On Dec. 9, popular rapper Symere Woods, better known by his stage name Lil Uzi Vert, officially announced his next album “Eternal Atake”. Almost a year later, his fans have been left with nothing except a few leaked songs. What could possibly be holding up one of the biggest artists of this generation?
Lil Uzi Vert is a Philadelphia based rapper who blew up in the rap scene from his 2016 hit song “Money Longer”. Since then, Lil Uzi has been overwhelming his listeners with largely successful albums including “Luv is Rage”, “LUV is Rage 2”, “The Perfect LUV Tape”, and a few others.
Despite Uzi’s name being violent, his success comes from his ability to create a variety of styles and genre mixes within his music. From his energetic absolute bangers like “Enemies” and “Do What I Want” to some of his slower, more emotional yet still up-beat songs, like “20 Min” and “Feelings Mutual.”
What holds his music together also is his choice of instrumentals, which normally consist of a typical modern rap beat intertwined with Uzi’s chimy, upbeat synths. On top of this, Uzi raps with a higher-pitched, almost nasally voice, which surprisingly sticks well. According to Insomniac.com, he “flaunts a vision and fashion sense just as loud as his “futuristic trap” sound and dynamic voice.” The rapper, or rock star, as he commonly refers to himself, is also credited with a very colorful and expensive taste in fashion.
His lyrics also help to set him apart from other artists in an industry whose lyrics are already overrun with common themes of sex, drugs, and violence. Uzi does bring these ideas but also manages to bring up topics that include past relationships and love in general. In the song “Paradise” from 2015, a personal favorite, Uzi raps, “Paradise…I just want to be there when I wake up. Yeah, like you better with no makeup.”
With such a distinctive style, and a whopping 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify, it would be expected that Lil Uzi was consistently putting out music. Unfortunately, according to Discogs.com, his last full album was released back in August 2017. During a concert on Dec. 9, Uzi announced during his next album “Eternal Atake” would be dropping.
The following week, fans were shocked with big news via Instagram. His post said he “deleted everything” and was “done with music.” Fans were confused as to whether he was serious or pulling a publicity stunt. Weirdly enough, only two days later, the album cover art was released.
To his fans’ unsuspected joy, on Apr. 9, two songs were leaked from the album. “Sanguin Paradise” reached number 28 on US Billboard Hot 100 list and “That’s a Rack” sat at number 76. It was very apparent the rap industry was not through being obsessed with his music. Still no official release date has been announced.
Unfortunately, by May 2019, hopes were once again crushed. Comments from the rapper stated that the album had not even been finished. Other comments from the Philly rapper and his label, Generation Now, announced pushbacks, cancellations, restarts, and more cancellations.
One reason for the setback was the controversial cover art. The album cover features a space setting and lock that closely resembles the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult’s logo. Representatives of the surviving 1997 cult say, “it [is] a direct and clear [copyright] infringement,” a quote taken from Complex.com.
Another theory is Uzi’s label is not being cooperative. In an Altpress.com article, Uzi says, “I really just want them to respect me. They just gotta respect because, like, I respect them.” Uzi has had a number of problems with Generation. Phillyvoice.com reported “He’s currently feeling financially and artistically ‘exploited.’” Uzi told fans that his label would not front costs for recording booths.
Two months after Uzi had said he was quitting, a song titled “Free Uzi” with the caption had been leaked. Not released, but leaked. Uzi then took to Instagram to post cover art for the song with the caption “Free Uzi out now”. The post has also been taken down.
With much confusion and many fans left in the dark, it may be a while before we see Eternal Atake, or if we see it at all. Despite the hype dying down over time, many fans have taken to online forums to discuss their beliefs that the album will come in 2020.
Whether you are a fan or not, there is no doubt that Lil Uzi Vert has made big waves over the last few years. Only time will tell now whether or not his music career will come to a halt or help flourish the hip-hop genre once again.