From the underground world of North Philly, artist Lil Uzi Vert (Symere Woods) made his first mainstream debut early 2015 with the song “Carnage,” featuring A$AP Ferg and Rich the Kid. The song became extremely popular with over 8 million plays on soundcloud at the peak of the summer, elevating Lil Uzi in the world of rap. As his fan base grew so did the demand for his music. In winter of 2015 Lil Uzi released his first solo project “Luv is Rage.”
The anticipated solo project included 16 tracks in length with guest appearances from artists Young Thug and Wiz Khalifa, featuring production from TM88, Sony Digital, Wheezy (Lil Wayne), and FKI. “Luv is Rage” met everyone’s expectations.
New coming rappers in this industry compete with seasoned artists and many get overlooked or lack the support to further their careers. 40 oz., a note-worthy blogger/socialite in the Hollywood rap world, endorsed Lil Uzi from the start of his career. The respect and reputation of 40 oz. gave Lil Uzi the opportunity to gain a mass number of fans and the support from other artist. Besides the endorsement, Lil Uzi Vert had the raw talent to become a success.
As a new artist, he needed to drop a project that would prove he wasn’t just a one hit wonder. The debut EP had sound components of the early 90’s hip hop era, jazz, and modern day trap music. Not only were the songs presented on the debut extended play good, but the project contained 16 tracks, twice as many songs as the traditional 5-8 for an artist debut, which impressed his supporters and built his core fan base.
Lil Uzi displayed versatility in his artistry and it worked to his benefit, pleasing both his original core fans, and gaining the interest and respect of a new fan base, artist in the industry, and record labels. Although with potential contracts on the horizon and endorsements from fellow artist, Lil Uzi has remained independent, and yet has still managed to be seen.
“Luv is Rage” is not just your typical rap EP. The instrumentals on this project create a very distinct and unique sound, not to mention the eloquent sampling incorporated in this project. Songs like “Wit My Crew” can attest to that. “Wit My Crew” sampled a clip from the 1970’s film Dolomite, incorporated sounds of drums, piano, guitar, and is the most downloaded song from “Luv is Rage” on Spinrilla.
Unlike most of today’s underground rap stars, Lil Uzi Vert showed that he can make more than just a catchy tune. His lyricism created content in his songs that represented not just the aspects of trapping or bling, but love, friendship, and support. In one of his earlier tracks, “Pressure”, he speaks on the topic of Freddie Gray.
“If they get you they kill you so we gon’ do the same
But they won’t get life in prison, only leave without pay they control population, population away
2-2-3 bullet pistol, obligation okay
Rest in peace Freddie Gray”
Lil Uzi conveyed the injustice and shooting of unarmed black male youth in America, expressing the violence that prevailed from the shooting and the injustice that the consequences of the officers are less severe. He also mentions that while these officers receive no jail time and were under paid leave, the population of his people continues to decline. In doing this Lil Uzi gained more respect by breaking the stereotypical views of raps songs, as he does not only talk about drugs, money, and sex.
Although he has just begun to make a name for himself Lil Uzi is off to a great start. Even if this isn’t your preferred genre or what you may typically listen to, it’s worth a listen.
To listen to some of his music, you can go Uzi’s Soundcloud here.