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Lizzo, Lil Uzi Vert, Charly Bliss among artists added to Made in America lineup

(from left) Lil Uzi Vert, Charly Bliss, Lizzo | photos by John Vettese for WXPN

The eighth annual Made In America festival returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on August 31 and September 1, and more artists have been added to the already strong lineup. The Jay-Z curated festival just announced that Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane, Alina Baraz, Jay Critch and more will also be performing at the Labor Day weekend festival. A few of the additions we’re particularly excited about — Lizzo, who has made a huge splash this year with her great new record Cuz I Love You, and the more under-the-radar indie rock band Charly Bliss. Continue reading →

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Is Lil Uzi Vert hinting at an upcoming album with this leak of a new single titled “Dolly”?

Lil Uzi Vert | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

If you live in Philly, you’ve probably seen Lil Uzi Vert once or twice walking casually around South Street. Hailing from North Philly, Uzi is probably one of the most unique, out-of-pocket MCs in the industry today. His rapid-fire delivery, infectiously catchy hooks, and let’s not forget his fire dance moves are what turns heads. Continue reading →

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All My Friends Are Onstage: Lil Uzi Vert’s hip-hop hit parade brings Pharrell, Nicki Minaj and more to the Liacouras Center

Lil Uzi Vert | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Let’s not sell Lil Uzi Vert short. The Grammy-nominated Philadelphia rapper is a commanding, dynamic performer with incredible charisma, athletic stamina and a daredevil’s drive to completely obliterate the boundary between artist and audience. It was what grabbed us here at The Key when we first encountered him, jumping offstage and climbing on top of food vending trucks at the Roots Picnic, finishing his set perched on high, dancing for an energized audience below.

This was the Lil Uzi that took the stage last night to a sold-out crowd at Temple’s Liacouras Center for his year-end throwdown, A Very Uzi Christmas. The basketball arena was decked out in tune with the rapper’s goth-inspired aesthetic — open caskets on either side of the stage pumping pulsing light and dry ice outward, two LED boards in the shape of inverted crosses — and as Uzi leapt from the upper deck to the front row to the bumping bass of “444+222” from this year’s Luv Is Rage 2, sashaying between pyrotechnic plumes, it was pretty clear: this show could have been Uzi and Uzi alone, and it would have been an incredible night.

But that’s not how it went down. Continue reading →

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Lil Uzi Vert continues his rock star reign with a revamped edition of Luv Is Rage 2 and a Liacouras Center show

Lil Uzi Vert | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Lil Uzi Vert | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

2017 has been a record-breaking year for North Philly rap star Lil Uzi Vert. Before releasing the full length Luv Is Rage 2, Uzi’s “XO TOUR Llif3” went quadruple-platinum, breaking multiple records for streaming numbers and hard-copy sales. Luv Is Rage 2 also recently went gold after debuting at #1 on the Billboard 100. Uzi is now a certified rock star and lives his life to fit the part. And just when we thought he was taking a break from releasing new music, he gifted us four new songs on the deluxe version of Luv Is Rage 2: “Skirr Skir”, “Loaded”, “Diamonds All On My Wrist,” and “20 Min.” Continue reading →

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Watch this Vice profile on Philly rap superstar Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi Vert at Made In America | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Lil Uzi Vert at Made In America | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Few artists have captured the attention of the Philly hip-hop scene in 2016 quite like Lil Uzi Vert. From a show-stopping set at The Roots Picnic to a massive set at Made in America, with several mixtape drops, the coveted XXL freshman cover and a packed house at The Fillmore in between, he’s definitely the man of the moment.

That Fillmore show is the place where the Vice digital video series Noisey & Friends catches up with Lil Uzi for a short profile. We get to meet a line of fans out front singing the rapper’s praises — the young dude in the Black Flag t-shirt who claims he “was on to Uzi a month before the wave started” is totally a music snob in the making — and we also meet Uzi’s entourage. Continue reading →

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Lil Uzi in Wonderland: Watch the Spike Jonze-directed video for Lil Uzi Vert’s “You Was Right”

Lil Uzi Vert | video still via Noisey

If this is wonderland, that makes Lil Uzi Vert the mad hatter. The latest visual from the Philly hip-hop celebrity sees him holding court at a tripped-out garden party: guests flash unnerving cat eyes, blobs of amorphous goo seep from person to person and a rabbit scampers across the scene, all to the tune of “You Was Right” from this year’s Lil Uzi Versus The World project. The man behind it all, meanwhile, looks like he’s having the time of his life — which is how he tends to look at any given point, anyway. Dude has one of the most infectiously amped personas in hip-hop. Continue reading →

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Watch Lil Uzi Vert climb from the Roots Picnic stage to a rooftop to the XXL Freshmen Cover

Lil Uzi Vert at Roots Picnic 2016 | via Okayplayer

Lil Uzi Vert is a name that’s been on the lips of hip-hop prognosticators for the past year and change. His rabid fans and the hype they create has led to more than a few “next big thing” proclamations, and one look at his performance from Roots Picnic shows you just why. The 21-year-old, who hails from the Francisville section of Philly, was in the midst of his song “WDYW” – a hammering rager with a clubby beat – when he decided to take shit, literally, to the next level.

The account of it by Okayplayer’s Elijah C. Watson is particularly vivid. Continue reading →

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Lil Dicky freestyles with Desiigner and Anderson .Paak in XXL’s Freshman Cypher

XXL Freshmen Cover
XXL Freshmen Cover

For almost a decade now, hip hop mag XXL has been rounding up the best new artists in the game to feature front and center on their annual Freshman cover. Started in 2007, scene staples like Kendrick Lamar (2011), Kid Cudi (2009), Future (2012) and Chance the Rapper (2014) have all graced the cover and gone on to acquire massive followings (and make killer albums, of course).

This year, the cover crew included Cheltenham rapper Lil Dicky – along with another Philly artist, Lil Uzi Vert – and for the mag’s first installment of class-of-2016 cyphers, Lil Dicky shares some screen time with Desiigner and Anderson .Paak. Continue reading →

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It’s Now or Nav: The Canadian rapper-producer is having his moment

Nav | photo courtesy of the artist

When Toronto rapper-producer Nav hits The Fillmore this Saturday for his “Bad Habits” tour showcase, he’s not just showing off the fruits of having a long-awaited, much deserved number one album on the Billboard charts.

Coming to Philly, as he is on June 15, will be some sort of homecoming as this city has afforded him the friendships of Lil Uzi Vert (with whom Nav collaborated and anticipates a duet album in the future), and Meek Mill, the latter of which offered the Canadian his co-sign on Instagram when Nav wrote and produced “Back to Back” for Drake.

“I was a fan of his and still living at my mom’s house when Meek shout me out on Instagram,” said Nav. “When I came around XO guys (producers) like Cash and Flux, they had already been good friends with him. Fast-forward to it being the second to last day before I had to hand in my album. Cash was on the phone with Meek just getting things together, when he says to him, ‘hey, we’re finishing up Nav’s album if you want to get anything in on it. Send it through.” Continue reading →