Nathan Manni, culture editor
I wasn't supposed to review this for another week, but here we are. My world was sprung into a code red at 8 a.m. when I got a tweet notification from one of my favorite rappers, announcing a surprise album release.
It doesn't feel real to type, but "Eternal Atake" is finally here after a nearly three-year wait.
Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert blasted into hip-hop's spotlight following the release of his 2016 album of summer anthems, "Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World" that included the energetic song "Money Longer." Four years later, his money is even longer and he's created two alter egos, Orenji and Baby Pluto, who leave their foreign fingerprints all over "Eternal Atake."
It was worth the wait. The opening track, "Baby Pluto," immediately places the listener in Uzi's world, which is somewhere far from planet Earth. A voice that sounds like a video game boss welcomes you to "Eternal Atake," with an almost all-piano instrumental flooding your speakers. Right after, Uzi unleashes a rapid flow of lyrics that explain all he's been up to in recent years. You guessed it, flexing his rockstar lifestyle and designer apparel, just as one would expect from him.
"Man, these boys ain't believe me / Until I pulled up and my neck was on squeegee / Man, these boys ain't believe me / They thought I believed in the devil like Ouija / Man, these boys ain't believe me / A real rockstar, chrome heart on my beanie"
After the first track, I was dazed like I caught an uppercut from Muhammad Ali. I didn't know what to expect for the rest of the album and was in a half-trance as the second track began. Before I could comprehend what I had just heard, back came Uzi with yet another unexpected fury of lyrical flair. If this album was a track meet, Uzi had lapped me twice already and we were only two songs in. With all the anticipation and excitement I had while listening, I just couldn't keep up. So, I restarted the album to better grasp the songs that played thus far. The album played all the way through, and I couldn't contain my urges to dance around my dorm room with an eternal smile on my face.
"Eternal Atake" is everything I expected and then some. This album exposed a side of Lil Uzi Vert that focuses more on rapping than fun melodies, without losing the latter, and was full of surprises. He allowed fans to choose the album cover art in a Twitter poll, "Prices" samples "way back" by Travis Scott, there's a surprise feature from The Internet's Syd, and the extraterrestrial-sounding transitions between songs are simple, smooth and seamless. "That Way" samples "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys and "P2" is a sequel to Uzi's 2017 smash hit "XO Tour Llif3."
I've been dreaming of writing this review for quite literally two years, and I am ecstatic that the album is officially out and no longer feels like a mythical, abstract thought. Uzi shattered expectations and I'm sure my future grandkids will enjoy the follow-up to "Eternal Atake" whenever it releases.
Sebastian Moore, copy chief
After a three-year hiatus, the king is back. Lil Uzi Vert returns with his highly anticipated album "Eternal Atake." Honestly, I had my doubts the album would be released considering that Lil Uzi Vert has been teasing it since 2018.
When Lil Uzi Vert announced his retirement via an Instagram story Jan. 11, 2019, I thought he was joking. There was no way he could retire without releasing the album he has been teasing for a year. His retirement stuck for a while, but a little over a year later, Lil Uzi Vert is finally back and better than ever after dropped this masterpiece of an album.
Each song is fantastic, but my top three have to be "Secure the Bag," "Prices" and "P2."
"Secure the Bag" is a personal favorite of mine. When I reached the 15th track, I knew this one stood out from the 14 that came before it. Simply put, the beat reminds me of "Right Now" on his 2015 debut album "Luv Is Rage."
"Look at my kicks, kickin' that s*** like my name was Liu Kang / I took your lil' b**** and fed her the pain / Me and you, boy, I swear we're not the same"
As aforementioned, "Prices" samples the song "way back" by Travis Scott — my two favorite artists mixed into one song. The ominous beat of "way back" starts the track and Lil Uzi Vert comes in like a flame thrower with his lyrics.
"Hickory, dickory, dock / VVS all in my clock / Get money like Anthony Hop / Silence the lamb and your a**'ll get chopped"
In two quick lines, Lil Uzi Vert incorporates a classic children's song and the success of filmmaker Anthony Hop's "The Silence of the Lambs."
Overall, this album truly reflects Lil Uzi Vert for who he is — someone just trying to make music his way and live his life as best as possible. While I, and several other fans, wanted the album to be released much sooner, it was worth the wait and it will be the only music coming from my headphones for the foreseeable future.