Lil Uzi’s sudden ascension into a possible bona fide rap star is really not that surprising. His last two projects showed an affinity for quotable lyrics and catchy hooks, all the while presenting an effortless charisma – arguably what has always made a hit in music. The Perfect Luv Tape
, Lil Uzi’s third project in under a year, continues that same consistency. Dubbed an important voice in the widening generation gap within hip-hop, Lil Uzi is not the visionary his most ardent fans have claimed nor the lyrical monstrosity the “real rap” hit squad has tried to argue. Ignore the dichotomy of voices and find that Uzi’s music is actually ripe for enjoyment.
The Perfect Luv Tape
concludes an apparent trilogy loosely based on love, except it’s obvious Uzi has no immediate desire (or capability) to say anything poignant about his subject. It’s okay though. I doubt anyone who is listening to this tape actually cares what Lil Uzi is saying as long he’s halfway coherent. Because that is Lil Uzi’s whole schtick as a musician, his art is made for the in-the-moment processing. Sure, Lil Uzi may have a more bubbly, brightly colored trap sound but his interest in money and sex follows the same lineage of just about every other rapper who has ever existed. He really isn’t that experimental or different despite allegations of destroying hip-hop and the other narrative of guiding the genre into a new direction. Lil Uzi just happens to have more charm and rockstar swagger than anyone else aggregating hip-hop’s current trends into their music.
While this record does not offer anything new stylistically, it does have the eccentric trap vibe fans will appreciate. Hearing the youthful exuberance on “Of Course We Ghetto” and the hard-hitting “Money Mitch” is excitingly fun. At times its enough to get lost in Uzi’s syrupy and bouncing vocals (“Sideline Watching (Hold Up)”) while other songs like tape highlight “Seven Million” with Future are perfect for speaker slapping. Each song has their own idiosyncratic ability to somehow brighten the mood or make the listener look past repetitive lyrics. Even Lil Uzi’s generic nobody turned star narrative works as it encompasses the listener with just the right amount of voyeurism. The Perfect Luv
is carefully curated but lacks a clear break from formula to differentiate it from its predecessor Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World
. For now, Perfect Luv is wonderfully manufactured escapism.