The Break Presents: Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert is one of the bright faces coming up in hip-hop. The North Philly native's rapid fire delivery fits his stage name perfectly. It's as if every bar flies out his mouth a 100 miles a sec. Backed by industry mainstays like Don Cannon and DJ Drama, the once wild child turned rapper is now trying to take trap music to another level. His scene stealing verse on Carnage's "WDYW" began to turn heads, and after proclaiming his love for Dej Loaf on wax and his electric SXSW performances, people want to know who Uzi Vert is. Well, you've come to the right place.—Emmanuel C.M.
Name: Lil Uzi Vert
Hometown: North Philadelphia, Pa.
I grew up listening to: Mike Jones, Ying Yang Twins then a little later Wiz Khalifa and Meek Mill too. It was the repetitive stuff with Mike Jones when he would give out his number and I also like his style. Back then, actually I still think du-rags, grillz and stuff like that are cool. The Ying Yang Twins, it was more because of the whole look and the turn up. Back then I liked more turn up artists when I was real young; I still do now. That’s what really stuck out for them. When Wiz Khalifa came out, it was something totally different that I never heard and he’s from Pennsylvania
The first album I bought I didn’t even buy it. My grandma got Mike Jones and Bow Wow’s Wanted a little later. Matter of fact Ying Yang Twins’ U.S.A. Still United was the first album, but Mike Jones was the first album I really love.
I really didn’t want to rap; I was just a regular kid. My friend his name is William Aston, we went to the same High School together and he was rapping. He put out a freestyle over Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” and it was fire and the whole school went crazy. I was always so used to the attention and it was like damn. I was brand new at that school because I got kicked out of my old school. I’m an attention seeker, still 'til this day. I came up to him a week later and said, ‘Yo I rap.” He told me to spit something but I really didn’t rap. I would prolonging it like, "Oh I'll rap for you later at lunch or next time I see you after school." But I really wasn’t doing it. I made one rap and it was corny as hell and he just told me to keep going. One day he pulled up on me and tested me like, “You want to go to the studio?” I said yea but I was bull-shitting. He was like, “Ok come outside.” It was no turning back because he was actually outside. We went to the studio I laid a track and it was crazy. He just said we should start rapping together and that’s how it all started.
Most people don't know: I’m a real big Marilyn Manson fan. I get a lot of my styles from him. Not even musically, living wise too. Marilyn Manson definitely shows me you shouldn’t care what nobody say. I watched a bunch of his interviews and he’s not just an artist, he’s one of the most intelligent people I ever saw in my life. I became a fan when I was a little bit young around 13 or 14-years-old. That’s when I was in my little rockstar phase. I used to like Paramore, My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects and shit like that. But Marilyn Manson definitely stood out for me. He was talking real shit. The albums with him, that’s different, I know all the albums. The first one I ever heard was Mechanical Animals, but I heard all of his projects.
My style has been compared to: I don’t know who I can compare my style to because I listen to everybody from old to new. If I hear stuff that I like I’ll definitely gravitate to it and spin it in my own way. I’m a mixture of a lot of people honestly, but I’m myself. I’ve been compared to a lot of different people. Sometimes in certain songs they compare my voice or my style to Young Thug. Sometimes I switch it up. I can do all types of music.
Standout records and/or moments to date: I’m in love with Dej Loaf. I got a whole song dedicated to her basically and she heard it. I met her at SXSW. I kept running into her. It was destiny it was supposed to be. I saw everybody like once or twice but with her I bumped into her like five, six, seven times. That was a standout moment. I listen to a lot of music and I’m underground. So I listen to everything. I know about everybody and everything. I first heard of her from Don Cannon, this was like the beginning of the summer. Don Cannon had posted a picture up on Instagram I think and I started listening to her music. I don’t even like women rappers honestly, but she kind of like a girl speaking like a nigga. The way that she rap, she rap about real shit and she really from the shit. Like I’m from the hood and she from the hood. She from Detroit and that’s the whole trap right there. I’m from Philly and that’s the trap. We definitely connected.
My goal in hip-hop is: I just want to be successful. I’m not going to sit here and be like I want to win a Grammy or whatever; if that comes, that’s awesome. But I just want to be successful and provide for my whole family and get my family out the hood. Like it seems like yesterday I was just thinking about rapping. Now, I’m in Atlanta right now doing it. My goal is just be as successful as I can be and keep counting my blessings.
I want to be the next: Trap rap rockstar. I want to be as big as I can be. I want to be one of the biggest artists. I want to be remembered like, “He is crazy. He is phenomenal.” I just want to be one of the biggest.
The Real Uzi