Lil Uzi Vert exploded onto the scene in 2016, punctuated by the release of his Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World mixtape. Over the past six months alone, the Philly native has earned the first No. 1 single of his career—thanks to his guest feature on Migos' chart-topping "Bad and Boujee"—and three RIAA certifications (two Gold, one Platinum).
To write that Uzi's table is set for a gigantic 2017 would be the understatement of the year.
On Tuesday, The FADER published an outstanding cover story about Uzi, entitled "Lil Uzi Vert Can’t Be Bothered," in which writer Felipe Delerme documented his experience flying to Hawaii to interview Uzi, only to be given the runaround for days on end.
While the entire interview is highly entertaining—seriously, go read it once you're done here—I found the final, brief exchange between Delerme and Uzi especially interesting.
Delerme explained to Uzi that DJ Drama, who along with Don Cannon signed Uzi to their Generation Now label, had told him that his trip to Hawaii was a "reward for all your hard work" because he would have never rewarded himself.
“Oh, I’m already rewarded," Uzi replied. "I’m not dead and I don’t live where I was born. I got to be able to move, so I’m already rewarded. Shit ain’t for me.”
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Perspective is key in any line of work, as it is in life itself, and Uzi's measured response proves that in a very short period of time, he has gained the proper amount, but Delerme prodded further, wanting to know what "shit," specifically, isn't for Uzi.
Uzi: “This rap shit. I hate it.”
Delerme: So it’s a curse that you’re good at it?
Uzi: “Yep. You wanna know what the curse is? I gotta take care of my family. That’s the curse right there. I gotta take care of my whole family. That’s why I can’t stop. If I ain’t have to take care of nobody, best believe I’d be regular as fuck.”
Say what you will about Uzi's music, his fashion sense or the role he has played in the proliferation of so-called "mumble rap," but at 22 years old he's clearly bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. At 22, I was fresh out of college, living at home with my parents while working on DJBooth 12 hours a day. I had zero financial responsibility to anyone but myself. Uzi, on the other hand, has the responsibility of financially taking care of his entire family.
Rap purists want every emcee who picks up a microphone to pursue their passion because of an inherent love for the culture and art form, but sometimes people take jobs simply because they have to feed their family. Uzi might hate photo shoots and interviews and rap, but, for him, they're all a means to an end.
You might not understand why people like Uzi's music. Hell, you might not even understand what he's saying in his music. But everyone has a family and everyone should understand the greater good of doing what is necessary to provide for your loved ones—even if that means doing a job you're good at and simultaneously hating it with every fiber of your being.
By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram