Arts and Entertainment Editor
Rap fans were not disappointed by the first projects in the front half of 2022. Legends such as Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Ye all topped charts and continued their dominance while present-day artists like Lil Durk, Saba and Jack Harlow each grew their fan bases even more. Listeners were ready for an amazing summer of rap music with chart topping hits from their favorite artists. However, the summer of 2022 did not give the rap community what they wanted. There were very few big name artists who released projects, and the most notable ones had seemingly bad albums, but one of the worst was RED & WHITE by Lil Uzi Vert.
Lil Uzi Vert, known to fans as Uzi, began gaining widespread popularity for his 2016 hit “7AM” and then became a certified star with his 2017 album Luv Is Rage 2, which is considered to be one of the best albums of that year by many listeners. Since then, their devoted and loyal fan base would spend hours trying to find leaked songs or hints on when their next project would come out. Unfortunately, Uzi would make the world wait until March of 2020, in the middle of the day for their long awaited release of Eternal Atake. This album was received well by audiences due to its numerous beat drops and fun, entertaining pace that seemed to be classic Lil Uzi Vert.
Their final act of 2020 was releasing a joint album with fellow rapper Future, which the duo had teased at doing for years. The album, Pluto x Baby Pluto, had a few very good songs but was not liked overall. In the two years since then, Uzi was only seen as a feature on other artists’ songs and released one song, “Demon High,” in 2021. While this left fans wanting more, everyone knew that Uzi would stay quiet about their next project. Eventually, in the middle of the summer, they released RED & WHITE, which is officially listed as an EP.
As fans listened to the nine-song piece, it became clear that Uzi was regressing badly, especially because fans wanted to hear the kind of music that made them so popular five years ago. Many of the songs seem repetitive, and have similar flows, styles and beats. They are making newer music seem old to listen to after just three or four songs, and Uzi will continue to lose popularity like this. As Ben Brutocoa of HipHopDX says, “While Uzi’s writing has never been brainy, it has rarely, if ever, been this imbecilic,” attributing to their annoying and downright bad songwriting as of late, which seems to be forming into Uzi’s new style.
As Sol Elsila ‘24 said, “[The best songs on the EP are] only decent songs,” which sums up what avid Uzi listeners have thought for years now. Four weeks after releasing, “FOR FUN” and “SPACE CADET” were the only two songs with over 5 million streams on Spotify, which is shockingly low compared to their past songs. Hopefully, after the public has ridiculed and critiqued Lil Uzi Vert, they can begin to find their musical roots and make the music everyone loved them for. Until then, fans will just have to wait while Uzi makes more confusing and mysterious hints about what random and disappointing music they will put out next.
photo credit: lostposters.com