The Battle of Lil’s: Yachty vs. Uzi

Image by Marco Lombardo

Two of True Too’s finest writers, Michael Charlebois and Isaac Biehl, have decided to join forces from time to time to discuss some of the more important topics in today’s society. Here’s what happened when the two esteemed journalists recently got together:

Isaac: So Mikey, we’re gathered here today to get to the bottom of one of hip-hop’s greatest modern mysteries: Who is better? Lil Yachty or Lil Uzi Vert?

Mike: Battle of the Lil’s. Although Lil’ Wayne will forever hold that crown.

Isaac: Easily. Weezy F baby and the F is for fucking legend. Also, I’ll forever be curious about why so many rappers throw “lil” in front of their names. But that’s for another discussion.

We’ll be rating the two new age rappers in five different categories. Would you do the honors?

Mike: According to celebheights.com, Yachty is 5’10 and Uzi is 5’3.

Isaac: Hahaha

Mike: But yes the 5 categories are: Lyricism, Production/Sound, Originality, Relatability, and Personal Brand.

Isaac: As far as scoring goes, I think we should rate Yachty from 1-5 yacht emojis⛵️ and Uzi from 1-5 lollipop emojis 🍭 . I think uzi probably uses that one a lot.

Mike: Let’s get it.

Isaac: Alright, let’s start with lyricism. Canadians first.

Lyricism
Mike: This is the category in which hip-hop purists will take out their Rakim cassette-tapes and throw them at you if you even mention one of their names. Even J. Cole took a shot at the “Lil Whateva’s” on “Everybody Dies”. But when it comes to lyricism you kind of have to grade on a curve. Objectively, yeah both these guys aren’t wordsmiths but their appeal is in the flow.

Isaac: Yeah we can’t pretend that these guys are young Eminem’s on the mic. But granted, they don’t consider themselves that kind of artist anyway, as we saw from both their Hot 97 interviews. They both have different rap styles from the “norm” so that can be appreciated, but man, sometimes they both say things that I can’t even pretend was good.

On “King of the Teens” Yachty raps: “Parents mad at my ass cause their kids sing my song in class / Well oh well, I’m at the front like doorbells / And shout out my gang cause my gang stayed the same.” That’s the opposite of dope.

Mike:
Yachty on “Wanna Be Us”: “All of these bitches they know me / All of these bitches they on me / That bitch she smile like emoji / That bitch she smile like emoji (woah damn).”

I mean those are objectively 4 of the weakest bars the world has ever seen.

Isaac: Haha damn. So those are just two of possibly hundreds (thousands?) of bad Yachty lyrics; are there any ones that you’ve found where you’re like “woah, Yachty can rap?”

Mike: I mean, not really, I’ve never heard a bar where I have to take a step back and think deeply about it. But I think his verse on “Broccoli” was really tight in terms of his flow.

“I just did a show and spent the check on my mama
When I go on vacay I might rent out the Bahamas” – I mean it’s no Kendrick but it’s catchy and his falsetto flow over that piano loop sounds catchy enough to keep me satisfied.

Isaac: Yeah I get hyped when Yachty comes on in “Broccoli”. He does have a certain way to melodically move around his words with autotune which can be highly dope. His ability, as far as catchiness is concerned, is definitely up there.

“Hold on, money so old, check his colon / Knot so fat Ben Franklin like who is you foldin'” – That’s from “Hot 97” and it’s kind of tight. Shows his wit and clever wordplay there, So i’ll give him that. He’s got the right idea sometimes

Mike:
Haha okay thats dope.

Isaac: Uzi is also a different kind of rapper. Not autotune heavy like Yachty, but he suffers from some of the same flaws like repetitiveness of subject matter, or he does that thing where he repeats the same word a lot. I’ve probably never heard a rapper say “Yeah” more than I’ve heard Uzi say it in the short time he’s been in the game.

Mike: Lmao he beat that ad-lib to death.

Isaac: And it’s not nearly as effective as my boy Travis Scott.

Mike: Agreed. Uzi definitely has a different approach to his flow, it’s a lot more forward but still melodic. I think Uzi is a bit more capable when it comes his verses.

Isaac:
One thing that Uzi has that Yachty doesn’t lyrically, is this type of feeling. Like, for some reason I get an insta-hype thing going on when I hear Uzi rap some times.

Mike:
Yeah he has more energy for sure.

Isaac: “Girl, you see me getting this money, woah, please don’t front / Hunt & Fish Club what I’m eating / woah, what’s for lunch?”

Mike: And back to my last point, on the chorus of “Money Longer” he goes from matter to savage to fatter to daddy to xanny… That’s a longer rhyme scheme than anything I’ve heard from Boat

Isaac:
For sure. He’s unfortunately miles ahead of Boat I think in that regard. That was my favorite part from “Do What I Want” and on the other verses where he shows more, I think, than Yachty can bring to the table right now without even trying to be a dope rhymer.

All in all they both still have a lot of work to do lyrically. I’m gonna go ahead and give Yachty two sailboat emojis on this one, mainly for his unique and catchy approach. ⛵️⛵️

Mike: ⛵️⛵️ for me as well. Nobody has successfully pulled off a falsetto flow, so creds for originality. But his bars are simply too atrocious more often than not.

Isaac:
I’m gonna be generous here and throw Uzi a 🍭🍭🍭. I think he can rap better than he actually does/wants too, and to me this means average. He needs to improve his imagery and storytelling a lot still.

Mike: Although I think Uzi is a better rapper, I’m going to give him 🍭🍭 because I think he can be a better version of himself, but doesn’t taken any risks with his lyrics. His flow has energy, but frankly if I want that I’ll just hit up Killer Mike or Danny Brown.

Isaac: I can respect that. Okay, what topic shall we dive into next?

Mike:
Production?

Isaac: Makes sense.

Production/Sound
Isaac: Honestly, I think both of these guys have really strong beats in their arsenal and they show some creative ears when it comes to what they select for their projects. Sonically both artists have a good foundation.

Mike: I’m leaning more towards hit or miss. There’s some ones I really love, but of the projects I’ve heard, the production isn’t strong enough to hold for very long.

Isaac: I see what you’re saying. I think they have the right idea, but it might not be executed to its fullest. For instance, I think it’s cool Yachty tries to take on this arcade style sound, but sometimes it can fall flat and lose its shine.

Mike: Again, I think Yachty is more unique with his aesthetic. It’s piano/hi-hat heavy, and it’s kinda dreary.

Arcade style is a good why to describe it. It’s kinda like if Beach House was a teenage rapper.

Isaac: Definitely! Uzi on the other side uses more hard hitting bass lines than Yachty does. Even for his more lowkey tracks. They are both using variations of classic trap beats that is kind of opening a whole sub-culture of that genre.

Mike:
Yeah you can definitely make the case that they’re opening up lanes.

I’d also argue that Uzi’s beats are more diverse and detailed.

Isaac:
That’s true. To counter that I would say Yachty probably takes more risks within his sound, like sampling Rugrats or Super Mario Sunshine.

Mike: Truuu, Lil Boat intro has a Finding Nemo sample.

Isaac:
 Haha shout out Nemo one time! I also think it’s fair to say while they struggle as lyricists, the beats are sometimes their saving grace, which isn’t good unless you’re making an instrumental tape.

Mike: Yeah I feel like that’s pretty obviously the case.

But also I feel like a rapper’s flow can distort our perception of a beat. Like a great rapper can make a sub-par beat seem extremely dope just because of the way they flow with it. I’d say Uzi is more capable of that.

Isaac:
Yeah, I’m with that. Yachty and his vocals can upgrade a simple, non extravagant beat into something better though. I think Uzi is at a bigger risk of butchering these dope beats from Metro Boomin or like Zaytoven.

Mike: Agreed.

Isaac: I think they are pretty equal as far as production goes. Threes all around ⛵️⛵️⛵️🍭🍭🍭

Mike: I think I would give Yachty a ⛵️⛵️⛵️, and Uzi a 🍭🍭

Originality

Isaac: So originality is kind of a big deal in hip-hop. There’s always the argument of artist’s biting other artist’s styles a-la Future and Desiigner. But for the most part no one can be completely original – everyone has influences, but there’s definitely a line to walk. These two guys have stayed pretty true to themselves and I’d say are definitely, mostly, very original artists.

Mike: Yeah whenever I’m evaluating a new name, I’m always looking to see if they bring something different to the table. Even if I don’t like the music, I’m more open to giving it a chance.

Isaac: Yeah me too. It’s just more exciting to hear something new. You get that feeling like where you’re on the bus with headphones in and you’re grinning ear to ear with wide eyes shaking your head, before quickly calming down out of embarrassment.

Mike:
When I first heard Yatchy I immediately thought “this is different.”

Isaac: Definitely. I don’t think you could deny that Yachty was bringing new stuff to the table

Mike: There’s just this warm melancholy to his music that’s intoxicatingly fun. Especially the first half of the Boat mixtape. It’s very airy and warm and that’s just something I’ve never felt from a trap artist.

Isaac: That’s a great description! He definitely captures that vibe of sunshine, while also being able to balance that when he wants to get a little more sad or in his feelings. Like it’s raining on an island but the rainbow isn’t far off.

Yachty knows where his skills are at and isn’t trying to force something, or pretend he’s a great “rapper.” He’s having fun doing it his way and that’s admirable.

Mikey: Yeah his approach and attitude is a lot better than Uzi’s in my opinion.

Isaac: Uzi’s overall music might not be as original as Yachty’s, but he’s still an original artist I think. He’s just not putting as big of a twist on things as Yachty.

His creative direction is pretty original though. His videos all feature some unique themes that make it quite interesting. Like for “P’s & Q’s” or “You Was Right.” But that can also be said for Yachty – the “1 Night” video was legendary.

Mike: Yeah both of them make dope vids.

Isaac: I really like Uzi and his Scott Pilgrim thing going on though with his projects. I love that movie.

Mike: Shoutout to Scott. I think Uzi is definitely original but his melodies and aesthetic just aren’t as inventive as Yachty. Pretty standard format songs with constant ad-libs. His melodies are catchy for sure, but there’s nothing groundbreaking about them.

Isaac:
I’m with you there. If trap music was a beer, Uzi is like that beer you try when you’re first trying to switch it up and get a little new taste in your life. Yachty is that locally brewed beer with a crazy flavor you have to try, and then all of your friends become impressed with your broad tastes in alcohol.

Mike: Lmao that’s a tight analogy.

Isaac:
Haha mama taught me to never use un-dope analogies. But in the end here, I think Yachty is the clear originality winner – by more than I anticipated going in.

Mike: Glad you came around. Or aboard I guess.

⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️ boats. 🍭🍭 lollipop’s.

Isaac:

I’ll second that. ⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️ for Yachty, and only 🍭🍭 for the little Uuuuz.

Mike: Trueee

Relatability

Mike: Okay relatability.

Isaac: So these guys are both pretty young artists. Yachty being 19 and Uzi, 22. This already puts them in a more relatable stance for millennials and the younger hip hop community. However, the downside is for the older fans and artists in the game. It creates a bit of tension between these young guys and the “old heads” as they call em. But you and I are both part of the younger community, so off the bat it makes it cooler for us to see a young guy making these kinds of waves.

Mike: Yes, your point is definitely true.

Isaac: Would you say the Lil’s are more relatable than Chance The Rapper? Because he’s also a young artist, but he’s been able to transcend to all age groups and demographics of hip-hop pretty easily.

I’m not even sure of my answer for this, but I’m curious.

Mike: Hm. I think Chance’s ability to transcend age groups isn’t an infringement on his relatability.

Isaac: Yeah that’s probably right. His music is more relatable to more people, which in turn makes him overall more relatable in general as an artist. Because he doesn’t have that divide.

And these two are kind of intentionally creating this divide. Like they’ve both made it clear they don’t care if they appeal to older generations or not. I mean Yachty is the king of the teens.

Mike:
Exactly.

“Old heads hating on Boat cause I’m young as fuck and I’m rich as hell”

Isaac: “I don’t plan nothing, I just do it. You know who plan? Old people. I don’t want to be old.” That’s what Uzi told The FADER.

Mike: Exactly.

So these guys obviously don’t give a fuck about the old heads, and the old heads hate them back, so I think part of the appeal in liking these guys is kind of embracing this new wave and rejecting the tradition of hip-hop.

Isaac:
Yeah like glam rock and shit.

Which might be why they call themselves rockstars. They are in a way embodying that rebellious nature.

So for their target audience, which includes us, I think they both have their relatable qualities. Uzi loves anime and Hayao Miyazaki films. I love those movies. And anime has a huge crowd. So when an artist is open about liking things that aren’t part of the norm in the traditional hip-hop scene, I think that’s pretty cool.

Mike:
True, that’s actually something I overlooked for originality.

Isaac:
Right. So it’s just neat to think about Uzi, who society might consider nerdy or whatever, is like hanging out with Migos and then rapping on “Bad and Boujee.”

But I think that can also be applied to Yachty. They both seem like real young people, who have had similar problems with school or relationship stuff.

Mike: Yeah in terms of content, it’s pretty standard stuff. Relationships, drugs, night life. $$$$$$$$$$$$.

Isaac:
Right. The last being the thing that separates us from them, they’re young as fuck and living the lavish life. But that’s kind of every rapper.

Mike: I just think that content-wise, its pretty standard rapper stuff but its specifically engineered to people our age. I think in terms of relationships, they both do a pretty good job. Uzi incorporates some of his detailing into good melodies (“You Was Right” being the best example), and like I mentioned before Yachty can tap into that emotional side when he talks.

Isaac:
Definitely. A good example for Yachty is “Life Goes On” off Summer Songs 2. He really taps into some good emotion there.

If there’s one that is able to articulate emotion and a reciprocated feeling best though I think it might be Uzi. I think his rebellious side and his involvement with love throughout his projects is an easier thing for the younger generation to latch onto. In that he presents it better

Mike:
Yeah I disagree with you on that one – Uzi isn’t charismatic enough for me.

Isaac:
That’s fair. I just think Yachty might be too one sided when he talks about more emotional or sensitive topics whereas Uzi is able to put it on an “everybody feels that way” level.

Mike: I see. Well ⛵️⛵️⛵️ for Yachty, 🍭🍭 for Uzi

Isaac:
I’ll call a cha-cha slide reversal here and throw 🍭🍭🍭 for Uzi and ⛵️⛵️ for Yachty.

Brand

Isaac: So brand is kind of a culmination of the previous categories we discussed, but it also taps into their commercial success and other endeavors they work on. Kind of how they’re marketed. Would you agree with that?

Mike: I would agree with that. Brand is important to longevity – so whether someone is marketable or not is indicative of whether they will be relevant for long
Ex. Wu-Tang, Jay-Z

Isaac: Yeah definitely. As far as current artists go who have great branding, I’d say Tyler, The Creator might have some of the best branding . I also bring this up because Yachty seems to be taking a page out of Tyler’s book and is steadily building a solid foundation – the most recent example of this being his new position at Nautica.

Mike: Yeah and the absolutely fantastic Sprite commercial with LBJ:

Isaac: That commercial is AMAZING. It honestly put me on a Sprite kick for a few days when I saw it

Mike: It’s perfect. The auto-tune “ah’s” are just phenomenal.

Isaac: He’s in a a damn ice cave man. With a piano. The definition of being cold. The Uzi version would be the Russell Westbrook Jordan commercial:

Uzi may not be in it, but I think it’s super dope Westbrook basically used this song as like a big “Fuck You” to Kevin Durant.

Mike: I have not seen this. Pretty dope that they Uzi on a Jordan commercial. But I mean, Yachty got some facetime and LBJ to say his name – that’s big. I think its just a testament to Yatchy’s light-hearted appeal that just comes off a lot less self-important than Uzi’s.

Isaac: Yeah man I agree 100%. Yachty is much more approachable and workable. Yachty has bigger commercial success music-wise too, from “1Night,” “Broccoli,” and being on Coloring Book. Uzi closed the gap after “Do What I Want” and his feature on “Bad and Boujee” but I still think Yachty has made bigger waves with his music.

Mike: Yeah, Uzi has surprised me with his popularity for sure.

Isaac: Uzi was also a performer at Chance’s Magnificent Coloring Day, so out of the two I’ve only seen him live, but people love that guy. He ran into the crowd to mosh.

Mike: That’s tight.

Isaac: ALSO: Big development here, Uzi has 909.8K Twitter followers and Yachty has a mere 839.8K followers, which is very surprising to me.

Mike: Wow. I feel kind of out of touch after learning that.

Isaac: Haha tell me about it. Uzi has the edge on the Gram too by like about four million.

Mike: That’s wild. I don’t necessarily understand the appeal of Uzi the person, but clearly he resonates strongly with a large number of people.

Isaac: Same. And it must be mainly on the music because he hasn’t been super involved in other areas that I’ve found. This shows a lot of the potential Uzi could have if he developed that into something bigger, which is crazy.

Mike: Yeah, I never would have thought he could appeal so broadly.

Isaac: Yachty is Grammy nominated now though because of “Broccoli”

Mike: That’s true – and although both of them have features on a #1 song (which is kind of crazy), I feel like “Broccoli” is a more accessible song than “Bad and Boujee.”

Isaac: “Broccoli” has more appeal to like the pop scene and kids wanting to get lit on Saturday nights, but with that whole Donald Glover thing “Bad and Boujee” shot up hardcore.

Mike: Both artists are kind of surprisingly successful to me (moreso Uzi than Yachty)

Isaac: They are also both XXL Freshman. They’re honestly so similar it’s like they used to be one person, but that person split into two different versions of himself. That being said, I think Yachty’s overall brand is the stronger one here.

Mike: I agree with that. I was surprised by the actual numbers of Uzi, like in terms of followers and streaming sales. Personally though, Yachty has a more appealing brand.

I’d go with I’d go with ⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️ boats and three 🍭🍭🍭 lolly’s.

Isaac: Yeah Yachty has just pushed himself into those other aspects that have the makings of him becoming a big business mogul. Uzi’s is good on a personal level, but Yachty is bigger. I agree. ⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️ 🍭🍭🍭

⛵️Final Scores🍭

Mike: Ok my tally is 16 for ⛵️ and 11 for 🍭

Isaac: I got 15 ⛵️ and 14 🍭.

So while we both have Yachty down as receiving more points… is that who you would rather listen to?

Mike: Yes. When I first got into these guys I thought it was Uzi, he drew me in with the beats and melodies. But the more I listen the more I go back to Yachty. Uzi’s songs just don’t have enough substance to them. Yachty’s have this endearing quality to them; they’re more evocative whether it’s happy or melancholic.

Isaac: I respect that. Coming in, I thought Uzi was going to be my clear winner. But when rating on the topics we discussed, Yachty comes across as the more complete artist. However, I think I’d still rather listen to Uzi. I think he has more “good” songs where Yachty isn’t as consistent for me on his quality.

Mike: Word.

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