For close to three years now, fans have been anxiously awaiting for the highly-anticipated album, Eternal Atake. After many social media posts and announcements, Uzi alluded that the album would be coming “soon”, but whatever that meaning of soon wasn’t soon enough. To many, it felt like yet another one of those myths–a project that was nothing more than an idea floating in space. We all have been aware of the many label issues and disputes that Uzi has had over the duration of the past few years, for they have been brought to the forefront by not only all parties involved, but all publications as well. Long story short, lots of things had to be taken care of internally in order to allow this album to come into fruition, and here we are in 2020 with the final product–that is, Eternal Atake.
Lil Uzi Vert emerged into the rap game as one of the rappers during a major turning point in the industry. The 2016 era of rappers (basically, a majority of the 2016 XXL Freshmen) ushered in an entirely new style, flow, and sound that would lay the foundation of all the music that came after it. Out of all those rappers, Lil Uzi Vert was one of the ones who had had the ability to have the longest run of all. After many releases, hits, and features, Uzi showed the world time and time again that he is here and here to stay. After the release of “New Patek” in 2018, the album felt like it would arrive soon, but nothing. Last year, the release of “Sanguine Paradise” and “That’s A Rack” had fans sitting not he edge of their seats awaiting the release of the album, but still nothing.
In the last few months, the promotion for the album grew stronger, and fans knew that something big was coming. The shock value that arrived when the album dropped was like no other, and the world had no idea what to expect from Uzi at this point in his career. Regardless, Eternal Atake will go down in history as one of the biggest moments of the new generation of rap.
The Album Concept
Up until this point, we had not been exposed to a certain level of artistry from Uzi when it came to his project creation process. For the most part, his projects contained a collection of music that didn’t really have any correlation between one another, yet still sounded great. On Eternal Atake, Uzi unfolds a story that allows the fans to dig a little deeper into the creative mind of his. By now, we are all aware of the different flows and styles that Uzi is capable of. That said, The album is split up into three sections, all of which feature an alter ego of Uzi. The story tells a tale of Uzi being abducted from earth and the album is the soundtrack for each encounter of the situation.
Baby Pluto (Tracks 1-6)
The album opens up with the track titled “Baby Pluto” which serves as not only an introduction to the album, but an introduction to this character as well. As far as the style of Baby Pluto’s rapping, this side shows off more lyrical ability. This section of the album puts an extra emphasis on creating flows and bars that are far more intense than the rest of the album. On “Lo Mein”, a bit of his lyrical ability is stressed here where he says “I stay with he Cash like an XO chain”. For those who don’t know the emphasis in that bar, Cash is the co-founder of XO-the record label lead by The Weeknd. Another Easter egg here on this song is the call back to the 2016 song “Reminder” by The Weeknd, wherein the song he says “Got a sweet asian chick, she go Lo Mein”. The following few tracks “Silly Watch” and “POP” is where most of the bars from Baby Pluto come from as he continues to deliver breathless flows over hard-punching beats. On “POP”, he raps:
“Got a bitch, yeah, she look so good
But on the real, she in denial
Diamond water, yeah, it look like a river
Look like I’m standing in the Nile”
Scattered throughout this section of the album also are skits that add a level of narrative to tie things together. We heard a mysterious spaceship traveling through the sky as Baby Pluto is in disbelief of what he’s witnessing. At the end of “POP” is when he finally gets abducted into the spaceship, and at the end of “Homecoming”, we hear Baby Pluto struggle as he releases himself from a chair he had been strapped down to. Keep in mind the title of this song as well, as it will all make sense later on. This is now the point in the story where we are introduced to another alter ego, Renji.
Renji (Tracks 7-12)
During this section is where the previous direction filled with hardcore bars and intensified 808s take a bit of a break, and we discover another side of Uzi. This section opens up with “I’m Sorry”, where the track is filled with tons of futuristic synthesizers and noises behind the beat. Not only the production changed during this art of the album, but the lyrical flow and style as well. The tone is a bit more melodic, and the music itself is a bit more soothing. Of course, as an avid fan of Uzi, this is nothing that we have not seen before, but the story of Eternal Atake gives this side of Uzi an actual name, so where can be able to distinguish the difference the we hear Uzi songs in the future. At the end of “Celebration Station”, a skit plays where Baby Pluto is roaming this mysterious spaceship, not sure of what he is encountering. The calmed beat on “Bigger Than Life” represents that feeling of being high, being outer space and feeling free. This is the point where Baby Pluto become Renji, a far more chilled and calm version of his previous self. The standouts on this section also include “Chrome Heart Tags”, which is accompanied by Chicago’s own Chief Keef on the beat. At the end of “Bust Me” lays yet another skit, which shows Renji finding an escape from the spaceship. This leads into another standout here-“Prices”, which contains a sample of Travis Scott’s “way back” from his Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight album. “You are now leaving EA-the dark world” plays in the spaceship, as we are then witnessing the last form of this split personality, a newly redefined form of Lil Uzi Vert.
Lil Uzi Vert (Tracks 13-18)
The third and final section on the album represents Renji descending back to earth and finding out his true identity. The identity that is, the new version of Lil Uzi Vert. This version takes bits and pieces from both Baby Pluto and Renji, and creates the best blend of the two characters. The track direction on these songs are more centered towards a mainstream/radio hit type of vibe. That is not said to denounce all the work that he does or to make his work seem like it’s only for radio play. The idea here is that he can be able to do both at the same time, and the fans will still learned to love and accept what he puts out. On “Urgency”, Uzi goes head to head with Syd, transferring melodies and staying in key with one another, singing about love. The biggest standout here, and what most fans were shocked and excited to see, was on the track “P2”. Reimagining his biggest hit to date, “P2” serves as a remix and a sequel to his smash hit from Luv Is Rage 2– “XO Tour Llif3”. This time around, the “I don’t really care if you cry” is switched to “I don’t really care cause I’m done”. The beat has the same drum pattern as the original song did, as TM88-the original producer- confirmed the song’s creation in a video with Genius.
The Story Summarized
One of the greatest joys about music is that it can be 100% subjective. What one person may experience while listening to a song or an album can be entirely different than what another person may experience. The beauty in it is that social media allows fans to create and share their conspiracy theories about the music and we can all compare and contrast what it is all about. The theory that makes the most sense to me, is the idea of finding one’s true self and becoming one with it.
For so long now, we have seen so many sides of Lil Uzi Vert. Ever since his original release into the rap game, he has gone through so many phases, styles, looks, flows, so on and so forth. With uzi being so young at the time, that is normally the age where people begin to search and find themselves. For a while now, we have been aware of the label issues that Uzi has been going through, as it has been brought to the forefront very openly. On top of that, Uzi also had been going through some very public scenarios to where he stated that he did not feel like himself. At one point, he even stated that he “only makes to keep his family happy” in an interview with GQ. It has been clear, that Uzi had been battling some personal demons, to say the least.
In terms of the album’s story, it started out with Baby Pluto-this very dark, aggressive, and unapologetic version of Lil Uzi Vert. We all are aware that Uzi says that he’s not from earth, that being said, the spaceship coming down randomly to abduct him and take him back to outer space was a call to action. This is a callback to the song “Homecoming”, which is the indication that Uzi is back home. He does not remember how it feels to be there because he forgot where he came from-something that many artists suffer from once they “make it”. Baby Pluto then turns into Renji, which is the happier version of himself and more melodic and has such a better vibe. After reconnecting with who he really is, he is then released back into the earth and he calls his friends to let him know what he has seen and says that he “has to finish this album”-that album being this one, Eternal Atake.
Uzi closed “P2” with a mini thank you speech to all the fans for sticking with him during this dark time in his life. He knew that he had to find himself and battle his demons. He is thankful for all the fans for not only being patient, but sticking with him through all this time. Uzi had been an avid believer of him not being relevant in about three years, and that was back in 2017 when he made that statement. Uzi is met with a huge sigh of relief to know that his fans never left him, and stuck by his side until he delivered one of the biggest projects of not only his career, but in hip hop.
Deluxe/LUV vs. The World 2
A week after its release, Uzi released the deluxe version of the album, which serves as another thank you to the fans. He stated on Twitter that he would release LUV vs. The World 2, which will serve as a completely alternate album. This album was full of the snippets and teasers that the fans had been hearing from various leaks around the internet, and some that Uzi teased himself. This side of the album is full of features, something that Uzi purposely dismissed from his original version of Eternal Atake besides the feature from Syd. While this one does not feel as cohesive as the first version, a lot of the fans gravitated towards this one due to the feeling of finally being delivered the leaks that they were saddened about not being present on the original album.
It’s amazing to see Uzi finally in a happier space in his life as he is free to release music and connect with his fans every single day. For a few weeks now, he would start his mornings with a simple tweet of “Hey.” and the fans knew that for the next few hours, Uzi was all theirs. He may have built one of the strongest fan bases that we have seen in a long time, and whenever he drops music, it can be seen as clear as day just how strong his fans are.