Lil Uzi Vert is in a strange sort-of career purgatory at the moment. He’s currently in a contract dispute with his label Atlantic Records and reportedly moving into a new management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. The ensuing dispute and frustrations led him, at one point, to contemplate quitting music. Eternal Atake, his follow-up album to 2017’s LUV is Rage 2, sits in flux without a release date.
In spite of this (or possibly as a consequence), Uzi has been making some of his fiercest, rawest, and most sprawling records to date, the best of them being the recently-released Oogie Mane and Nick Mira-produced single, “That’s a Rack.” With its ghostly chamber piano sample and its heavy, distorted speaker-busting bass, “That’s a Rack” would’ve been alluring all by itself, but Uzi’s intense rapping takes it to another level.
One of the hallmarks of Uzi’s style is the way his voice dances and contorts itself to the rhythms of any beat he’s on. On “That’s a Rack,” Uzi flows with an elasticity and abandon that’s exciting and magnetic. The way his voice randomly pitches up to a soprano as he raps, “girl, your breath stink, need a spearmint, many/ you need to go and take a minute/ but your ass fat, lemme go for the finish,” is gleefully delirious and fuels the manic energy powering the song.
The song shares a similarly sprawling quality to Uzi’s previous single “New Patek,” in that the more you listen to it, the more spaced out it gets, as though you’re listening to Uzi burrow into his own world and get lost in his own rhyming with trance-like precision. Uzi’s music shines brightest when he’s at his most freewheeling and energetic, and “That’s a Rack” is the latest entry in that category. If Uzi is feeling pressure from the outside world, his music at least continues to excel.