The student news site of Northwest High School

The JagWire

The student news site of Northwest High School

The JagWire

The student news site of Northwest High School

The JagWire


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“Pink Tape” Review

Kenneth Capello
The cover for Lil Uzi Vert’s third studio album “Pink Tape.”

If their second studio album “Eternal Atake” was any indication, Lil Uzi Vert is all about not being normal. Their newest release “Pink Tape” is the perfect example of an album that breaks norms — exploring the vast expanse of alternative rap by including punk, metal, and club influences.

When Uzi released the TikTok Jersey club anthem “Just Wanna Rock” in 2022, it was a hint of their willingness to explore sounds beyond trap. Running 87 minutes with a total of 26 songs — including three bonus songs — Uzi somehow manages to keep listeners hooked on each song. From “CS,” the cover of System of a Down’s “Chop Suey,” to the chaotic metal and animé power closer “The End,” this album plays like Uzi’s creative magnum opus.

During the three-year hiatus between “Eternal Atake” and “Pink Tape,” Uzi went sober and adopted a persona named Leslie Chow, becoming a brand new person. Talks of a new album began in 2021, when the Philadelphia rapper posted a picture of the 24 million-dollar pink diamond they had embedded in their forehead. The caption read “Pink Tape.” Fans became restless for new music, with new snippets being played at Rolling Loud festivals in Miami and Los Angeles.

The hype became palpable. Not long after the release of the single, “Just Wanna Rock,” they dropped the EP “Red and White.” Its eight rough-sounding songs were like a preview of “Pink Tape.” What followed was a combination of  Instagram live sessions, DJ Akademiks interviews, a BET Awards show performance, and a four-minute trailer to hype up the release.

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Uzi has been known to create music that’s different from his fellow artists, always striving to create a new sound in every release. From the melancholic trap of “Luv is Rage 2” to the more cloud rap-influenced “Eternal Atake,” each album introduces something new. “Pink Tape” is no exception. Their spiked-hair-look perfectly reflects the vibe of this album, as they explore heavy metal guitar riffs, distortion, and poppy synths recalling artists like Playboi Carti and Trippie Redd.

Uzi’s strong vocals complement his bold new sounds. The features also adds to the fun. On “x2,” producer and rapper Ken Carson uses bright vocal synths to accompany Uzi’s braggadocious bars. For the punk/rap crossover of the year, “Werewolf,” Uzi teams up with Bring Me The Horizon to create one of Uzi’s most unique cuts, showcasing the creative ambition of “Pink Tape.” All features on the album provide their own unique flair to the tracks they accompany. Travis Scott’s auto-tuned verse on “Aye” adds to the rager vibes started on the track’s instrumental, reminding me of  their 2017 song “Early 20 Rager.” Don Toliver’s atmospheric backing vocals help create the otherworldly feel of “Patience,” which happens to be my favorite feature on the album. Nicki Minaj’s playful flow on “Endless Fashion” fits well with Uzi’s upbeat vibe, changing the tone from the more serious early tracks like the swagger-filled “Suicide Doors” and “Flooded the Face.”

By combining so many different genres on “Pink Tape,” Uzi creates a listening experience that many rappers only hope for. Their creative expression feels like part of a paradigm shift. “Pink Tape” serves as another example of how rock and rap can be properly integrated into an album that appeals to everyone. They’re not trying to re-create prior sounds, which is what makes this album beautiful. Uzi finds beauty in artistic ambition and chaos on “Pink Tape,” his creative magnum opus.