Lil Uzi Vert – Free Uzi
Released: 28 March 2019
As of late, Uzi has been battling a label dispute with DJ Drama & Don Cannon’s Generation Now imprint, which drove him into retirement.
But recently, news broke that Lil Uzi Vert became an affiliate of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint. The details of the affiliation are still murky, but today, Uzi officially released his first song in months as a TIDAL exclusive – TIDAL, of course, being Jay-Z’s streaming service.
Free Uzi is a freestyle over G-Herbo’s drill classic “Gangway“. Uncharacteristically, Uzi is spitting bar-after–bar in rapid succession, with no hooks. Free Uzi is quite the departure from what we’re used to hearing from Uzi sonically such as on Luv is Rage 2, but lyrically he stays within his guard, dropping familiar bars about money, sex, and Rolex watches.
There’s a bit of lyrical wit on Free Uzi, my favorite bar is a sinister Black Panther/Kaepernick reference where Uzi spits:
“She was suckin my dick right on her knees/
Her momma bust in, she said ‘Girl what is happening’/
Girl you know your Dad a Panther/
She said, ‘Momma I’m just doing the Kaepernick/”
Uzi also touches on his business dealings including taxes and lost money:
“Had to get my business together/
I had 3 million in taxes/
I got it all off on this level/
They said it’s 3 million that’s missing/
I ain’t say nothing, I stayed leveled/
After mentioning his business losses, Uzi seems to go into overdrive for the remainder of the song. Everything after the 1:30 mark is absolutely flames in comparison to pre-1:30; Uzi’s flow picks up and his cadence hits at pinpoint precision.
★★★1/2: Pretty good, nothing special, but not bad by any means.
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.