Review Summary: Ooh sing it, he ain't got no money, yo
Philadelphia-based rapper Lil Uzi Vert goes up against the world on his third mixtape, which was released in 2016 after his initial rise to stardom following the success of Luv is Rage
. After establishing his niche of emo-tinged nerd-trap, Uzi decided on a theme based around the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
for his mixtape, as showcased by the cover art and occasional references in the lyrics. Unfortunately, I've never delved into Scott Pilgrim or seen the movie, so I can't elaborate any further on the parallels that Uzi draws between his music and the series. However, I can attest in my ignorance that Luv vs. the World
is a solid mixtape that does not require knowledge of its source of inspiration to be enjoyed.
Luv vs. the World
contains nine tracks, created with the help of a total of six different producers. Tracks with the same producer(s) are for the most part kept nearby one another as to make the mixtape flow as smoothly as possible. Each beat features a treble synth-line – with the accordion lick on Ps & Qs
being the most memorable – that drives the song, more so than the basslines. There's no use of extended fadeouts or silences at the end of tracks; each song leads right into the next, creating one continuous wall of sound from start to finish.
Uzi's vocal performances on these tracks are dynamic and energized, in ways that have not been evident in his more recent output. Uzi is not mumbling, he's rapping eloquently and confidently on all tracks, discussing things such as his pride in his money, his ability to acquire women at leisure, and the fact that he has captured a Mewtwo. He delivers his own hooks, all of which are catchy, memorable. The ad libs are funny and fun, as they always should be in trap music. Uzi was clearly feeling himself when he made these tracks, and his enjoyment is absolutely infectious to the listener.
I want to emphasize the consistency of Luv vs. the World
, because I can confidently say with subjective objectivity that every song is a banger. It's not common for rappers – especially famous ones – to exercise any sort of quality control on their mixtapes, but there's nothing I would consider skippable on this 33-minute album, which by the way strikes me as the perfect length for a tape of this genre. I have to say with some cynicism that Uzi hasn't done much to impress me after Luv vs. the World
, but whether you are a fan of his music or not, this is his one project that I feel should be given a fair chance by anyone who has any interest in this artist.