Best New Track
Lil Uzi Vert
If you haven’t typed and deleted a strongly worded Instagram comment directed at Generation Now label heads DJ Drama and Don Cannon, are you really a Lil Uzi Vert fan? The last year has been a stressful time in Lil Uzi fandom, almost two years since his 2017 album Luv Is Rage 2—a generation ago in internet time. His follow-up, Eternal Atake, has yet to see the light of day and all fingers point toward issues with Generation Now and Instagram posts from Uzi hinting at a possible new alliance with Roc Nation. But, honestly, really, who cares? We just want music from our favorite pint-sized, eye-rolling, Philly Woah-dancing king. And thankfully Uzi returns by taking us back to the early days of drill on “Free Uzi” by hopping on DJ L’s G Herbo “Gangway” beat.
Spitting on drill production is a rebirth for Uzi. The woozy melodies of his early career could be attributed to Chief Keef and Uzi rapping over fast-paced drums can be traced back to the influence G Herbo and Lil Bibby’s iconic “Kill Shit” had on Uzi’s younger self. The DJ L production on “Free Uzi” sounds a lot like 2012, yet it’s not dated. Uzi wears his influences on his sleeve, but still layers the song with his own stylistic touch, like pitched-up delivery that sounds like a slow descent into madness—a choice popularized by Uzi, , and Unotheactivist. And though the song’s production is from Chicago and the video looks like New York, his bars still drip with a distinct Philly confidence and passion, the kind that allows him to get away with bars like: “I still watch Big Bang Theory, that’s the nerd in me.” It’s a song that doesn’t disappoint and for fans, is a sigh of relief: Lil Uzi Vert is finally free.