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The Most Polarizing Album of 2023: My thoughts on Lil Uzi Vert’s newest album ‘Pink Tape’

Album Cover art courtesy of Lil Uzi Vert and Atlantic Records

With the summer rolling around, the music industry looks to capitalize on sales with more people focused on music with school out. That gave me the opportunity to listen to Lil Uzi Vert’s sixth studio album, “Pink Tape,” which was released on Friday, June 30. 

Uzi, also known as Symere Woods, is a 27-year-old rapper and artist from Philadelphia who waited since the start of COVID-19 to release an album, which means heavy criticism is expected with an album that was in the works for four years. He promised to release it in 2021, then the summer of 2022, and it finally released in late June of 2023. Let’s get into my thoughts on the album and what went well along with what went horribly wrong. 

  • Uzi intros are unbeatable.

The first song in “Pink Tape” is “Flooded The Face,” which has a unique mix of an outer space type beat along with Lil Uzi rapping at a fast pace for the majority of the three minutes in the song. This song brings me back to the old version of Lil Uzi where he floats on a boat that mixes perfectly with his flow. For me, this has to be one of the best intros Uzi has ever produced as it stacks up with “Two” and “Stripes like Burberry”. 

  • Songs 2-5 feature a new side of Uzi

After “Flooded the Face,” Lil Uzi goes with a style that has never been heard before, a rage side of him that sounded like Playboi Carti’s latest album, “Whole Lotta Red.” He starts on the track “Suicide Doors,” which definitely shocked me when I first heard it. An issue I have with the album that starts on this song is how Uzi screams in a demonic tone. However, I like the direction of the song other than the Satan references. Next, the song “Aye” which featured Travis Scott is also a rage themed song with the first 30 seconds being an intro. I liked the overall song and the Travis feature, but it could have been better along with lyrics. “Crush Em, ” is one of my favorite songs on the album, a song that merges rage Uzi with his old self on a classic rage beat. The final rage song of the group, “Amped,” has a great intro and then becomes a song I was not able to finish due to how bad it was because of how annoying Uzi’s voice was throughout the song.

  • The middle of the album will be the most underrated portion of the album

The middle portion of the album, songs 9-16, are arguably the best part of the album which features songs like “I Gotta,” “Endless Fashion” featuring Nicki Minaj, “Mama I’m Sorry,” and “All Alone.”  All of these songs bring back the old Uzi for me as “Mama I’m Sorry” gives me vibes of one of Uzi’s best tracks “Dark Queen” with how he raps so well on a slower beat. “I Gotta” is one of the standout songs on the album, giving a beat that sounds like it’s from his older album “Eternal Atake,” but he raps similar to New York rap, which I enjoy. “Endless Fashion,” a song that features Nicki Minaj, takes a sample from the song “Blue” by Eiffel 65, which was executed perfectly. Uzi and Minaj float on the beat while mixing and matching well. It definitely is a catchy song that may wind up on your local radio stations. My favorite song from this section was “Nakamura” which is named after a WWE wrestler. The song has a rage type beat but also a hype part to it. This song gets me hype whenever I hear it and is arguably one of the best songs on the album. 

  • Most of the rage songs weren’t executed properly

The biggest reason why this album is so controversial is due to the number of songs that are death metal themed or include many rage samples. On tracks like “Amped,” “Fire Alarm,” “Werewolf,” and “The End,” were not what I was looking for. Uzi switching his style felt like when Kevin Durant left for the Warriors: heartbreaking. I see what Uzi was trying to do with these songs as he tried to have a rage made like Playboi Carti, but he obviously failed in that regard. In my opinion, Uzi did not execute properly, as he had more of a death metal side to him than a mix of rage and rap. If it was more a mix of rage and rap compared to straight death metal, I believe fans would have appreciated the album more. 

  • Overall thoughts

Getting into actually rating the album, Lil Uzi’s “Pink Tape” deserves a 7.5 out of 10. I added 14 out of the 26 songs on the album but the reason I rate it above a seven is because the good songs outshine the bad ones. Uzi’s death metal music is pretty horrible, but the good moments on this album are some of Uzi’s best. Songs like “Flooded the Face” and “Nakamura” really increase the album’s rating for me, and if there weren’t so many rage songs then I believe this album would be the best of the year so far. I am excited for Uzi to drop the deluxe or a completely separate album soon after, and I believe that it will only increase the hate for “Pink Tape.”

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