"Dumber" off "The Real Uzi" (2014)
We’re kicking off the list with something from Lil Uzi Vert’s first mixtape, The Real Uzi. Lil Uzi seemed to become an overnight success when Luv Is Rage dropped, but even so, he hasn’t been in this rap game for too long. The Real Uzi dropped in 2014, and two years later, he’s on the cusp of being rap’s next big star. If you go back to listen to The Real Uzi, though, you can hear that Uzi already had his sound down pat—perhaps his development occurred away from the prying eyes of the internet, but dude could have dropped The Real Uzi yesterday and it wouldn’t sound of out of place.
Maaly Raw produced five songs on this particular project. The two are both from Philadelphia and thus it’s likely that their chemistry developed in person, in-studio— always a better tactic than the over-email-transactions between a producer and a rapper. On “Dumber,” Maaly weaves a distorted synth line in and out, paired with melodic keys and intermittent hi-hat and drumrolls— Uzi goes dumb on the beat, leaving us to wonder, is it even possible for him to make a bad hook?