Lyrics? What are those? To Lil Uzi Vert lyrics are nothing more than a means to an end. Following a public label dispute, many thought this album would never see the light of day. Alas, it lands when we need distractions the most. An album such as Eternal Atake requires realistic expectations, however. The hype for this project was realer than real. To expect this album to defy its lofty expectations and champion Uzi as king of trap is simply a mistake. Lil Uzi Vert is an improvisational artist. According to him, planning things in advance is “what old people do.” Freestyle artists like Jay-Z and Lil Wayne made iconic careers out of fancy wordplay without the use of a pen. Conversely, Uzi disregards the need for coherent and sensible lyricism. He instead ops to repeat certain phrases to death and limit his subject matter to mere braggadocio.
Yet I cannot help but to vibe with some of his music. Lil Uzi is not an album artist. He has no desire to string together thoughtful concepts or lyrical ideas for a greater cause. On Eternal Atake he attempts to salvage these mismatched tracks with some intergalactic interludes. During this so-called narrative, Uzi stumbles upon a smoking space ship and decides to investigate. The ship comes to life and proceeds to abduct and bind him. And that’s about it. Not only are these interludes poorly acted (no one said Uzi was DiCaprio but they’re not convincing in the slightest), but any and all tension resolves itself in an instant. Story is tension. Uzi clearly has no idea how narratives function. Nevertheless, this weak storyline still manages to strengthen the album’s cohesion. It’s not impressive per se, but it works, which is essentially Uzi’s artistry in a nutshell.
Some of my favorites from Eternal Atake include: “Baby Pluto,” “Prices,” “Bust Me,” and “You Better Move.” While many of these tracks fail to exhibit proper structure and lyricism, they succeed in delivering catchy flex bars. That’s all there is here, y’all. I rock with Uzi. Truly, I do. However the more I listen to his albums, the more their flaws reveal. This does not keep me from bumping the records and supporting him. At the end of the day, though, he does an excellent job staying on brand and giving his fans what they want. . . For the most part. Since this album’s release, Baby Pluto dropped a deluxe version, which is 14 unreleased songs re-branded as LUV vs. the World 2. Despite Eternal Atake’s weak vocal mixing and flat drum kicks, Uzi’s vibrant personality carries this record far enough to stay afloat.
If only he gave a damn, this album had the potential to make serious waves. Yet his deluxe version has already garnered more interest from fans. And the album has only been out for a week. Again, label disputes doomed this record from the start. This is a disappointment nonetheless. But for fans who love flex rap, this album entertains. At this point, Eternal Atake is Lil Uzi Vert’s best studio album. Clearly he tried his best to create something that actually sounded like an album, in spite of its shaky execution. Unfortunately, though, Uzi’s best attempt is still a half-assed one. Going forward, I hope Uzi commits himself more to his craft to generate at least a hit song or two. Without those, Eternal Atake falls short of advancing Uzi’s career. It’s good for now, but soon his celebrity will outweigh his art, a dangerous scale to tip.
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