According to Spotify, Lil Uzi Vert was the artist I listened to the most during the year 2018. With that statement, you’d probably think that I heavily listen to rap/hip hop and honestly, that’s not true at all. I’ve listened to the popular things and I’ve always been a fan of the genre but I’ve also stayed comfortably in my pop punk lane. So being such a huge fan of Luv Is Rage 2 was quite a surprise to me; I remember how obsessed I was with “XO Tour Llif3” but I never expected to genuinely like a rap album this much (I even bought it on vinyl so I can listen to it through my record player). But once I heard someone describe Lil Uzi as “emo rap” and it all made sense. The things I liked about this record were the same things that I liked about pop punk: honestly expressing your emotions and pain. Most modern hip hop and rap artists boast about their money and cars while rarely discussing how they actually feel past that. And that’s not to say that Lil Uzi never raps about his money or fame; he definitely does. But with Luv Is Rage 2 especially, I can sense a feeling of transparency between Uzi the musical artist and Uzi the normal person behind the stage name. This project comes off as very authentic in every way from the lyrics to the beats to the features. Lil Uzi is clearly just doing his own thing on this project and with it he together bunch of really good songs; and now I just want to highlight a few of the really great ones.
Pharrell Williams, known as one of the best song writers and producers out there, could not have done a better job on this one. The way he and Lil Uzi trade verses flows so smoothly without a single awkward moment to derail their flow. Even the lyrics, in which they discuss their successes and impact, never becomes arrogant or irritating. Quite the contrary is true, where this song is more relaxing and inspirational than aggressive with false narratives.
It’s not common for any musical artist to discuss their relationships with their parents very much and when they do, it’s normally a line or two. But with “Dark Queen”, Lil Uzi takes an entire song to highlight the important relationship he has with his mother and how she’s been there for him since day one. No matter the amount of fame or money, nothing will change their bond. And if you’ve had even a decent relationship with one of your parents, the line “Lose my momma, that’s a problem you can’t solve” will bring out emotions you’ve probably forgotten about.
The Way Life Goes
Who would have known that indie pop and rap would mesh so well together? Nobody, because normally it shouldn’t even be a thought. But sampling Oh Wonder’s “Landslide” really brought this song to life in a way that nothing else could have. Until someone brought it to my attention, I didn’t even recognize that the Oh Wonder portion of the song was a sample. The production is perfect where the “Landslide” fits in like a puzzle with Uzi’s beat and tone, helping to channel the overall message of the tune that life goes on despite all the things you go through.