Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Awake
Lil Uzi Vert
The amount of time between Uzi's last record (Luv is Rage 2) and this new record Eternal Awake was just too long. Trap, Soundcloud Rap, whatever label you'd like to slap on top of the sound that has completely taken over pop was at a time the playground of a select few. Lil Uzi Vert was one of the first rappers to find the perfect balance between singing and rapping while blending his voice into the evolving sound. He was one of the biggest stars of the genre, but then for three years there was barely a trickle of music coming from the Philadelphia rapper. It became almost a joke about when or if Uzi would ever release anything new. Eternal Awake has been the name of the project for some time and while it does push some trap beats into a more... galactic vibe, it really does little to differentiate from what Uzi has done before. If this album comes out a year or even two years ago we would likely have a total classic. It's different enough from the shit The Migos and other trap starts have been doing, yet still set in the same universe. Lil Uzi Vert for his credit doesn't want to be just another rapper, nor beholden to anything anyone demands of him. He treats this as his art, not just another cash grab and you have to respect that. Songs like "Homecoming" bang super hard but also further the space travel narrative that vaguely permeates this album.
Uzi does have a style that really sets himself apart. The way He is able to bounce his voice all over really intricate beats is always impressive. Over the past year whenever I hear a trap beat I start to turn in on myself, but when Uzi does it... it just seems to freaking work. At 18 tracks it's a big album but it really flies by. There are fun surprises and a bit of self deprecation that Uzi does better than almost anyone else in hip hop. Because He doesn't seem to take himself so fucking serious as most rappers do it allows him more artistic freedom. He doesn't have to flex or invent a criminal past in his songs to make them work. Syd brings a welcome ease to her feature on "Urgency" somewhat pulling the reins back on Uzi and letting him slip into a more relaxed position. Eternal Awake is a good album, it's just come out at the wrong time. We needed this two years ago and it would have solidified Lil Uzi Vet's place in pop history. I fear this may be too late.
8.3 out of 10