Recently, Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert released his sequel to his critically acclaimed 2015 mixtape, LUV is Rage. The mixtape combined auto-tune with various rock elements and brought the common rockstar mentality of the young rapper to light. Uzi has teased the sequel, LUV is Rage 2, since May, when he dropped his 3x platinum single, XO Tour Lif3.
LUV is Rage 2 starts with an intro premiering the voice of Uzi’s ex-girlfriend, Brittany. Brittany was also featured on the intro on the song 7AM, track No. 4 on the first LUV is Rage. The intro was a surprise, being that the couple had been rumored to have split since late February this year.
In LUV is Rage 2, it’s clear that Uzi has incorporated more production value into the project. Producers Maaly Raw and Don Cannon, common collaborators with Uzi, take up most of the production credits for the album. The regular brass 808s and fast tempo instrumentals have been traded in for quality, album-like production, something to be expected since this is a debut album.
As far as features go, there’s only one worth noting, Pharrell Williams on the song “Neon Guts.” Starting off with his signature 4-count, Pharrell and Uzi sing about money, cars and feeling elated. On the hook, Williams and Uzi sing, “so high like Elon Musk, so high stars eat our dust/and I got a colorful aura, like I got neon guts.” The song is a perfectly crafted collaboration that has plenty of value in radio, and listeners should expect a music video to be released soon.
Uzi does exactly what he is expected to do on this album- incorporate rock/metal melodies and synths, sometimes subtle and other times deep lyrics, and diverse flows and vocal inflections. Altogether, the entire album separates itself from hip-hop and makes its own lane into a new era of musicians bridging the gap between genres.
Uzi’s aura is revolutionizing modern hip-hop culture. He once said in an interview that he was heavily influenced by heavy metal growing up, primarily Marilyn Manson. From stage-diving into large audiences to singing about prior relationships, it’s clear Uzi has rekindled the distant relationship between 2000s hardcore rock and modern hip-hop.
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