After going more than two years without dropping a project, Lil Uzi Vert emerged from the ashes with the surprise release of his long-awaited Eternal Atake album on Friday (March 6). Excited fans immediately sunk their teeth into the 18-track effort, and they even threw out several theories in an attempt to break down the concept album.
Uzi’s mysteriousness adds another layer of entertainment to the spectacle, as he co-signed several fans’ ideas and declined others. The only problem, his trolling ways make it tough to decipher if he’s being serious or just looking to confuse the masses while hyping up the fans even further.
With five days of listening under our belt, Billboard attempts to decode parts of the Philly native’s Eternal Atake album. Hop on the spaceship and take the journey with us below.
It features three different personas
Uzi was impressed with how quickly one fan solved a part of the EA puzzle. A Twitter user pointed out that the album is actually broken down into three separate parts with each representing a different Uzi persona. “How did you know? You Smart,” Uzi responded.
Tracks one to six represent the Baby Pluto alter-ego, since they find Uzi being more aggressive — while seven through twelve find a compassionate Philly native fully transformed into Renji. The rest of the album represents the throwback Lil Uzi Vert that fans fell in love with way back when.
This is only the first half
Even though EA contains a robust 18 tracks, which features Uzi powering the effort solo (outside of one collaboration), he claims that this is only the first half of whatever he has planned for the Eternal Atake era in 2020. Baby Pluto has already started teasing a deluxe for Friday (March 13), which should be a star-studded affair, and include an additional eight tracks.
Three options for artwork
As a man of the people, Uzi let the fans decide what would serve as the official EA artwork after laying out three options for them to vote on. Option No. 2 ended up winning out, which features Uzi and two others on another planet while looking back at the earth.
The first option sees a plethora of golden diamonds with a hand under the one magical rock, while the third ended up being the track list’s artwork, which finds Uzi commanding a crowd at a rally that could represent a cult.
The album order will be complete with the deluxe edition
If things still don’t make sense, Uzi says that’s okay because you have to hear the deluxe version and listen to the project again front-to-back to fully grasp what he set out to accomplish with EA. This could take longer than the instant-gratification society we live in might expect.
What do Ariana Grande and Travis Scott have in common?
No, this isn’t about Ari shading Travis when he took the No. 1 album spot from Nicki Minaj or “SICKO MODE” supplanting “Thank U Next” atop the Hot 100. Ariana’s “raindrops” and La Flame’s “way back” are just two of the intricate samples used on Eternal Atake.
Ariana Grande samples are seeping into hip-hop. On the heels of the late Pop Smoke sampling Ari’s “7 Rings” on “Mannequin,” Uzi incorporates Grande’s angelic vocals from “raindrops” into “Celebration Station.” Prior to EA‘s release, the 25-year-old also thanked Travis Scott for clearing BITTSM‘s “Way Back,” as the song’s faint Cashmere Cat horns pop up on “Prices.”
Do you believe in aliens?
Uzi is one to have no problem adding fuel to the fire for cinematic effect. With much debate over the significance of the skits on the album, LUV pits the alien truthers against those who don’t believe in other forms of life in his fanbase with Eternal Atake at the center of attention.
Why all the skits?
Uzi released a blockbuster of a trailer prior to the album’s release, which hinted that EA would be built around the concept of ditching his office job and being abducted into an alternate universe by aliens. The handful of skits pretty much continue to peel back the layers of that storyline, as a nervous Uzi hits a spaceship’s escape button at the end of “Bust Me” to begin his free fall from the dark world back home.