If the Grammy Awards just introduced you to the existence of someone named Lil Uzi Vert, it’s okay. You’re not alone.
Despite the weird name, he’s a very solid rapper who had a legitimate shot in two categories: Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for his guest spot on the massive Migos hit “Bad and Boujee.” (Update: He didn’t win in either category, and that’s also okay.)
Here are a few quick things to know about the 23-year-old Philadelphia-based rapper, whose real name is Symere Woods.
He’s not big on branding. You know how some rappers, like Cardi B, are absolutely great at self-promotion? Lil Uzi Vert, as you can guess from his name, doesn’t worry about it much. One of his best songs, a dark and atmospheric ballad with the hook “push me to the edge/all my friends are dead,” has the not-that-memorable title “XO Tour Llif3.” It’s great though.
He counts Marilyn Manson among his influences. I guess I can see it? He embraces darkness the way Manson does, but his music is more nuanced. And hip-hop. But Manson says they’ve been in talks to make some music together.
He’s probably best known for “Bad and Boujee.” Here it is.
Oh, and also? Jumps. He takes the “vert” part of his name seriously, taking stage dives to new levels, including 20-foot drops.
Publicists have seized on this. In June, TheWrap received a press release that read in part:
LiL Uzi Vert, the Leapin’ Lizzard Artist of Hip Hop, will be performing his extraordinary feats – practically flying into the crowd on June 10, 2017, at a major concert at the Wild Things Park in this Pittsburgh suburb. But the audience need not fear: extra security will be on hand, protecting all concert goers, even from someone who defies gravity. The audience is being advised that the Philly Rapper might be joining them in their seats. So be prepared, as they might be catching him.
During the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami, Florida last month, Lil Uzi Vert made international headlines again by jumping over 20 feet into the air into the crowd. He was doing his hit song ”Money Longer” for fans then climbed high for his leap.
Some people call him an emo rapper. Vice’s Noisey argues that he’s “just an emo kid with colorful braids,” adding “‘All my friends are dead,’ Vert croons. Emo! Someone get this guy a spot on the 2005 Warped Tour!” Adding on to that narrative, MTV opined that his Grammys look is “straight out of Hot Topic.”
His debut album, “Luv is Rage 2,” debuted last summer on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. That speaks for itself.
His post-Grammys plan includes “eating some Pop-Tarts,” he says. Emo rappers — they’re just like us.