Soo….. Uzi’s back. And so am I.
This album was supposed to be a Soundcloud exclusive. Lil Uzi Vert’s been teasing the release for this since the end of 2020, announcing the title in October after getting the pink diamond in their forehead. They then preceded to announce it was coming before Halloween 2021, and then… nothing. They walked back on the announcement, saying that they were “taking their time so it won’t suck.”
Well, take their time they did. They did a stream with Kai Cenat around the end of that year, saying they would complete the album that same night. And then everything got quiet… until the following October, almost a full year later, when they released the most unintentional hit ever with “Just Wanna Rock”. Fast forward to now, and Pink Tape after THREE YEARS of teasing is finally available to the public.
No introduction needs to be done on Uzi’s part. They’re no stranger to dragging their feet on releasing albums. It happened with Eternal Atake (even though that wasn’t all him), so to me this feels like a rehash. Doesn’t mean that we won’t get a good project though, so let’s see what Mr. Vert’s talkin about.
1. Flooded the Face
Produced by Harold Harper & Don Cannon
Strong start. Straight to the playlist. With a callback to the previous LIR albums. Their presence on this track is undeniable and the beat provides a solid foundation. Yeah, I like this song.
2. Suicide Doors
Produced by Brandon Finessin, leqn, yugen, & Arca
I’m not gonna lie, the Charleston White intro had me on the FLOOR. Y’all pissed them off now, LMAO. Really though, Uzi either sounds like they’ve got something to prove, or they’re just overenergetic. All that said, I like the rage vibe from this and if it came on at a concert I’d participate in the mosh pits for fun, but outside the concert this drags. I can skip it around the 2 minute mark. Also not a fan of that new screaming adlib- little too abrasive for me. Don’t do that shit nomo. Carti influence.
Featuring Travis Scott; Produced by BNYX®, Brandon Finessin, & iamBNJMIIN
This was a waiting game.
I was waiting for Travis’ part to hurry up and come. Not a big fan of the beat and its pace, especially coming after the last song. I’m also not a fan of Uzi on this. The one part that “almost” saves them was that small octave switch in the middle of their verse. Other than that, and Travis’ part (which wasn’t all that either), I don’t have much of a reason to come back to this song.
4. Crush Em
Produced by WondaGurl, CuBeatz, Duce.6x, & FORTHENIGHT
They did it again. Seriously, stop that shit.
While the beat does carry this, I like Uzi’s hook. Cool first hook, cool outro, what happens in between is not enough to keep me bumping this consistently.
Produced by Bugz Ronin, 1wakeupp, Zkup, Jkari, Prod. Landers, & Trapstarwith13
They did it again. LONGER this time. I think y’all can tell by now that I DO NOT LIKE the screaming adlib.
Now that’s out the way, I kinda like this, but I’m not fully with it. Another rage beat like before with “Suicide Doors”, but I think this is a better blend between Hip-Hop and punk/rock with the use of the drum set sample in the beginning. Really doing a lot on the instrumental side, which I like. Another song I might skip after a bit though, not gonna lie.
Produced by Clif Shayne & Ken Carson
Again, a lot going on instrumentally. Anime trap at its finest.
You still waitin’ on the Pink Tape, huh
Audemars, bust the face, huh (Face)
That’s the reason I’m late (Yeah)
So they were late because they couldn’t see the time in their watch? I guess dude. Maybe that wouldn’t bother me if there weren’t as many skips in the first half. The beat’s repetitive and gets old pretty quick, as for Uzi? Well…let’s just call the song a skip and move on.
7. Died and Came Back
Produced by Brandon Finessin, leqn, & sense
Here we go. This could’ve been WAY better if it was mixed better, but this is the first song since “Flooded the Face” that I’d come back to consistently (and play all the way through). Given that this project has been full of mid so far, I’m taking what I can get. I like the hook and how he sounds delivering it, especially the title part. Verse is a little shaky, but Idk. I just like this. Hopefully the album comes back from it’s (early) death.
8. Spin Again
Produced by Brandon Finessin & Swvsh
I can’t say anything bad about a song that made your girlfriend throw her phone at you at an awards show. That’s legendary status.
On the real though, this was too short and needed more energy throughout. Beat’s hard, but needed more from rockstar Uzi and their adlibs on this one (NOT THE SCREAMING ONE). I’m cool off this.
9. That Fiya
Produced by Brandon Finessin, ZeeGoinXrazy, & Sixthursdays
I like the falsetto. I haven’t really heard them use that vocal inflection before, and on top of that I like this song. At least they made up for shouting out another woman by shouting out their current one though. Lol.
10. I Gotta
Produced by Brandon Finessin, Outtatown, & star boy
I love hearing Uzi rap. No melodies, no getting carried by the beat (even though it holds its own here), just them rapping. I love to hear it because despite this rage and melody kick they’ve been on lately, they really can rap. A highlight for me. Maybe they’re playing it safe, but I don’t care I still like this one.
11. Endless Fashion
Featuring Nicki Minaj; Produced by Bugz Ronin & Ike Beatz
I got a Republican doctor (Yeah)
Made my ass great again, MAGA (Woah)
First of all, no he did not.
Second, the fact that this is a real line is shocking and concerning. Even with my personal feelings with Nicki’s music, I wasn’t prepared to hear anything this bad. And I haven’t even gotten to the Eiffel 65 sample. Those two things alone made me skip the song. Get tf off my phone with that bullshit.
12. Mama, I’m Sorry
Produced by Bugz Ronin & Bobby Raps
That’s how you know how bad the last song was. He had to ask his mom for forgiveness.
This song feels pretty empty, so I don’t really have much to say about it other than there’s a Chief Keef interpolation at the beginning.
13. All Alone
Produced by Don Cannon, Quincy Riley, Pitt Tha Kid, & Lyle Leduff
This. I like. The hook, their delivery, could be more going on instrumental-wise, but I do like the feeling and vibe this track gives. Let’s chill on calling yourself the greatest though.
Produced by Brandon Finessin, Lyle Leduff, & Ike Beatz
I appreciate the sample use. Not big on WWE anymore, but I like the flip regardless. Uzi’s pretty animated throughout, making WWE references which is fitting, and thanking the fans at the end. Not mixed well, but still one of the better ones on this tracklist.
15. Just Wanna Rock
Produced by MCVertt & Synthetic
Gotta have this on there. As an L.A. kid I realize I technically have no dog in this fight, but this being Philly’s new anthem over “Dreams & Nightmares”? Let’s calm down. Cool track though, and I like how they flipped it in the trailer for Blue Beetle.
16. Fire Alarm
Featuring Snow Strippers; Produced by Snow Strippers & Don Cannon
Real ones know the original song from 2K13. I LOVE the use of this sample. Things sort of fall apart around the second verse for me, but this beat is INSANE. I can’t speak on how often I’m playing it after the review, but great beat work. He’s got some kind of effect that makes his voice deeper too, which I don’t hate. Ultimately though, I don’t see myself listening past the first verse.
Produced by iamBNJMIIN
I love the original “Chop Suey!”, so this is not only not very good, but a real head scratcher for me. He didn’t really add too much to it, so what was the point of this? The worst kind of bad is the kind of bad that’s pointless, and this unfortunately falls under that. The frustrating part is that I think they could’ve actually put a good twist on the song, but that obviously wasn’t the case.
Featuring Bring Me The Horizon; Produced by Evil Twin, Jordan Fish, Oli Sykes, & KrishnaMusic
Nah G. I’m not even gonna waste my time trying to describe this. This is ass. Say what you want about “mumble rap”, but the instrumental is somehow drowning everyone out and I cannot understand a damn thing these mf’s are saying. Yea this ain’t it.
19. Pluto to Mars
Produced by Deckard3000 & Brandon Finessin
I was never on my high horse from the fame (Ayy, fame, yeah)
CAP. But it’s cool, fame gets to everyone one way or another. As far as the song goes, I’ve heard this from them before and don’t need to hear it again.
Featuring Don Toliver; Produced by Bugz Ronin, 206Derek, iamBNJMIIN, & Matt Spatola
Everyone seems to like this song and it seems to be really feelings inducing. Me? This song actually makes me feel like I’m on Seroquel because I don’t feel anything when it comes on. I think I’m at that point where I was with Whole Lotta Red, on the fact that this is a highly anticipated album that hasn’t been living up to the hype and I’m just tired.
21. Days Come and Go
Produced by Don Cannon & Tommy Parker
Oh, so there are still good songs on this tape left? Even borderline amazing??
This song has what I (and probably many others) like to call a synthestra, and it’s beautiful. Uzi even gets personal on this one.
I’m the one that act like, like her father
But I don’t even know nowadays where my father
Sometimes I wanna call him, then sometimes don’t bother
Insecurities make me wish I was taller (Yeah)
Every time I get a check, everybody just got they hand out
But when I was broke, nobody really had they hand out
I spent two hundred thousand on Desto funeral, that’s an estate
Shoutout to Uzi man, and R.I.P. Desto. Great song, probably the best on here.
Produced by Brandon Finessin, Don Cannon, qqqu1ncy, Breezey Muzik, & Bugz Ronin
WOW. Another well written and executed song and more personal material. I like this side of Uzi. They talk about someone named Moran, who I can’t tell if it’s their sponsor, but this person was clearly a crucial part in Uzi’s rehab.
But you came right through on perfect timin’ (Perfect timin’)
I was in intake, couldn’t have no diamonds (Have no diamonds)
But you still told me that I was shinin’ (I was shinin’)
I was under your spell from the kindness (Yeah)
You asked me every day, “Why you cryin’?” (“Why you cryin’?”)
Couldn’t tell the truth, so I start lyin’ (I start lyin’)
Told you ’bout all the things I could buy (I could buy)
You said, “Take your time, stop watchin’ time” (Watchin’ time)
Goin’ through withdrawals, you saw the signs (Woah)
I was literally just out my mind (Yeah, I was crazy)
I’m the shit, I couldn’t hold my bowels
Rehab centers don’t even got no crowds (Yeah)
You said, “You’ll be okay, have patience” (Yeah, have patience)
Lots of Seroquel and gabapentin (Gabapentin)
For like two weeks straight, yeah, I was shakin’ (I was shakin’)
I would tell you about who I’m datin’ (Who I’m datin’)
No more fast hoes and crustaceans (Damn)
No more lobsters tails and fast relations (Woah)
Followed your own rules, fuck the basics (Yeah)
When nighttime would come, couldn’t wait until the day shift (Woah)
And the second verse kind of expands on that. It’s just really great to see someone like Uzi get personal like this and talk about something as difficult as rehab. This is the kind of vulnerability rap needs.
I’m trying to give anything on this album props where I can. I don’t think I’m listening to this too much after this.
23. The End
Featuring BABYMETAL; Produced by KOBAMETAL & KrishnaMusic
Aaaaand they end it going back to that screamo punk rock sound… while also having a sing-songy vibe from BABYMETAL in the beginning? This song’s having an identity crisis. If he was trying to go for an anime title sequence song vibe, they got it. If he was trying to create a cohesive end to the album, they failed. Not my thing after hearing two very vulnerable & personal tracks.
Produced by Wheezy & Charlie Handsome
Bonus track that I’ve heard Uzi make 1000 times. Filler.
25. Of Course
Produced by Oogie Mane, Forza, & Kado
Wasn’t this leaked awhile ago?
Produced by Bugz Ronin, John Ross, ISOBeats, & Ike Beatz
Yeah I don’t need any of these bonus tracks. Just want it to be done.
As usual for Uzi, production takes the driver’s seat. I like the rage vibe some of the instrumentals have. “Amped” and “Suicide Doors” blend rock and rap well and Uzi matches their energy pretty well. “Fire Alarm”’s production is also hard, I love that beat and the use of the sample. That aside, Uzi is a good rapper which they demonstrate on “I Gotta” and “Flooded the Face”, but they can also make good sounding tracks with their melodies, like “Died and Came Back”, “All Alone”, & “That Fiya”.
I also like how personal they got towards the end of the album on “Days Come and Go” and “Rehab”. We don’t really hear rage rappers get that personal so it’s nice to see someone like Uzi tap into that side of them & reflect on it in their music.
All that being said about the good moments, there aren’t enough of those to warrant me coming back to this project consistently.
Maybe if this project wasn’t built up for so long, I wouldn’t be so disappointed. But besides the good songs off the album, I’m not going back to listen to them very much. And if I am, there’s a good chance I’m only listening to the first minute and a half or so (“Amped”, “Suicide Doors”, “Crush Em”, “Nakamura”, and “Fire Alarm”). Those heavy metal cuts are not it bro. “CS”, “The End”, and “Werewolf” were all tracks that did not need to be on the project, or even recorded at all. I appreciate the fact that they’re stepping out of their usual lane, but this was not the way to do it.
We need to find out who’s gassing these rappers up and making them think they can create good, cohesive, long ass albums. Personally, Ye’s the only rapper in the 2020s to put out a really good long ass album (I might have that wrong, wouldn’t be surprised if I forgot someone). This one in particular, I think I’m only coming away with about 7 out of 26 songs. You could’ve made a lot of cuts and it would’ve been much better, but instead the project is nothing more than a bloated mess.
Something I’ve been trying to avoid for the entire review is the obvious Whole Lotta Red influence. Uzi’s vocal inflections sound largely inspired by Carti and some songs follow the same rage formula that WLR played a part in pioneering. What sets this apart from Red is the fact that a great chunk of Pink Tape’s tracklist isn’t flat out bad. It’s just mid. Which can be misconstrued as bad, especially given how long we had to wait to get it.
I’m saying all this to justify the fact that I’m giving this a slightly higher score than Whole Lotta Red. A 2 is probably the highest I’d be willing to go. Not very many outright BAD moments on the album, just a lot of mid. And that’s not what you want from an album you’ve been waiting three years for.