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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer A.D. Amorosi turns to his greyhound Django for another pass at the year’s hits and misses.
After the rush of respect, acclaim and fame from 2017’s The Django Pages at The Key – his critical debut – my fleet greyhound certainly felt a serious sense of responsibility when it came to documenting his continued love affair (and occasional disgust) with the music around him, and the multi-culturalism surrounding that. Plus, he got a gig writing for Pitchfork, something that has, so far, alluded me during my career as an arts journalist.
As it was a weird year (politically, socially), so much of what Django took in, and appreciated/dissected had to be filtered through the noise of rhetoric and correctness. With that came an addition to his usual outward signs of approval and disapproval (relaxed ears or laying with legs akimbo for the former, grimace and growls for the latter): a side-eyed glare as if to say, “c’maan, really?” Many of these looks got shot at me at the sound of anything having to do with Kanye West (from his innumerable rants to his Kids See Ghosts), Asia Argento, Jeff Sessions, 6ix9ine (even though his performance at Made in America was stellar), Larry Krasner and Justin Timberlake (really, just JT’s whole Man in the Woods burly guy routine. Everything else is cool). Continue reading →
It’s safe to say that hip hop artist Travis Scott is having one of, if not the biggest run of his career. After releasing his third album (and first to garner mass critical acclaim), ASTROWORLD, and dominating the charts with hits like “Sicko Mode” and “Stargazing” throughout the summer, the Houston rapper has been bringing heat for the fall and winter with his Astroworld: Wish You Were Here Tour. If you were at the sold out Wells Fargo Center this past Saturday then you may have felt that your wish was granted by being there in and witnessing young La Flame rage through the late night with his die hard Philadelphia fans. Continue reading →