A Lil Uzi Vert x Lil Peep Project Would Probably Be Amazing
A Lil Everything
When Genius posted a video crediting Lil Peep and Lil Uzi Vert for the rise of “emo rap,” it raised an interesting point about two artists that rarely get talked about together and opened the door for discourse regarding a possible collaboration.
First of all, before I even get started dissecting what would make this hypothetical album great, it must be acknowledged that the chances of this project actually coming to fruition are slim to none. Aside from the fact that the two artist have never met each other, Lil Uzi Vert is one of the biggest rappers in the world and Lil Peep is still more of a fringe/underground/soundcloud artist. Lil Peep has racked up millions of view in his own respect; however, Uzi may still not even know who he is. Despite the limitations, there are several reasons why if they ever did team up they could create a truly innovative and boundary pushing project.
Uzi has long cited Marilyn Manson and G.G. Allin as huge influencers and has fully embraced his emo image. However, the music he makes in large part doesn’t actually live up to the billing. I mean “Money Longer” is nothing more than a braggadocious rap success banger over interesting production. In the majority of his songs, he seems more enamoured with rapping about designer clothes, social media, money, and how he is better than other people. “Do What I Want” sounds way more like it was inspired by Wiz Khalifa than Brand New. Overall, Uzi lacks the expressive, often confessional lyrics that express feelings of hopelessness, despair, and anxiety which really define emo music. “XO Tour Life” is arguably the only outlier and part of the reason that it has been such a success could be the fact that it’s a record where his image actually correlates with his content.
This is where Lil Peep could really challenge Uzi to take his artistic expression to the next level. Peep represents the complete amalgamation of a full on emo band and a rapper. His sound is much more alternative with samples from Brand New, Avenged Sevenfold and many more, whereas Uzi leans much more towards Metro Boomin, Don Cannon and Maaly Raw production. While Lil Uzi Vert took almost his entire career to actually make an emo record, Lil Peep has yet to make a really strong rap record. The same way that Peep could challenge Uzi to bring out more dark emotional themes in his music, Uzi could challenge Peep to step his bars up. Peep’s vocals are often very slow and drawn out, and most of the time he fails to leave us with anything memorable. While no one in their wildest dreams would argue that Uzi is a lyricist, he has demonstrated the ability to actually be quite clever at times. “I put diamonds all up in my mouth, I feel like I’m part of Swishahouse”, from “Ronda” is a hilarious way of paying homage to Mike Jones, and when he rapped, “Um, no, no girl, I’m sorry, hang up girl don’t call me/No, no, you will not get me caught up all up on Maury” on “Sauce It Up” I had to chuckle. In addition, personality wise I think they could mesh pretty well. They both have very interesting takes on fashion with Lil Peep being featured in GQ multiple times, most recently talking about tattoos he was too fucked up to remember.
Overall, I feel that the best collaborations, whether it be a single song or a complete project, come from two artists who bring different but complementary styles and abilities to the table. They could be like the emo version of Outkast with Peep filling Andre’s role and Lil Uzi Vert being the rapper like Big Boi. This is obviously not an attempt to corroborate the notion that they are as talented as OutKast, but I find the analogy fitting. Even if you are not a fan of either artist I think it is possible to acknowledge that the whole product would be greater than the sum of the parts if they ever did get in the studio together.