The cult following that Lil Uzi Vert has formed over the last few years is one that is admirable and yet slightly puzzling. He doesn’t exactly match the stereotypical image of a rapper. Barely 5ft, dip dyed hair coloured pick, green and purple with his t shirt tucked into his skinny leather jeans. Whilst many rappers aesthetic doesn’t match their personality, Lil Uzi Vert wears his heart on his sleeve.
Obsessed with manga and fairy tales, his videos and artwork read as teenage rom coms rather than street rap. Yet whilst daydreaming over his crush he both recites stories of drug filled nights and wicked endeavours.
It’s a dark and delightful world that hordes of fans have become utterly obsessed with. This was proved last night when he made his London debut at ARRIVAL live. Just only a week ago Lil Uzi dropped a few tracks onto his Soundcloud without much of an uproar. Seemingly throwaway tracks, one was entitled XO TOUR Llif3. Yet performing the track for the first time last night the crowd screamed every lyric back as if it was a scripture.
Hours before the doors open there isn’t a queue forming outside but rather a mob, too big to be fashioned into an orderly manner. Whilst you may think Uzi’s catalogue may attract a younger audience, the crowd was filled with teenagers and adults from all races and backgrounds. And when the moment came for Uzi to grace the stage it was quite a heartwarming sight to witness them all jump into the moshpit as one.
Opening up with his Gucci Mane collaboration ‘Today’ Uzi thrives off the energy that the crowd so willingly offer up to him. It’s a heroes welcome for an idol they already know so well.
Through a series of hit mixtapes he has already built an impressive catalogue, of which he seems more excited to perform than the fans do to hear. Running through ‘Ps & qs’ and ‘Money Longer’ Uzi mimes along to his own lyrics with the audacity and charm of someone who knew they would make it along. Whilst for many U.S rappers performing in London for the first time would seem an overwhelming task, Uzi patrols the stage as if it’s his own. When the inevitable moment comes to performing his infamous ‘Bad and Boujee’ verse, he lets the crowd rap every single word as he sits back and admires.
It’s hard to find a glimpse of Uzi when he isn’t touching the ground, he is constantly bouncing from one side of the stage to to other seemingly always airborne. This might explain why his set wasn’t the longest, but with the effort he put in it remains understandable. Ending the show on his own terms it was quite fitting that the biggest response of the night was for ‘Do What I Want’.
Ultimately Uzi did what he came to do – leaving the crowd feeling that the possibilities are endless.