Album review: Eternal Atake by Lil Uzi Vert

Kyle Atkinson

I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but the long-awaited and mysterious Eternal Atake is finally here. After teasing it in April 2018 and announcing the title in July 2018, Lil Uzi Vert’s sophomore album is in front of us. This has been without a doubt one of the most hyped projects that I’ve followed in hip hop. Twitter has been crazy over this past week and that only added to the hype. It’s finally time for my Eternal Atake review. 

The rollout for EA is something that we’ve seldom seen in hip hop from such a notable artist. It is well documented that Uzi’s issues with his label Generation Now were a big cause for the delay. Nevertheless, Uzi continuously assured us that the album would come out at some point and he finally delivered. I absolutely can’t wait to listen and form my opinion, so let’s dive into the 18-track Eternal Atake.

Eternal Atake review

Whether you’re a new or old Uzi fan, Eternal Atake is a lot to unpack. I couldn’t be happier with that after such a long wait. One of my favorite things about the album is the distinct mix of styles that Uzi gives us throughout. This isn’t something that he’s been known for on previous projects, but he absolutely nails it on Eternal Atake. I didn’t realize this on my first listen, but it absolutely makes sense after seeing this tweet from a fan. Uzi went on to pretty much confirm this theory. Baby Pluto, Renji, and Uzi are the different styles that the album follows and they’re very noticeable after you see this tweet.

 EA starts out with bars on bars for six tracks in a row. This isn’t something that we’ve seen much of from Uzi in the past. Rapping Uzi isn’t my favorite style that he does, but I enjoyed the tracks regardless. “Baby Pluto” is a great start to the album and sets a good tone. “Homecoming” is the end of the Baby Pluto section of the project, next up is Orenji.  

Next, Lil Uzi awakens Orenji and goes back to his famous sing-rap style. The next six tracks between “I’m Sorry” and “Prices” can be categorized as the poppy style that we know and love. Each of these tracks has amazing hooks and his signature flow and cadence. This is my personal favorite part of EA but I can’t say that I dislike any of it. “Prices” has a sample of Travis Scott’s “way back” that absolutely blows the doors off this album. The sample is used perfectly and Uzi is able to make it his own dope song. 

The last third of the album is considered the Uzi section. Starting at “Urgency” and ending at “That Way”, these tracks go between playful and more serious. In this section we find the album’s only feature, from singer Syd on “Urgency”. Her vocals absolutely shine and are very good. I never thought we’d get a track from the two, but I’m so glad we did. It may not be one of the best tracks on the album, but I really enjoy it. The project ends with the Backstreet Boys-sampling “That Way”. I’m so glad this one made the official release as it flips a classic track in a unique way.     

Standouts

Being that there are three distinct sections, it is easy for me to choose the songs that standout the most. From the project as a whole, I’d say that “Baby Pluto”, “Lo Mein”, “I’m Sorry”, “Chrome Heart Tags”, “Secure the Bag”, and “P2” are the biggest standouts. These six songs give you a good sample of the album before you fully jump in.

Side note: “Secure the Bag” gives me major “Scott and Ramona” vibes. Shoutout to the original 2016 Uzi fans, we really out here.

Final thoughts

During my first listen through the project, I must admit that I was a bit underwhelmed. That’s because none of the snippets or leaked tracks from the past two years made it. I absolutely love these songs and listen to them way too often. I even made a playlist of them on Soundcloud if you’d like to check them out. But while listening, I realized that it was stupid  to think that and I needed to be thankful for what songs actually made it. This raised my enjoyment of the project quite a bit, especially after I saw the tweet mentioned above. 

Lil Uzi Vert gave us a mixed bag on Eternal Atake. But for once, I’m not saying that in a negative way. The distinct style throughout the project is one of the most eye opening things and they make it so much better. This album was nearly three years in the making and I can say that it lived up to my expectations. Uzi showed us that he wasn’t a one album wonder and made a great follow-up. I really enjoyed the alien abduction theme that was present and thought it added to the aesthetic quite well. The skits at the end of a lot of the songs were really cool and kept the story going. 

One critique I would give the album is that there was a severe lack of features. Luv Is Rage 2 had a few more features and that really added to it. Uzi has proven that he can carry an album completely on his own many times, but it’s always dope to see collaboration in hip hop. Imagine if we got another Pharrell feature, or Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, or even Drake. Those would have added to the album even more. It isn’t a huge critique and I still enjoy the album, but features would have been a good addition.  

Overall, I absolutely love Eternal Atake. It was everything that I didn’t know I wanted from Lil Uzi Vert. The versatility that he displayed will be celebrated in the future even more than it already is right now. Uzi can be a bit off-putting with his unique looks and style, but if you like modern hip hop in any aspect please give EA a listen.

Score: 8.8/10 

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