Album Review: Lil Uzi Vert, “Luv Is Rage 2”

The long-awaited “Luv Is Rage 2”

by Miles Tucker

Lil Uzi Vert’s sophomore album brings light to the struggles of his turmoilous Luv™. Part two to his Luv Is Rage saga is a more in depth look at the baggage he carried through his past relationships and presents his thoughts about overcoming both emotional and financial struggles. The project totes some hefty bangers for young partygoers that live a lifestyle similar to Uzi. The intro track, “Two®” coasts on warped synths and a heavy bassline. As usual, Uzi’s energy and staunch confidence keep the track enjoyable. Pride emanates from the verses on this song and it is sure to make for some exciting party moments. Another track sure to make an appearance at a party near you is “444+222”. The title is a reference to the artist Jay Z’s recent 4:44 album. Uzi uses some simple addition to turn Jay Z’s more personal title into a biblical reference.  The song rarely lets up on its demoniac cadence so beware of damage to your speakers when you play this one on full blast. At times, the flow can become repetitive, but with Uzi’s bravado and classic high energy melodies it’s hard to keep the chorus from getting stuck in your head. My personal favorite party song off of this album is nothing new. “XO TOUR LIF3” has been around for awhile, but it has not ceased to captivate audiences. After spending 21 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 100 the single finally made its way onto an official project. Earlier this year, Lil Uzi Vert could have been called an underground artist with support from a large and loyal fanbase. When this track dropped, Uzi was catapulted on to mainstream airwaves and polarized the pop scene. With one of the most memorable choruses of the year, “XO TOUR LIF3” single-handedly pushed Lil Uzi to the edge of pop stardom.

 

While half of the project has an extremely upbeat tempo, it also has its dreamy sections. “Unfazed” progresses from a lethargic intro into savage instrumental. It features vocals from pop sensation The Weeknd. This track has a slower pace than the majority of the album, but its rhythm is still infectious. The Weeknd delivers a melodic hook, followed by a haunting verse, over a ceaseless bassline. Both Uzi and The Weeknd come across as artists that refuse to lose traction in this slippery industry. On  “Pretty Mami” Lil Uzi shows off his vocal range.  

It is hard to classify Uzi’s music as traditional hip-hop, and this song is no exception. He spends very little time in any rap flows, and instead harmonizes at the top of his lungs. It is possible that Uzi’s time on tour has encouraged him to get out of his comfort zone and make music that can move a live crowd. The end of the song is muffled and muted, but the self proclaimed rockstar can still be heard peaking on the microphone just before the bass plays him out.

Uzi’s loyal fanbase is responsible for his monumental success, and he makes sure to address them personally on this album. “The Way Life Goes” samples an instrumental from a 2015 track by Oh Wonder titled “Landslide.” The indie pop song offers reassurance to those struggling with failure. The lyric that appears most in the song is “I’ll be there for you”, but Uzi chooses instead to focus on the intro which states “I know it hurts sometimes, but you’ll get over it”. Uzi rarely talks to himself on his tracks, so one can safely assume that he is offering his audience some words of encouragement for times when Luv Is Rage™. Another song that gives advice to Uzi’s day ones is “How To Talk”. This track is a declaration that even with all the new money and power, Uzi is still approachable. As long as you speak to him nicely, it seems like he is willing to hold a conversation. After making millions off of a mixtape, he has not forgotten who he is and still sees himself as a human being. He slides in a quote from his peer A$AP Rocky regarding a successful mentality and the scarcity of true friends.  “Real ones can’t die, only multiply.”

As a whole, Luv is Rage 2 is a more than adequate sequel to the original project. It displays the evolution of a young artist that has struggled to reach the pinnacle of his career. Zane Lowe recently called Lil Uzi the king of kids. Depending how you perceive the word “kids”, this statement has valid arguments on both sides. I think he has a grip on multiple genres that appeal to youth culture, but his audience can hardly be called kids. While children may enjoy his music, older teens and early 20 ragers that find Lil Uzi Vert appealing are the staples of his listeners. With that being said, Uzi is still in his youth himself and has mounds of potential. Now having only two official studio albums, it will be exciting to watch as Lil Uzi either ascends to the top of the music genre or plateaus like so many other youth sensations.

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