Eternal Atake is the second studio album by trap megastar Lil Uzi Vert, his first in almost three years. Since about 2018 I’ve been very closely following the hype circling this album. I knew all the leaks, and saw every update on the album. I was invested. Even as I moved away from trap, I was still hooked to this album’s release, like I owed it to myself, the album, and the community to complete this journey and reach the final destination. But the final destination fell incredibly flat.
I pretty much knew this album would be nothing special by the first song, “Baby Pluto,” where Uzi builds up the track in a pretty cool way. Although, my expectations immediately readjusted as I got into the meat of the track, which kicks off with some pretty cheesy Young Thug-esque vocal inflections and a monotonous delivery from Uzi. Probably Uzi’s most standout trait has been his voice, which can be infectious on songs like “Original Uzi (4 of Us)” and incredibly expressive on songs like “XO Tour Llif3.” It was clear from the jump, and even before this album came out, with promotional tracks like “Futsal Shuffle 2020” and “That Way,” that Uzi’s voice on Eternal Atake would not provide the same punch as it did on previous records. Throughout Atake his voice is dull, static, and not compelling at all.
On repeat learnings, I’ve realized that the first three songs on this album are a decently strong start. But then I got to the atrocious “POP” and I realized that this album would be much worse than I anticipated. This track introduces one of my biggest quarrels with this album, the grating lyrical content. I’ve had this criticism refuted by many people, saying how “Uzi isn’t a lyrical rapper.” But on Eternal Atake, Uzi definitely seems like he’s trying to convince us that he is a lyricist, putting a lot of emphasis on his punchlines and even bragging on “Venetia” how a girl “likes my wordplay.” The thing is, his punchlines are consistently dreadful. Nearly every song has a line that makes me audibly groan, and sometimes outright turn off the music to rub my temples. “He want the smoke, but I don’t got a Juul,” “My choppa get hot just like a pan,” “I was with my Irish b****, she said, ‘Uzi, you so lucky,’” I could go on forever because each song is chock full of terrible similes and bars all addressing typical trap topics, such as bragging, girls, money, clothes, and it gets tedious instantly.
However, with Uzi not there vocally or lyrically (or emotionally, Uzi does not tap into his emotions on here to the extent he has on other albums), I would expect some solid production for him to fall back on. But he doesn’t even have that. To be fair, the “Prices” beat is incredible, and is about the only song that contributes to any space concept that this album was supposed to follow. “Chrome Heart Tags” tries to, but the beat is so ethereal it’s barely even there. Everything else on this album is just basic and bland.
The songs on this album are not enjoyable, Uzi is not engaging at all, either on choruses or verses, the beats are dry, and it’s not even worth mentioning the concept, as it’s crudely developed with scattered, poorly acted skits. Nothing stands out as good.
This album wasn’t overhyped. It was just bad.