Lil Uzi Vert is a self-proclaimed “rockstar”, and his cult fanbase has only grown since he first emerged in 2016. As part of XXL’s 2016 freshman class alongside Lil Yachty, Kodak Black, 21 Savage, and Denzel Curry, the artist (real name Symere Woods) instantly became an icon and is still relevant today.
Woods has a very unique style both sonically and aesthetically. He has openly admitted he looked up to Marilyn Manson as a kid and loved Southern rap. However, in an interview on The Fat Joe Show on Instagram Live, the ‘Futsal Shuffle’ musician revealed more of his musical influences.
Speaking with Fat Joe (real name Jose Cartagena), Woods unveiled, “The first rapper that I ever learned lyric for lyric was Mike Jones. That’s the first rapper I learned everything lyric for lyric, and I wanted to be like him.”
He continued, “I had a Boost Mobile, and my mom would give me $15, and I’d get phone cards and shit, and I would spend all my money calling Mike Jones’ number ’cause I wanted to talk to him…I remember the number by heart. To this day: 281-330-8004…I felt that star power from him. He had that star power.”
After Mike Jones, Uzi then began to sing Lil Wayne’s praises and admitted that when he was in high school, girls said he looked like the New Orleans rapper, stating, “When I was younger girls would say I looked like Lil Wayne, so I would run with that. And I would wear fedoras, and I would wear the tight Polo tees with the skinnies, and wear the Vans and shit!”
Woods even went as far as to buy a fake ring, disclosing, “I ordered a fake piercing off Amazon, and it was a magnet, and I had it right here [below his lip on the right side], and I would wear it every day like I was Lil Wayne.”
However, there was one emcee that Uzi considered a “Mythical creature.” That lyricist was Young Thug. Explaining why, Woods divulged, “I used to listen to I Came From Nothing, I Came From Nothing 2. Just all that shit. And I used to watch on YouTube when Young Thug used to perform at the little skating rink shits…The reason that he was such an influence to me [was] because he was almost like a mythical creature back then…I actually knew before the public. Not even from the public.”
The Luv Is Rage creator opened up about how he listened to Young Thug before he was a big name and knew about his music when he was still performing at local clubs in Atlanta and insisted he was one of the only people in Philadelphia who knew of Young Thug before he signed with a major label. You can watch Fat Joe and Woods speak below.