Lil Uzi Vert took mainstream rap to a new low on Sunday. The Philadelphia rapper just released “That Way,” a shameless cover of the 1999 Backstreet Boys hit “I Want it That Way.”
As mumble rap and gimmick songs continue to infect the art-form, Lil Uzi Vert has somehow managed to do both.
With artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Nas X taking over the hip-hop landscape, we’re forced to ask ourselves questions like: “why?”
I’m all for cross-cultural musical mashups, but a cowboy rapper? Really? That’s the biggest hit of the year? Didn’t we already learn from Kid Rock that this is not an enjoyable combination?
Unfortunately, most Lil Nas X fans are probably too young to remember Kid Rock’s early days as a hillbilly MC. As an ancient Millenial who survived the late 90s, let me tell you—it was a dark time for music.
Much like the coronavirus, terrible things tend to spread rapidly. Other cringe-worthy artists like Limp Bizkit experimented with rock-rap, and before we knew it, white guys all across the country bought trucker hats, grew goatees, and thought they could rap.
To be clear, this is not a race issue. Bad music is colorblind. But people aren’t. And there’s a giant red flag, similar to Fred Durst’s red hat, flailing above Lil Uzi Vert’s head.
Around the same time that Kid Rock was rapping his way to the top, the Backstreet Boys were the biggest music act in the world. Meanwhile, actual artists like Jay-Z and the real Nas were trying breakthrough.
Let’s give Brian, AJ, Nick, Howie, and Kevin a rest. They’re probably still exhausted from years of creating soul-less, corporate pop songs. Infecting the masses with terrible art can weigh on your soul, it can even affect your family.
Lil Uzi Vert should heed their warning. Yes, you can turn a quick profit by selling out, but the long term effects can be devastating.
Lil Uzi Vert might think he’s doing something original, but he’s not. He’s doing something Hollywood has done for years—trying to net a profit by remaking something that people are already familiar with.
That’s right, Lil Uzi Vert is the musical equivalent of The Emoji Movie.
Here’s the thought process behind this type of “art”: People like emojis. People like movies. Surely everyone who uses emojis would pay money to see a film about faces.
Sadly, this formula works. The Emoji Movie did depressingly well at the box office, plucking $217 million from the pockets of innocent people across the globe. But the price we pay as a society is far greater.
If the Emoji Movie, which rated 7% on Rotten Tomatoes and 3.2/10 on IMDb, can turn a 4x profit, then who knows what’s next. The Calculator Movie? The Gmail Movie? A movie about USB ports?
Lil Uzi Vert is paving the way for new forms of terrible music. Don’t be surprised if you see Blake Shelton remaking Vanilla Ice, or Drake covering “The Macarena.” Lil Uzi Vert has sold his soul to the corporate machine, let’s hope he hasn’t sold the future of hip-hop along with it.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.