Review: Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake”

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Credit: Owen Smith

In the latest installment of Staff Reviews, WSPN's Andrew Boyer provides an in-depth dive into the latest release by Philly-based rapper Lil Uzi Vert, the highly-anticipated "Eternal Atake."

Andrew Boyer

On Friday, March 6, Philly-based rapper Lil Uzi Vert shocked the world by dropping his highly anticipated album, Eternal Atake. This project has been in the works for almost three years, since the rapper dropped Luv Is Rage 2, which many considered to be the album of the year, in 2017.

Known for being very active on Twitter, Lil Uzi Vert tweeted the words “Eternal Atake” in July of 2018. Since then, fans have been waiting for the release, which many renamed (jokingly) to “Eternal Await.”

Lil Uzi Vert fans went through a wide range of emotions waiting for this to drop. Uzi has delayed the release multiple times, and even momentarily quit music at one point. While he did release songs like “That’s a Rack” and “New Patek”, a fully produced Uzi project has been something that many have been patiently waiting for. While Luv Is Rage 2 is a tough album to follow, many believed that this would be the defining album in Lil Uzi Vert’s career.

There is a lot of meaning behind the various trailers, statements, and images that were released through Uzi’s twitter account (which he has now renamed to “Baby Pluto”) in anticipation of the album. Apparently, the not-so-subtle symbols heavily reference the Heaven’s Gate Cult, which, in short, believed in ascending to alien spaceships via mass suicide. Personally, I had no idea what to expect from these hints, besides the fact that this album’s theme was futuristic and outer space.

Surprisingly, this prediction was quite accurate as the album cover features three cult members in outer space, with a flying saucer flying away from Earth. In the album itself, songs either end or begin with small audio clips that sound like Uzi being abducted, wandering the futuristic ship, and finally leaving “the dark-world, EA.” The last song on the album, “P2”, ends with the sound of a spaceship flying away. If you listen to the album in the correct order, the story makes sense, and I thought it was an interesting touch that few artists have. I thought that Uzi went with the theme of the album and executed it perfectly in terms of storytelling and consistency.

Now, onto the songs. I have to be completely honest, when I finished listening to the album for the first time, I disliked it. Perhaps I expected more, or just didn’t want to hear the classic Uzi flex-rap again for another album. I was disappointed to see just one feature, an artist I had never even heard of before.

But, I gave the album another listen. And then another, and then one more. And after that, most of the songs really grew on me. I don’t get tired of listening to them, there is a song to fit every mood, and the production is off the charts. Uzi is spitting bars on nearly every song, in fact, this is the best he has ever rapped. Lil Uzi Vert proves those who claim he sounds the same in all his songs wrong, taking his rapping variety to another level. The entire record is nearly perfect, and it gets better with every listen. I don’t see how anyone can top Lil Uzi Vert’s performance, and as of now, this is the best album of 2020.

The project is career-defining, and it’s brought a lot of success to Uzi Vert’s name. It didn’t take me too long to realize how special this album really is, and I can confidently say that not only did Eternal Atake exceed expectations, but it is the best album Lil Uzi Vert has made so far.

All Songs Ranked:

Trash Songs:

#18: “Urgency (feat. Syd)”
I’m not going to lie, I just don’t get this song. It seems a little bit out of place on this album, and even though it is easily the most laid back song of the album, it is a total vibe-kill on this record. In terms of singing, this is not Uzi’s best. On top of that, he barely raps. This track is dominated by random ocean wave sounds, a very peculiar stand alone feature, and an overproduced beat. Worst song on the album, hands down.

#17: “POP”
This song was a let down as well. It starts off with a pretty solid beat, but nothing like the futuristic space instrumentals we heard on the tracks before. On top of that, the flow wasn’t going very well for Uzi, and saying “pop” over and over made the song redundant. Unfortunately, Lil Uzi Vert sounds offbeat towards the middle of the song where he tries to rhyme “ice cream” with “I scream.” Definitely a throwaway song on a good album.

Decent Songs:

#16: “Chrome Heart Tags”
This song is barely decent. The beat is a little too much for a classic Uzi song, which is what he essentially tries to make it in terms of his flow, which consists of a high voice, and then two syllable rhymes. Yes, I know Chief Keef produced this beat, but I still don’t like it. I’m not saying its bad, but it’s just too much on a song. I did like the choir vocal samples, which is included in more songs than just this one.

#15: “Secure The Bag”

Like “Chrome Heart Tags”, the instrumental on this track was doing way too much. While most Uzi instrumentals are pretty out there, they still hit their mark. Unfortunately, this beat was a total miss. In terms of the vocals, they were pretty dark and Uzi doesn’t do too much rapping. Not my favorite.

Good Songs:

#14: “Bust Me”
From this point, there are no other bad songs on the album. On “Bust Me”, the instrumental was futuristic, but had a subtle organ synth and choir vocals in the back. On top of that, Uzi has a few clever lines about women that were only interested in him after he gained fame. His rapping over the instrumental is unlike most Uzi songs, but he flows over the beat almost perfectly. The reason “Bust Me” falls in the fourteenth spot on my list is due to the plethora of excellent songs on the album, and the fact that the song feels a tad bit repetitive.

#13: “Silly Watch”
I’ll start off this caption by recognizing the “we do not milly-rock” line on the song that clearly disses Playboi Carti. Although some consider them one of rap’s best duos, recently they have had their differences and may have some beef between them. Uzi backed this up by basically confirming on twitter that the two were not on good terms. In my opinion, the line by itself doesn’t mean too much, and it may just be a little something to bring some attention to the song. In terms of the song itself, it can be a hit or miss depending on the time of day. Sometimes it goes really hard, and sometimes the constant piano keys on the instrumental give me a total headache. Regardless, this is another great display of Lil Uzi Vert’s rapping ability. He just goes from bar after bar, with no stop for any melodies that we generally hear on Lil Uzi Vert tracks.

#12: “I’m Sorry”
The melodies from Lil Uzi on this track are top tier. As one of the most laid back and mellow tracks on the record, it does its job. It’s a sad apology to former girlfriend Brittany Byrd, who is discussed in many other albums, such as 20 min on the deluxe of Luv Is Rage 2. The song is a reflection of Uzi’s softer side, and it is a refreshing break from the fast-paced songs that make the album what it is.

#11: “That Way”
This song isn’t exactly new, but it’s on the record so I’m ranking it. In short, this song is super catchy and the production on this track is well done. It’s a bonus track, so it doesn’t really fit into the “story” of the album. I Want It That Way, by the Backstreet Boys, is one of my favorite songs and Uzi didn’t ruin it with the song. Its unlike anything Uzi has put out, but the experiment produced a great song that gets stuck in your head 30 seconds in.

#10: “Futsal Shuffle 2020”
This song has been released for a while already, and because I have been listening to it since early December, I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little tired of it. Regardless, it did its job: get everyone very excited for the album to drop. The track was the main sound in the album trailer, and the outer space type beat hinted at what was to come. I think this is a very solid and memorable Uzi song because of how it captured everyone’s hopes for Eternal Atake, and put all eyes on the album.

Excellent Songs:

#9: “You Better Move”
We have now entered the excellent song category. All these songs are top tier, and it was hard to decide which one goes over the other. In terms of You Better Move, Uzi just snaps. He puts his foot on the gas and just takes off, similar to how he did in “Silly Watch”. The beat is simple but overpowering at the same time, and it samples a Microsoft Pinball game sound effect. Uzi’s flow on this is near effortless, and his vocals go up and down. He fires off bars, takes a quick pause and returns lines with a high pitch finish. It’s great song that makes me want to get out of my seat every time I hear it.

#8: “Bigger Than Life”
While Uzi takes his foot off the gas pedal and tones the pace down a notch, he shows us that there is more he can do. So much is on the song, and it all mixes perfectly together. It takes us from a strumming guitar, to Uzi’s effortless and relentless rapping, then to a choir, and back again. Only Uzi can create a song that stops the beat completely except for snapping and choir vocals, and then bring us back into the song. The more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. I have a strong feeling that this track will age very well as people return to this album a few years down the line.

#7: “Homecoming”
The instrumental on this track is unlike anything I’ve ever heard paired with Lil Uzi vocals, and is why I just keep coming back to this song. The beat just punches and punches, and Uzi delivers bar after bar. I liked the NBA reference with Anthony Davis and the clicks that start off the song. A very good Uzi track that pushes the boundaries of his sound.

#6: P2
“P2”, or “Part 2” is the follow up to Lil Uzi’s most popular song to date, XO Tour Lif3. If you compare the two songs, “P2” is a more numb version of the original, as Uzi states that “there’s now expression on [his] face because [he’s] numb.” I almost think I prefer this version, as Uzi adds in different bars and higher vocals on the song. As an artist, is it a little unfair to make another version of your most beloved song? Maybe, but Uzi clearly doesn’t care and has thus cranked out another amazing song.

#5: “Baby Pluto”
The beginning of this song gives me goosebumps. It’s the opening to the record, and it starts with a distorted, artificial voice welcoming us to the album. It’s a great way to start the album, and Uzi starts off right away by rapping in an aggressive and different, more monotone voice. It takes a while for the bass to finally come in, but when it does the song is just so good. I actually prefer that it drops in so late, that way we really appreciate the beat.

#4: “Lo Mein”
At first, I genuinely thought this was the best track on the album. It’s an embodiment of what the album is. The whole song feels like a trip to space in itself. The track begins like a rocket taking off, with Uzi spazzing on an empty beat. After a few bars, the song explodes and the instrumental almost takes over, with Uzi barely maintaining control. In terms of the instrumental, it may be one of the best I’ve ever heard in a song, period.

#3: “Celebration Station”
Every time I hear the hook on this track, I want to dance. This song is perfect, and it feels like a “celebration” all the way through. Uzi melodically rides the beat, and even sings a part of it as well. Again, we have another beat that features more vocal samples in the background, and they fit perfectly with the fast and upbeat instrumental.

#2: “Venetia”
If “Lo Mein” was the takeoff to space, “Venetia” is floating through space with Lil Uzi. His flow on the track is unmatched, ending every bar with “yeah, yeah.” This is his signature sing-song style that he found so much success with early in his career. The fluttering synths and the xylophones on the instrumental make the song spacey and energetic, exactly as it should be on Eternal Atake.

#1: “Prices”
In my opinion, this is hands down the best song Lil Uzi Vert has ever made. The instrumental samples the beat on the second part of Travis Scott’s Way Back, which is easily a top 10 Travis Scott song. I may be a little bit biased, considering that Travis is my favorite artist, but Lil Uzi really takes this beat to a whole new level. From the start, we hear the classic Uzi line: “1…2…1,2,3, lets go!” The beginning of the instrumental makes me feel like I’m floating in the air, and when the bass drops everything comes crashing down into the melodic flow of Uzi rapping about his “price” going up. This hit is going to be a classic in the years to come, and it’s my favorite Uzi song by a lot.

Alternative opinions:

“Eternal Atake definitely had some bangers in it, but it wasn’t really worth the three year wait,” – Sophomore Victor Ablacka.

“People don’t give it the respect it deserves because it took too long to drop, but it’s still an insane album,” – Sophomore Marco Alvino.

“After years of waiting for a new album, Uzi drops this bomb and shows us that he’s not dying down,” – Sophomore David Liu

“Easily the best album from Lil Uzi Vert and without a doubt the best album of 2020 so far,” – Sophomore Devin Brogan.

“It’s an average Uzi album,” – Junior Mac Larsen.

“It was an incredible album that took me a few listens to come to love, however it was not worth the year wait,” – Sophomore Shanta Das.

“It got better the more I listened to it,” – Sophomore Eric Xie.

“It was overhyped,” – Senior Sabrina Xie.

“It’s a musical masterpiece that takes you on a trip through outer space and back to earth. Overall, I think it’s the best album yet this year,” – Sophomore Devin Dicarlo.

“One of my top 3 albums of all time. Well worth the wait, and it was the first album I loved every song on,” – Senior LJ Dicarlo.

Rating: 9.25/10

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.