He’s a pretty funny little bloke, Lil Uzi Vert. His social media makes me chuckle, as does his dancing and fashion. Then there was the time he got a giant pink diamond engraved into his forehead, only for it to be removed soon after – although it does feature prominently in the promo video for Pink Tape. The man’s got something about him. I guess you could call him an enigma.
Don’t let this distract you from the quality of the music Lil Uzi Vert has released since 2015. Despite its left-field nature, his last two albums have each topped the US Billboard 200.
With heavily auto-tuned vocals and eccentric production, he’s managed to bring otherworldly soundscapes to rap music, a genre typically more grounded in reality than the various types of rock music.
On Pink Tape, Uzi does so again. It’s inconsistent, and alternative rock is more than an influence, and is indeed one of the genres on Pink Tape, but over the 94-minute album, his first in three years, there are enough high points to make the wait worthwhile for most fans of his music.
Features are used sparingly. Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott are the only other rappers to appear. Scott is on early trap rager ‘Aye’, and Minaj on ‘Endless Fashion’. Other, perhaps more surprising features are from the British rock band Bring Me The Horizon, and Japanese outfit BABYMETAL.
The main criticism of the album is its length. Very few rappers could really justify a 26-track album and maintain the quality throughout. Uzi’s previous albums have been long, but closer to the hour mark, and clearly with throwaways, because these have been repacked and released as well.