When: Tue., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.
It happens every few years.
An album lands at the right moment to make a timeless mark on not only music, but culture at large. It happened in 2000 with Marilyn Manson’s Holy Wood. It happened in 2008 with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III. It’s happening again in 2017. This time, Lil Uzi Vert is the artist, and Luv Is Rage 2 [Generation Now/Atlantic Records] is the album. The anxiously awaited proper full-length debut from the multiplatinum-certified award-winning Philadelphia rapper, fashion icon, and 22nd century rockstar represents a conscious jump into new territory.
“I took this shit more seriously than anything in my whole life,” admits Uzi. “There’s a difference between mixtapes and albums. I’ve done mixtapes. I worked a ton on this though. I wasn’t fucking playing. I made it an album.”
He spent the last three years living up to his promise to be “a rockstar” in the realest sense of the word. 2015’s debut mixtape Luv Is Rage turned all eyes towards him. The 2016 follow-up Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World earned a nomination in the category of “Best Mixtape” at the BET Hip Hop Awards and an RIAA gold certification. A runaway success, the project yielded the double-platinum “Money Longer”, platinum “You Was Right”, and gold “Ps & Qs” as fan favorite The Perfect Luv Tape arrived hot on its heels. Between headlining the sold out “Parental Advisory” Tour, he scorched the stage with much talked-about performances at Coachella, Lollapalooza, and more.
Capping off a banner year, he emerged as the “Most Listened to Artist on Soundcloud in 2016” and paved the way for a flurry of acts to rise to prominence on the platform. Meanwhile, each and every trend-setting fashion choice that he made broke the internet with viral impact. 2017 saw him feature on Migos’ quadruple-platinum Billboard Hot 100 #1 “Bad and Boujee”—which won “Best Collaboration” at the BET Awards and received nominations for “Best Hip Hop Video” at the MTV VMAS as well as “Top Rap Song” and “Top Rap Collaboration” at the Billboard Music Awards. Moreover, he personally graced the cover of the “Sex Issue” of The Fader and garnered a nod for “Top New Artist” at the Billboard Music Awards.
In the meantime, he quietly laid the foundation for Luv Is Rage 2, unleashing his biggest solo hit to date the triple-platinum “XO TOUR Lif3.” The track peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and generated over 303 million Spotify streams and counting, placing him in the “Billions Club” on the platform as well in the Top 50 most-streamed worldwide artists monthly. As he tracked demos in marathon sessions at a Los Angeles studio, the inimitable intergalactic arena rap ballad “XO TOUR Lif3” ignited a creative turning point, blasting open the floodgates as the first single from Luv Is Rage 2.
“It’s weird,” he goes on. “I recorded it before I went on tour with The Weeknd and XO in Europe. Then, I released it on the road. That’s where the title came from. Everybody sings it every night now.”
Luv Is Rage 2 boasts a bevy of even bigger moments. A mosaic of lonely emo rock transmissions from outer space, lean-sprayed psychedelica, and tightly wound trap wordplay, Uzi evolves across the board, dominating soundscapes from longtime collaborators Don Cannon and Maaly Raw. “Wolf Moon” howls with hip-hop darkness, while “Sauce It Up” gets rowdy on a massive chant. “Plug For Real” stitches together grimy lyricism with widescreen vision, making for another blockbuster banger.
“The fucking reaction it gets is crazy,” he says of “For Real”. “It’s an exciting part of this, but all of the records give you a different feel and speak for themselves. It wasn’t just about creating another ‘XO TOUR Lif3’ or ‘Money Longer’…it was about making everything bigger—the lyrics, the melodies, the production, and the features.”
A sequel to his very first project, Luv Is Rage 2 realizes the promise of his talent on every level.
“Luv Is Rage is the initial project I went out with,” he goes on. “That’s the trilogy I wanted to continue. I felt like I was going back to the beginning. My first project had that title. I wanted to go back to that feeling people got to know me on. It’s my first album.”
In the end though, like everything Uzi has done up to this point, no one is prepared for Luv Is Rage 2.
“It’s going to be a surprise,” he leaves off. “For as much as you’ve heard, you don’t know what to expect. It’s just Luv Is Rage 2.”
It’s happening again…Be prepared.