‘X0 Tour Life’ rapper Lil Uzi Vert is one of the more prevalent rappers in contemporary hip-hop. Although his music has never been of the highest quality, the artist (real name Symere Woods) is undeniably charismatic and has always been slightly endearing. The ‘Fustal Shuffle’ act first exploded onto the mainstream after he appeared on the XXL cover in 2016 as part of that year’s ‘Freshman Class.’
The Philadelphia emcee has always been creative and experimental in his approach to music. However, since his 2016 mixtape Lil Uzi Vert vs the World, fans have had to wait extreme lengths of time between projects. What Woods has delivered musically has been continuously underwhelming and extremely low-quality since his breakout, and Uzi’s followers are beginning to wonder whether or not he is the artist he once was.
In bygone eras, artists must release projects regularly to maintain relevancy. However, Uzi has remained at the forefront of hip-hop and, through the use of social media, has managed to keep his followers engaged between projects. However, when his fans rush to hear his material, such as his second studio album, Eternal Atake, many find themselves listening to a series of muddy, poorly mixed versions of tracks he has already made.
Recently Lil Uzi spoke with DJ Akademiks during a studio session about how he makes music, the state of hip-hop and his latest release, The Pink Tape. More specifically, he addressed the critics who highlighted a steep decline in his brand’s excitement and quality.
Speaking with Uzi, Akademiks presented the emcee with the question that arises the most for him, stating, “When people tell me to talk about you, the conversation is not ‘Is Uzi whatever’; it’s a very select conversation. ‘[They Ask] is Uzi still him?! The most influential n*gga in the culture, the most talented n*gga dropping songs?!'”
After hearing Akademiks explain that people are questioning whether he’s an influential artist of quality, Woods asserted, “That’s why! It’s not even about the music being 100% good, I’m trying! I’m still tryin’! I’ve never stopped tryin’ even when I’m not doing sh*t I’m trying sh*t behind the scenes! Until it sounds good enough for me to present it to y’all! I’m trying, and I’ve been trying the whole time, I’ve never not been trying!”
The artist expressed his position on trying new things and presenting them to his fans to gauge what’s working and what’s not. The admission he made to releasing material even if it’s not 100% finished had many annoyed, including Joe Budden, who addressed it on his podcast. Bluntly stating his opinion on Uzi’s “trying” notion, Budden declared “That’s a crock of sh*t. That goes out the window once you sell it to me. It’s not your trying anymore this is the product your selling!”
He continued, “If the plumber come over to fix some sh*t and wanna try out a new method, you shoulda done that sh*t before you got here. Once you’re here to do the service, fix the sh*t. Don’t experiment on my dime. Once you sell it that’s what you’re standing in.”