Lil Uzi Vert – Luv is Rage 2
Released: 25 August 2017
I’ve only been into Uzi’s music for about a year now. With that being said, Luv is Rage 2 appears to be the “break up” album out of Uzi’s “Luv” based discography. If Luv is Rage 1 was the “falling in Love” album, and Perfect Luv and Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World were the “in love” albums, then Luv is Rage 2 is the love breakup fallout album, with Uzi’s love interest “Brittany” being at the center.
First half of the album, no features
Luv is Rage 2 opens with “Two®“, a traditional Uzi style, melody based serenade-rap over a violin/accordion type sample, reminiscent of “P’s & Q’s” off of Uzi’s 2016 Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World project. Uzi displays a variety of flows under his familiar high pitch delivery. On the next track, “444+222” Uzi immediately bursts into a low-pitched, high cadence delivery, I’m not sure I like how this song transitions from the more floaty and steady intro “Two®” vibes. It’s a clash of two different energies. Regardless, both are strong tracks.
“I LOVE how “Sauce it Up” feels coming after “444+222”.
I LOVE how “Sauce it Up” feels coming after “444+222”. Part of what makes Uzi so appealing is how comfortable he sounds over his beats. “Sauce it Up” is a perfect example of this. The beat bangs with sharp synths and chimes beating over the bass and Uzi encapsulates the beat with his voice alone. His delivery is so intent-ful and poignant that when you couple it with a great beat and a hype flow it takes over the track with first presence, then melody.
One of my favorite moments on the album is “Neon Guts ft Pharrell”, I played this back about 5 times when I first heard the album – couldn’t even finish the album because I got stuck on this track! Lil Uzi Vert completely washes Migos-flow Pharrell – Uzi just sounds so much more natural and confident over this beat. This goes back to the point I made earlier about Uzi’s delivery.
“Uzi washes Pharrell on “Neon Guts“”
Over time, I think Hip-Hop will grow to appreciate the track #4-#7 stretch from “Feelings Mutual” to “Neon Guts“. To many, this song sequence might sound like darts at a smash hit. But what it really is, is Uzi just exercising. Lyrically, the songs aren’t particularly standouts, but as the album ages, the culture will grow to appreciate how Uzi carried nearly half of his debut album solo, no features. It’s really quite the accomplishment. I’ve had conversations on this site before about how impressive and important it is for a rapper to be able to carry an entire album by him/herself with no features. Uzi does this for nearly the entire first half of his 16-track debut album, before washing Hip-Hop legend Pharrell on “Neon Guts“. Moments like this are what separate Uzi from his peers like Lil Yachty and Playboi Carti, and I hope Uzi recognizes this too.
I’m not a fan of track 9, “Early 20 Rager”, sounds like something that should’ve been left on a mixtape, and track 10 “UnFazed ft The Weeknd” sounds better coming off of “Neon Guts” than “Early 20 Rager”.
Does any song match up to “XO Tour Llif3”?
One of the legitimate critiques I’ve seen of Luv is Rage 2 is that no song matches up to “XO TOUR LIF3”. I think this is a fair critique. XO Tour Life is the most perfect representation of this album. It’s essentially a break-up song on Uzi’s infamous breakup album, the hook goes:
“I dont really care if you cry/
On the real you should’ve never lied/
Should’ve saw the way she looked me in my eyes/
She said baby I am not afraid to die/
Push me to the edge, all my friends are dead…/”
To me, this is Uzi describing himself breaking up with his GF, her threatening to harm herself if he does, and Uzi basically saying that he doesn’t care, “all my friends are dead” anyway..
However, there are a couple moments on this album where Uzi delivers similar quality comparable to “XO Tour Life”: “Neon Guts”, “Sauce It Up”, “Dark Queen” for example, and tracks like “X”, “444+222”, “Malfunction” “and “For Real”, while not as structurally sound as “XO Tour Life”, are good reminders to Uzi loyalists of what Uzi does best.
Luv is Rage 2 is a win for Uzi. He takes all of his best qualities and zeros in for a solid 16 track album with 0 rap features other than Pharrell. As a debut album, he accomplishes the tough task of satisfying core fans while being accessible enough for the mainstream. Hip-Hop circles were questioning if Uzi could separate himself from his underachieving “mumble rap” peers with this album. Luv Is Rage 2 successfully solidifies Lil Uzi Vert as a capable rapper and songwriter. Can he stay focused and continue to innovate? Find out next time on LIL UZI VERT VS THE WORLD!
BEST SONGS: “XO TOUR LIFE”, “DARK QUEEN”, “NEON GUTS FT PHARRELL”, “SAUCE IT UP”
EXPLANATION: UZI STAYS COMPLETELY IN POCKET, INCORPORATING NEW STYLES AND KEEPING FAMILIAR PRODUCERS LIKE DON CANNON AND METRO BOOMIN, WHILE STILL KEEPING HIS ROOTS IN TACT WITH BEATS FROM MAALY RAW AND IKE. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE DEBUT ALBUMS THAT LOYALIST, DAY 1 TYPE FANS WILL DEVELOP A CULT LIKE FOLLOWING AROUND.
SONGS LIKE “DARK QUEEN” SHOW THAT UZI HAS PROGRESSED AS A SONGWRITER. UZI DELIVERED A QUALITY 16 TRACK ALBUM WITH 1 RAP FEATURE; DID WHAT YOU’D WANT AND MORE FROM A DEBUT ALBUM.
P.S. Does “Feelings Mutual” use the same sample as “P’s & Q’s”?