There is no denying that Lil Uzi Vert, the peculiar rapper, singer and songwriter from Philadelphia, makes very unique and original music, combining melodic tones and real-world lyrics that discuss topics that are not always easy to bring to swallow for the average music lover. His dynamic personality, unique fashion sense, and entrancing music has elevated Lil Uzi Vert to the exclusive club of chart-topping artists in a relatively short amount of time. Since the release of his mixtape, Luv Is Rage, his music has seen more than one billion streams, has racked up multiplatinum smash records and earned Uzi a nice $19.5 million, landing him on the official Cash Kings list. Recently, Lil Uzi Vert took to social media with some super cryptic messages that have fans everywhere worried about the eclectic rap star.
No New Music
In Early 2019 Lil Uzi Vert took to his Twitter account to announce that he would no longer be making any new music. This took fans and media outlets everywhere by surprise given the fact that Lil Uzi Vert has been on a very good recording streak since 2015 with hit records and widely viewed music videos, at one time, seemingly being released every other day. For a successful artist like Lil Uzi Vert to make these types of claims, social media immediately knew that there was something more to the entire story.
Prior to his tweets in early 2019, Lil Uzi Vert has stated previously that his record label and management team were trying to limit the amount of music he was able to release. So when he began talking about quitting the music industry entirely, people automatically linked the record label to the current struggles the artist is trumpeting.
Record Label Issues
Lil Uzi Vert is signed to Generation Now, an Atlantic Records imprint, owned by a duo of Philadelphia-born, Atlanta affiliated music industry veterans, DJ Drama, DJ Don Cannon and artist management executive Leighton “Lakeshow” Morrison. Conflicting stories are swirling around the artist and his label as it has been reported that Uzi feels that his current contract with Generation Now limits opportunities for real growth as an artist and isn’t progressive enough for his financial bottom line. Rumor has it that because of the feud, the label won’t cover costs for Uzi’s recordings and studio sessions, so he is having to get financial help from other sources to fund his project.
The label, however claims that they are not responsible for Uzi not releasing any of the music from his sophmore Eternal Atake album – financial or otherwise. Generation Now execs stand firm that Uzi has been in complete control of the project from the beginning. The label also claims that Uzi has always had a production budget for the album and has been freely recording on his own, but that he refuses to share any of the music with them – which cripples Generation’s ability to strategize on marketing, promotion and release dates. With all of his back and forth, both teams appear to be caught in a vicious cycle of “you show your hand first.”
In the midst of all of this, Uzi’s latest record, “Free Uzi” was just pulled from streaming services due to licensing issues. Uzi is also upset that Generation won’t clear a free verse the rapper did for upcoming artist Nav on a song called ‘Habits.’ that was supposed to make Nav’s album. A LOT is going on between these two camps.
New Management Deal
With Lil Uzi Vert at the top of his game, leaving unreleased music to sit un-monetized is not ideal for the artist or his label. Mega rap legend Jay-Z and his famed management company Roc Nation observed Uzi’s frustration with his label contract and has stepped in to help Uzi manage his business and subsequent creative dealings. By signing a new management deal with Roc Nation, Uzi will be able to release new music without the limitations placed on him by Generation Now.
Roc Nation has been in the news lately as the industry celebrates the management company’s recent behind-the-scenes work helping other artists and regular citizens alike successfully work through legal and business dealings. Lil Wayne, Meek Mill and 21 Savage have all benefited from the management giant’s generosity.
Even in considering the new deal on the management side of his career, Lil Uzi Vert is still fighting to be released from his contract at Generation Now. The question of the day is whether or not Roc Nation will be able to help make that happen.