When: Thu., April 28, 6:45 p.m. 2016
Philadelphia rapper Symere Woods, aka Lil Uzi Vert, emerged last year with all the colorful gusto and amateurism of an elementary school student playing with finger paint for the first time. On 2015’s Luv Is Rage (Generation Now/Atlantic) the 21-year-old scoops up and mixes together distinct rap sounds that have been burbling up online—like Chief Keef’s vitriolic spewage and Young Thug’s syllable-splitting flow. More often than not Woods’s enthusiasm leaves more of a mark than does his artistry, and for now his performances are rooted more in his influences than in his own ideas (Young Thug’s appearance on “Yamborghini Dream” sounds colossal next to much of what Woods lays out on Luv Is Rage). But it’s all part of a process of self-discovery, and on the new Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World (Generation Now) Woods exerts himself in brief, Auto-Tune-speckled lines that melt away at the edges—which does wonders with the serene, filmy synths on “Grab the Wheel.” Woods is joined by a mass of young Chicagoans, including the speedily ascending Famous Dex, who also plays with a mishmash of contemporary rap styles but comes out on the other side with a distinctive sound of his own. I’m not particularly keen on chunks of Dex’s recent OhhMannGoddDamm mixtape, but he always delivers his seesawing flow through what sounds like a mouthful of ice, and he always sounds like himself.
Price: sold out