Lil uzi vert

In his three-year hiatus since his last studio project, 2017s “Luv is Rage 2”, Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert has managed to hold the spotlight through a series of well received mixtapes, singles and teaser snippets. All has led up to his most recent album release “Eternal Atake.”

Originally set for a summer 2019 release and after seemingly endless rounds of delays, announcements, and leaks, “Eternal Atake” was finally released on March 6 of this year.

But despite the hype, Lil Uzi proves that he has hardly grown as an artist in the long run up to “Eternal Atake.”

While his SoundCloud rap contemporaries have been busy forging new ground with more melodic, emotionally engaging instrumentals and lyrics, Uzi remains firmly grounded in his signature frantic, cartoonish style.

Similar to much of his previous discography, “Eternal Atake” is flush with distorted trap beats, wavy synth landscapes and Uzi’s signature blend of choice cartoon homages.

Although Uzi does depart from this formula with the inclusion of short skits that vaguely allude to his alien origins and arrival on earth, these skits do little to tie the project together thematically and are ultimately unsatisfying.

Despite these skits, the track list does contain some of Uzi’s strongest singles so far. Buoyed by a raft of effective features from a swath of rap trendsetters such as 21 Savage, Young Thug and Gunna, Uzi brings the heat on “Eternal Atake.”

I enjoyed the skull crushing brutality of “Silly Watch” and the similarly hard-hitting “Strawberry Peels,” which incorporates features from Young Thug and Gunna. Also, the mellow, summer jam “Yesssirskii” which is carried by a phenomenal 21 Savage verse.

Many parts of this tracklist see Uzi’s own performance fall short to a far superior feature, which leaves most of his solo cuts on the album’s backend unremarkable.

Standard issue trap production is present throughout “Eternal Atake,” not stopping Uzi from seemingly repeating himself as he leads the audience through the lyrical world of fast cars, designer fashion and hazy clubs familiar to any current rap listener.

This is the crux of the problem with “Eternal Atakes,” that at this point without more musical experimentation and derivation from the SoundCloud rap conventions, Uzi is just producing more so-so party playlist filler.

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