It’s been a long and winding road, but Lil Uzi Vert finally released his much-delayed Eternal Atake album on Friday. The project hit streaming services without any notice from Uzi, as fans expected EA to drop this week instead.
The 25-year-old has been deeply entrenched in a label dispute with Generation Now/Atlantic Records that dates back to 2016 after signing a deal with DJ Drama and Don Cannon’s imprint in 2015. As time wore on, Uzi publicly voiced his frustrations in a more combative nature, which only turned the ugly squabble into more of a mess.
Check out a timeline detailing Lil Uzi’s rocky road to releasing Eternal Atake starting at the top of 2018, when he first set his sights on the album.
Jan. 12, 2018: Lil Uzi Vert warns artists about signing deals with rappers and DJs
Uzi kicked off 2018 with a couple of subliminal shots at DJ Drama when warning other artists about signing to labels run by fellow creatives. “If y’all do sign … sign 2 a major Dont sign 2 a rapper or a DJ,” he wrote. “It’s Just Easier When The Time Come For That Fake S–t.” Uzi did follow up to show love to Don Cannon.
Jan. 12, 2018 – Lil Uzi Vert feuds with Rich The Kid
Uzi going after DJ Drama turns into a separate feud with Rich the Kid. RTK hops in looking for some publicity for his Rich Forever label, causing Uzi and Rich to exchange a series of jabs on social media. RTK previews a diss song in February and the two rappers and their entourages end up confronting each other in Philadelphia in June.
Dec. 24, 2018 – Lil Uzi Vert rhymes about getting out of his label situation
In a rare assist, Uzi hops on Shabazz PBG’s “Shells” to blast Generation Now and reveals how he’s plotting his exit from the label. “Tryna figure out how I’m gonna get out my deal/ I’m a bad boy, a reverend, I feel like I’m Mase/ Your b—h with me but she got to leave by eight,” Uzi raps.
Jan. 11, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert teases retiring from music
With his creativity restricted, the eclectic Uzi says he’s done with making music altogether. “I wanna take the time out to say I thank each and every one of my supporters but I’m done with music. I deleted everything. I wanna be normal … I wanna wake up in 2013,” he captions a post to his IG story.
Later in January, Uzi compares signing a record deal to snitching in the streets. He then teases fans about how he wishes he could hit the studio like old times. “Just reminiscing,” he writes.
March 20, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert doesn’t appear on NAV’s album because of label issues
Uzi and NAV connected for “Habits,” which was slated to go on NAV‘s Bad Habits album. Days after the project’s release, NAV pens a note to fans explaining that DJ Drama and Don Cannon of Generation Now refused to clear Uzi’s verse for the album.
March 28, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert releases “Free Uzi,” which is quickly scrubbed from streaming services
Uzi protests his freedom and circumvents his label beef with the release of “Free Uzi.” The track — which finds Uzi rhyming over G Herbo‘s “Gangland” — was uploaded to only SoundCloud and Tidal, while Atlantic Records was seemingly surprised by the release and referred to the drop as a “leak.” “Free Uzi” has since been scrubbed from streaming services, but Uzi did release a video for it that remains online.
March 28, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert signs with Roc Nation for management
When an artist is having problems with his or her record label, there seems to be only one phone call to make, and that’s to rap superhero Jay-Z and the folks over at Roc Nation. Uzi signs a new deal for management with the Roc and is quickly put in better spirits. He’s back in the studio, but still trolling DJ Drama on social media, while Roc Nation tries to free him from his original deal.
March 31, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert wants to renegotiate label contract, releases two new tracks
With the ink still drying from his deal with Roc Nation, TMZ reports that Uzi is attempting to renegotiate his contract with Generation Now with the help of the Roc’s powerful legal team because he feels he’s being exploited. Between the new Roc connection and Uzi releasing a pair of tracks in “Sanguine Paradise” and “That’s a Rack,” this is the first sign of light at the end of the tunnel toward a possible resolution.
May 13, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert says Eternal Atake is finished
At the tail-end of his Rolling Loud Miami set, the Philly rapper draws a roar from the crowd after claiming that the mythical Eternal Atake is finally complete. “I ain’t gonna lie, the other night, I finished the last song to the album,” he says before leaving with an abrupt mic drop. “So y’all ready for this mother—-ing album? Nah, it don’t sound like y’all ready for my album. It sound like y’all ready for somebody else album. Y’all ready for my album? Okay, bye.”
Dec. 12, 2019 – Lil Uzi Vert releases “Futsal Shuffle 2020”
After continually dropping teasers for EA, Uzi delivers a concrete release in the form of “Futsal Shuffle 2020.” The dance-heavy track would end up serving as a bonus track on the album and finally set the plan in motion to go full-speed ahead toward Uzi’s sophomore effort.
March 9, 2020 – Lil Uzi Vert releases Eternal Atake, teases deluxe
It wasn’t a dream, as Uzi finally delivered on his promise of releasing Eternal Atake on Friday. The 18-track album is mainly feature-free outside of an appearance from Syd. He’s also gearing up to drop the deluxe version in the coming weeks, which should feature more fun collaborations that he’s kept in the stash.