sounds cool, but at the same time it’s nothing I would go out of my way to promote. “Unfazed” (feat. The Weeknd) sounds like a massive song, even though The Weeknd could’ve done better on the chorus instead of going to the level of repeating the same word over and over. He does deliver on his verse though, so I guess I’ll excuse the lack of effort. The beat sounds massive and Lil Uzi Vert floats over it nicely as he normally does.
For the most part, “Pretty Mami”, “How To Talk”, and “X” sound like all the other songs on this project. They all have colorful synthesizers, catchy hooks, standard trap drums, booming sub basses, with occasional ear catching rap verses. “Malfunction” is something a little different, and the instrumental doesn’t all come in until the very end. It has a more melancholy vibe to it, and it also made me realize that Uzi has some of the best melodies in the industry right now. I love the next song, “Dark Queen,” because it’s more personal to him talking about his childhood and the impact his mother had on his life. It’s awesome to hear him be more vulnerable instead of the typical flashy talk he usually raps about.
It’s also important to note that “XO TOUR Llif3” won an award at the VMA’s as the song of the summer. This mesmerizing song is almost impossible to avoid and sing along to. It currently has 372,741,856 plays on Spotify and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon.
Overall, Luv Is Rage 2 felt overhyped by the fans and it didn’t deliver the amount of hits I expected from this delayed project. Lil Uzi Vert tweeted himself that this project was made to grow on you and that it was made for the youth so they know how to format real songs. Even though this is expected in order to make $125,000 in its first week, it still feels incredibly underwhelming. This music feels like fast food but critics are saying Lil Uzi Vert is ahead of his time.