Lil Uzi is an artist who has broken trends and gone against the grain for his whole career to this point. Ever since he first emerged onto the Hip Hop scene in the mid-2010s, he has always been a trendsetter in rap music. He has never been afraid to push the boundaries of the genre and take risks that other artists have not been willing to take. He is one of the artists who brought the ‘Emo Trap’ scene to the peak of its popularity; he was one of the first rappers to incorporate Punk and Emo Rock into his Trap music, a trend that has become very prevalent in the genre. He has never stuck with one sound for long, though. He is constantly morphing and changing, and one never knows what they are going to get from him. A recent trend in his music(which started with his critically acclaimed 2020 album Eternal Atake ), are beats and instrumentals that are very synth-heavy and seem to be influenced by Industrial club music. It is as if he is trying to create a genre of Hip Hop meant for those underground warehouse clubs that seem so fun. As his instrumentals have gone in this direction, his vocals have followed suit. Over the last couple of years, all of his songs have had extremely high-key, vibrant, and energetic vocal performances that go with the energy of the instrumental well. His latest EP, RED & WHITE, is supposed to be a precursor to his upcoming album THE PINK TAPE, which is supposedly coming out later this year. Like some of his other EPs, this project feels like a collection of random tracks that didn’t make the new project. With that being said, here’s a list of my favorite songs from Lil Uzi Vert’s RED & WHITE EP. Please let me know what your favorite songs are from this project in the comments below, as well as how you feel about it as a whole.
‘Space Cadet’ is such an aptly named song. The instrumental has such a dark and otherworldly sound to it. The melody for this song is super heavy and almost industrial sounding. This melody is provided by intense synths and a variety of crazy vocal effects. The background vocals give the song that extra weird layer that makes the instrumental so interesting and cool. Lil Uzi Vert’s flow is so off-kilter on this track and it goes with the instrumental well. I like how the higher pitch he raps with contrasts the heaviness of the melody and beat. ‘Space Cadet’ is a high-energy banger that makes me want to party through an apocalypse when I hear it.
‘I Know’ is a song that stands out among Uzi’s on this mixtape, as it is the most unlike the others. It is also the one that seems the least like a Lil Uzi song in general. Whereas all of the other songs have tendencies that make me think of some of his other music, this one feels more like a modern Atlanta Southern R&B Trap song. The instrumental makes me think of artists like Gunna, Lil Keed, and Lil Baby; it has a sweet melodic instrumental that is so smooth and easy-going; it makes me want to go on a long drive and smoke one with some homies. Lil Uzi Vert’s delivery on this song is somewhat similar to those aforementioned artists as well. His flow and vocal style fits over this instrumental super well because it matches the style of flow that is typical for this kind of song. With that being said, Uzi’s performance on this song is great for what it is, and the instrumental does what it is supposed to do as well. On ‘I Know,’ Lil Uzi Vert proves he can go the mainstream Trap direction as do it as well as anyone.
‘Flex Up’ has a way calmer and brighter instrumental than the song preceding it on this list. This song is produced by Maaly Raw, who has produced a lot of Uzi’s most iconic songs in the past(like ‘Money Longer, ‘Of Course We Ghetto Flowers,’ and ‘Do What I Want’). This instrumental is so fun and vibrant and colorful; it immediately puts me in a good mood when I hear it. The melody sounds like it is being made by a xylophone, giving it a lullaby-esque sound. This sound gives the song a nostalgic quality. Lil Uzi’s rapping on this song is understated and low-key, which goes with the brightness of the melody well. The song is so sweet and smooth because of the way the vocals and instrumental mesh with each other. Uzi’s sing-songy flow works so well on this song as well. ‘Flex Up’ is short and sweet and it shows off that softer low-energy side of Uzi we don’t see too often.
HITTIN MY SHOULDER
‘Hittin My Shoulder’ is a song that makes me think of some of Lil Uzi Vert’s biggest hits. It has qualities that are reminiscent of songs like ‘Money Longer,’ ‘XO Tour Lif3,’ and ‘The Way It Goes.’ Similar to the first song on the list, it has a very melancholy and dark sounding instrumental. The melody is very intricate, driven by blaring synths, and the beat is hard-hitting. My favorite thing about this song is the speed and energy that Lil Uzi Vert raps with. His flow and style of rapping on this track is perfect with this instrumental, as he makes the tough beat sound even tougher. ‘Hittin My Shoulder’ is a great track for those Lil Uzi Vert fans who miss the way he used to rap when he first became popular.
Uzi goes with a lighter and brighter sound again on the song ‘For Fun.’ This is another track that has elements which remind me of some of Lil Uzi Vert’s older work. Early in his career, he made some music that had fun, video game qualities to their sound(such as ‘Do What I Want’ and ‘Sauce It Up). This track has the kind of sound that puts me in a good mood when I hear it because it’s just so sweet and pleasurable. Uzi goes with fluctuating vocals and a lot of energy with his delivery on this song which sound nice with this instrumental. Even his flow on this song reminds me of some of his older work. If you’re a fan of Uzi’s lighter songs from his past, ‘For Fun’ is a song for you.