Eternal Atake by Lil Uzi Vert Album
Review by Craig MacDonald a.k.a Debating Hip-Hop
The long-awaited Eternal Atake is finally here and Lil Uzi Vert did not disappoint. The Philly rapper released his first album since the critically acclaimed Luv Is Rage 2 in 2017. Throughout the time in between albums he has teased Eternal Atake for years, dropping singles and hinting at its release all the way back in 2018. But the delay of the album was out of Uzi’s control, he was dealing with label issues restricting him from releasing new music. During his whole career Uzi has been signed to the Atlantic offspring Generation Now ran by DJ Drama and Don Cannon. Uzi made it clear on social media about his distaste when he tweeted: “And if y’all do sign … sign 2 a major Dont sign 2 a rapper or a Dj ……..Its Just Easier When The Time Come For That Fake Shit”.
In the summer of 2018, Uzi posted the first album cover of Eternal Atake revealing the title and concept of the album. The cover was heavily inspired by the Heavens Gate religious group who was mainly based around UFOs, the main theme of Eternal Atake. In 1997, the group participated in a mass suicide ritual which they believed would help them reach a spacecraft. But there are two living former members of the group, and they threaten to take legal action on Uzi’s cover because it was obviously Copywrite infringement.
On Sept. 18th, 2018 Lil Uzi Vert released his first song since his last album “New Patek” peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is now certified platinum. Towards the end of 2018 Uzi claimed the album was done but on Jan. 11th, he took to Instagram and posted a story announcing his retirement from music saying “I wanna take the time out to say I thank each and every one of my supporters but I’m done with Music,” he wrote on Instagram Stories. “I deleted everything. I wanna be normal … I wanna wake up in 2013. You are free.” On Mar. 27th, Uzi signed a management deal with Jay-Z at Roc Nation attempting to get help with his situation. The very next day he released a song titled “Free Uzi” expressing his situation and anger towards his label which was taken down after 24 hours.
On April 9th, 2019 Uzi drops two new singles titled “Sanguine Paradise” and “That’s A Rack” under Generation Now, as it seems like they sorted things out. Uzi continues to tease Eternal Atake during the summer of 2019, announcing that it was going to drop, but it never did. After a period of silence, Uzi dropped “Futsal Shuffle 2020” on Dec. 13th, 2019 what would be the lead single, a fun song that came with a dance and a sign that new music was coming. On Mar. 1st Uzi dropped “The Way” sampling The Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” along with announcing that Eternal Atake was dropping in 2 weeks. On Mar. 3rd, Uzi took to Twitter where he posted three album covers and let his fans vote for which one they wanted. Later that same day, Uzi posts a short film promoting Eternal Atake, giving fans the hope they needed for so long. Little did we know Uzi would surprise drop the album on the morning of Mar. 6th causing complete panic in the Hip-Hop community.
Now about the album. Before we begin, Uzi has introduced us to two different alter ego’s named Baby Pluto and Renji prior to the release of Eternal Atake. Uzi has confirmed on Twitter that the album is made in three different sections by each one of his alter egos. Songs 1-6 were made by Baby Pluto, songs 7-12 were made by Renji and songs 13- 18 were made by Uzi. Baby Pluto seems to be more serious and to the point, Renji is softer and more playful and Lil Uzi Vert is a mixture of both.
Eternal Atake starts off with intro track “Baby Pluto” and you immediately get introduced to the album as the distorted voice says “Welcome to Eternal Atake”. The instrumental sounds like extraterrestrial synths/symbols as he spits his endless flows. Uzi uses this song to brag about his wealth, famous lifestyle and sexual encounters. “Lo Mein” breaks into a fast pace trap style beat as he cuts through the song with his creative melodies. The end of this song gives us our first skit of many throughout the album as it seems like Uzi has seen something indescribable then screams in terror as the song quickly switches into “Silly Watch”. The beat immediately kicks in sending subwoofers crazy with its hard-hitting bass. It’s a banging song with Uzi rapping to the best of his ability. The fourth song “POP” has a dark looped synth over a hard trap beat and Uzi is rapping like a madman. His flow doesn’t seem to ever stop throughout the album and even showcases a deeper tone of voice than normal on this song. The infectious hook repeats “I’m the n**** make your bitch wanna pop” at a fast pace leading into each verse. The end of this song gives us our second skit, Uzi is running and heavy breathing as we hear a loud zapping noise as the female voice appears to say `Abducted’. “You Better Move” the fifth song on Eternal Atake features a creative sample from an old Windows computer game called Space Cadet 3D Pinball. The 808’s complement the computer game noises with perfect high-hats as Uzi continues to do his thing on this album. (The final song as alter personality Baby Pluto) “Homecoming” a bass-heavy track with Uzi mindlessly rapping, and again, showing off his impressive lyrical ability with his flows. The end of this song gives us our third skit, Uzi seems to be physically constrained by something but he finds a button that frees him from captivity.
Transitioning from the sixth to the seventh song, he now switches from his Baby Pluto personality to Renji. “I’m Sorry” cuts into the deepest song on Eternal Atake as the hook sings out “I’m sorry for everything I ever said, I’m sorry if you were misled, and I’m sorry if my words messed with your head.” The instrumental is such a vibe, definitely the most chill song on the album. “Celebration Station” is a fun upbeat song produced by Working On Dying. The end of this song gives us our fourth skit after Uzi escaped captivity in the last skit, he finds himself lost as he yells out to try and catch the attention from anybody nearby. “Bigger Than Life” features a nice instrumental with faint choir vocals in the background creating a vibe as the drums kick in. Uzi speaks on fame, relationships and more throughout the song as he says on the hook “I done made so many millions ain’t nothin’ to think about”. The tenth song on the album, the fourth song as Renji is “Chrome Heart Tags” produced by Chief Keef. The song has a futuristic feel with mystical synths and continuous choir vocals in the background totally embodying the theme of Eternal Atake. “Bust Me” the fifth Renji song, opens up about how woman only wanted to get with him once he was famous and how he handled these situations. The end of the song gives us our fifth skit, Uzi shakes a doorknob and knocks on the door as he yells out again. He hits a button that seems to trigger something as a female voice says, “You are now leaving EA, the dark world” as the song transitions into “Prices”. The song predominantly samples a Travis Scott song titled “way back” on Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. Again, this song has heavy choir vibes mixing with trap sounds with Uzi’s creative flows. Uzi brags over the beat talking about money and fame.
Lil Uzi Vert
“Urgency (feat. Syd)”, Syd (former member of Odd Future) the only featured artist on the album comes in with her beautiful singing voice meshing perfectly with Uzi. Uzi raps about needing love as the chorus sings, “I hit you up just with that urgency, know I need your love like you ain’t never heard of me”. On “Venetia” Uzi raps about cars, money, loyalty, fashion and turning gay girls straight. “Secure The Bag”, pretty much self-explanatory as Uzi yet again boasts about his money. The end of this song gives us our sixth and final skit, as Uzi phones a friend trying to explain what he saw on the ship. He ends the conversation with “Bro I gotta drop this album, all this bro”. “P2” is the final song on Eternal Atake and the sequel to smash hit “XO TOUR LIF3” in 2017. He uses the same instrumental and many of the same flows as the original version. Uzi reflects on his substance abuse and relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He ends the album off on a personal note as the instrumental died down he says, “Thank you. No, really, thank you. You’re far too kind. You, and you, and you, an experience of a lifetime. I see all of it (Yeah). Yeah, I really appreciate you”.
I believe the concept on the album is directly related to his label issues from the past 3 years correlated through each skit on the album. At the beginning of the album, Uzi is free, representing his earlier times. Then as more skits appear he starts getting chased and eventually abducted by these aliens at the end of “POP”. The skit at the end of “Homecoming”, Uzi is restrained and finds a way to free himself, which is a complete representation of his label restricting him from releasing music, and then was freed by Roc Nation. The next skit on “Celebration Station” we find Uzi lost and confused trying to find his way back as he walks through this space ship. That seems just like the current state of Uzi as he’s in-between situations and trying to find a new home. On “Bust Me” he finds his way out of the space ship and back to the real world. The final skit on “Secure The Bag”, Uzi is back in the real world and says he needs to drop his album. From the first skit to the last skit Uzi takes us on a journey into his life from the past three years, explaining what’s been going on. The aliens and the spaceship are a metaphor for his label and now that he’s free we can expect a bunch of new music in the future.
Song by Song Ratings
- Baby Pluto – 10/10
- Lo Mein – 8/10
- Silly Watch – 9/10
- POP – 8/10
- You Better Move – 9/10
- Homecoming – 9/10
- I’m Sorry – 9/10
- Celebration Station – 8/10
- Bigger Than Life – 9/10
- Chrome Heart Tags – 9/10
- Bust Me – 9/10
- Prices 10/10
- Urgency (feat. Syd) – 9/10
- Venetia – 9/10
- Secure The Bag – 9/10
- P2 7/10
- Bonus Tracks:
- Futsal Shuffle 2020 – 8/10
- That Way – 8/10
- Overall: 9/10
Craig MacDonald a.k.a Debating Hip-Hop
March 9th, 2020