Lil Uzi Vert tries best, fails with ‘LUV Is Rage, Vol. 2’

Rating: 2/5 stars 

In the rapidly changing landscape that is the rap world today, one of the more interesting figures to rise to fame has been Lil Uzi Vert.

Just over five feet tall, with neon colored dreads and bursting with energy, he has been described as being part of the “post-internet” wave of rappers. Much like a lot of big names right now such as XXXTentacion, Ugly God, and Lil Yachty.

Uzi catapulted himself onto the scene with the help of popular social media platforms like SoundCloud and Twitter. Uzi, whose real name is Symere Woods, gained a respectable amount of recognition after releasing his debut single “Money Longer,” a bright, playful club banger in which the 24-year-old drones on about how much his life has changed since he became famous.

It is a theme that Uzi continues to press on in later tracks, and one that permeates through his new project, “Luv Is Rage Vol 2,” the follow-up to the massive hit “Luv Is Rage” released back in 2015. “Two” opens up the album with an ambitious, spacious opening full of reverb and adlibs.

It quickly devolves into an uninspired trap beat that sounds like it was loaded off of GarageBand, as Uzi repeats himself over and over again. “I ain’t gonna lie – I got money, I got power,” he yells, hoping that the hook is catchy enough to make the instrumental sound better, but both end up falling flat.

Almost every track after follows suit, with grating, repetitive lyrics and stale instrumentals that rarely fit with one another. “444+222” comes right out of the gate with one of the most annoying hooks so far this year, as Uzi breathlessly repeats “breathe in, breathe in” like he just finished running up a flight of stairs.

The only thing keeping the song driving forward is the booming bass, but even that begins to wear the listener out. Many of the songs on “Luv Is Rage 2” are focused on Uzi’s ex-girlfriend Brittany Byrd.

He laments about how the drugs that he takes are only to fill the emptiness that was left by her. “Feelings Mutual” takes the listener down a dark, depressing path, as the North Philly rapper displays that he has some level of versatility, conveying different emotions and showing that he is not just a one-trick pony.

Although the production suffers from the same problems as other tracks, the lyrics are at least easy to get invested into. There are a few bright spots on the album. “XO TOUR Llif3” is a solid, certified hit.

It has an earworm melody that sticks in the listener’s head whether they want it to or not. TM88 produced the beat, ending the album on a strong note with the most complete song on the whole tracklist (for what that is worth.)

“For Real” is a lot of fun, with video game inspired sound effects that keep it lighthearted, and “Neon Guts” is catchy mainly because almost everything Pharrell is featured on is gold.

To sum it up, “Luv Is Rage 2” might be a good album to put on in the background of a party after everyone has already had a few drinks, but never something someone could sit down and listen to unless there is money lying around for a bottle of Tylenol.

Photo: Robert Henry via Wikimedia