REVIEW: Despite the success of his latest album, Lil Uzi’s latest single flops

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

As exciting as it is when Lil Uzi Vert drops new music, his new single “Sasuke” falls short of expectations — if you even had enough time to conjure up any with the surprise release. What is exciting, however, is the wave of speculation following the track and Uzi’s hyperactivity online.

After dropping the long-anticipated album “Eternal Atake,” Uzi has taken to social media, often engaging with fans on Twitter as well as other artists. One artist in particular, who recently returned to the music scene, has the focal point of Uzi’s recent tweets and fan interactions. This artist, of course, is Playboi Carti. After two years since the release of his critically acclaimed album “Die Lit,” Carti has finally put out his own music, with a single titled, “@ MEH.”

This review is just as much about Carti as it is Uzi since the two have been going back and forth for unknown reasons on Twitter, fueling speculation of “beef” between the two long time collaborators and friends. In the midst of this tension, Carti dropped his single on April 16, which was followed by Uzi’s “Sasuke,” released Friday night, more than a week later. 

In this track, Uzi uses the infamous baby voice; a recent trend in the hip-hop community, with none other than Carti at the forefront of it all. 645AR’s “4 Da Trap” is an example of the baby voice use going viral as the song was featured in countless memes. The voice, along with Uzi’s cadence and adlibs, makes the track eerily similar to Carti’s style. Yet, because of this, this track is probably less of a serious release and rather part of a larger promotional plan for Carti’s highly anticipated album, “Whole Lotta Red”— just my guess. 

In a response to one of Carti’s tweets alluding to his new album, Uzi quote-tweeted asking the rapper, “Did u drop yet?” All of this teaser material points to a collaboration between the two artists rather than a beef, with Uzi playfully mimicking Carti’s typing style and also showing an alternate cover to Carti’s single. Their recent tweets professing their love for each other add more to the mix. “Sasuke” perfectly fits into this scheme, but it doesn’t mean it’s a great track.

The song does have a Carti-esque nature, but it also sounds like a generic Uzi song. References to fashion, sexual innuendos and cars in the typical Uzi delivery make for nothing special. The title of the track refers to Sasuke Uchiha, a character from the Naruto universe. The anime theme has been a large part of Uzi’s recent image, with his car collection featuring various anime-inspired designs catching lots of online attention.

The repetitive nature of the track grows tiresome by the middle. It doesn’t feel like an actual song, especially in the midst of this online feud, but rather as a demo of what Uzi would sound like if he was copying Carti. Coming off not only the “Eternal Atake” drop but also the deluxe version, “Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World 2,” (which can stand alone as an album) it’s strange to see Uzi again after a long hiatus. 

If a Carti-Uzi project is truly in the works, it might mean that an entire collaborative album could be on its way since a project between the two, “16*29” was teased as early as 2017. The two seemingly simultaneous drops from each artist certainly add fuel to the fire since fans have been waiting for another Carti-Uzi song after the immense success from songs like “Shoota,” “wokeuplikethis*” and “Of Course We Ghetto Flowers.”

“Sasuke” is not going to have a lasting legacy like Lil Uzi Vert’s other hits. Though, the hype drawn from it and Uzi’s constant Twitter interactions hinting at a Playboi Carti collaboration have certainly made it a better listen than it is alone.