In case you've been living under a rock for the majority of 2017, there's no shortage of anticipation for Lil Uzi Vert's next project, Luv Is Rage 2. Though Uzi Vert came into 2017 riding high after featuring on Migos' smash hit, "Bad and Boujee," he has taken things to a completely different level as a solo artist this year.
That all started when he dropped "XO Tour Llif3," a strong contender for song of the year and at the very least a fixture in everybody's summer playlist. His presence extends far beyond his work in the studio, with Uzi Vert also dominating the rap scene with his antics on stage. There he was, diving into the crowd at the 2017 Rolling Loud Festival, drawing comparisons to rock stars, and sparking discussions about whether he was the next superstar in hip-hop.
But all that buzz would be for nothing if Luv Is Rage 2 is a dud, or worse, if it never sees the light of day. The build up to the album has been pretty messy, with people within his camp sharing music that the rapper himself has denoun If you look at the confusing path he's taken to get here, you'll come away wondering the same thing we are—what the heck is going on with Luv Is Rage 2?
Lil Uzi Vert announces Luv Is Rage 2
Way back in November 2016, Uzi shared a simple message on his Twitter page—the sequel to Luv Is Rage was in the pipeline, and fans could expect a release before his debut album.
Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Just the average tease from an artist on social media, with no concrete release date to be held accountable to. Business as usual.
Confusion over who Uzi Vert is signed with
Right around Christmas last year, Uzi performed a special Christmas-themed concert for his hometown fans in Philadelphia. While on stage at Very Uzi Xmas, Uzi brought out fellow Pennsylvania rapper Wiz Khalifa, who declared the up-and-coming talent was signed to his Taylor Gang label. Pressed on the matter later on, Khalifa seemed to confirm this on Twitter.
But not so fast! DJ Drama and Don Cannon swooped in to clarify, saying Uzi is only part of the Generation Now label co-founded by Drama, Cannon, and Leighton Morrison.
Uzi Vert says Luv Is Rage 2 is coming soon, Don Cannon disagrees
Perhaps that conflicting story should have been the first sign of trouble, because for months, Uzi has promised fans Luv Is Rage 2 was just around the corner. His Twitter bio has proclaimed it was "coming soon" dating back months now, and he has routinely kept it at the forefront of his fans' minds, even pinning a tweet mentioning the project at the top of his profile.
The lack of a drop certainly isn't due to the project being unprepared, either, at least if you take him at his word. Uzi sounded like he was ready to drop Luv Is Rage 2 as early as this past February.
Though we did get Luv Is Rage 1.5 in February, bundled with his biggest solo song to date, there was still some unrest about when the larger project would drop. Uzi had a fairly tight release schedule in 2016, dropping Lil Uzi vs. the World in April and The Perfect Luv Tape in July, not sitting on new music for too long. Fans expected a similar approach in 2017.
But Don Cannon squashed any hope of that during a livestream in April. He did not mince words about the project's readiness, telling viewers Luv Is Rage 2 was coming "no time soon."
"If you didn't hear, Luv Is Rage  is not dropping no time soon," he said. "It's not going to be a long time from now, but not within this month. We still working on the album. It's a process."
Uzi Vert teases new songs on Instagram Live
Over a month after the Cannon livestream, he and DJ Drama sat down for an interview with Pigeons and Planes to discuss the ascending artist they had on their hands. At the time, Cannon sort of laughed off any concerns about delaying a release, including any flak from Uzi himself.
"Everybody wants to make comments," said Cannon. "You've got to let him speak how he feels. We're just doing what we're doing in helping him get through it."
By the time June rolled around, fans were beginning to grow a bit restless over the non-release. Sensing their frustration, Uzi threw his fans a bone during a livestream of his own, this time taking to Instagram Live to show off what sounded like new music.
Two previously unheard Uzi songs leak
Eight months after Uzi told fans Luv Is Rage 2 was in the works, there was still nothing concrete to show for it. Some enterprising human being saw fit to leak a couple previously unheard songs from Uzi.
Even with this breakthrough, we were given no hint of whether the songs were leftovers from previous projects, throwaway tracks that found their way into someone else's hands, or legitimate pieces of the Luv Is Rage 2 project. Answers on that front don't appear to be coming anytime soon, either.
DJ Drama and Don Cannon premiere five new Uzi Vert songs; Uzi denies they're from new project
With July coming to a close, it looked like the the dust was finally settling. Over the weekend, DJ Drama and Don Cannon premiered a series of five Uzi tracks on their Shade 45 show. There was even a big feature revealed, with Young Thug popping up on the new song "Bag."
All good, right? Wrong. Though the assumption was that all these songs would appear on Luv Is Rage 2—whenever they get around to releasing it—Uzi disputed that on his Twitter page, suggesting the songs on the eventual project will be way better.
These incidents are not necessarily anything serious on their own, but a pattern has begun to emerge over time. Uzi has for all intents and purposes been ready to drop the project for months, yet every time we appear to get a taste of what's to come, the people behind him throw cold water on his claims. And now, with the team behind him appearing to do their best to generate hype for Luv Is Rage 2, Uzi doesn't appear all that interested in letting them dictate the expectations for the project.
Frankly, there's no reason Luv Is Rage 2 should be sitting on the back burner this long; Uzi is at the forefront of a lot of minds in the music industry right now. But because of the hype level surrounding the project and the length of time that has gone by since the initial announcement, each passing day just adds more pressure to the final release. Uzi has to know this, Drama and Cannon have to know this, and Atlantic—who looms over all of this—has to know this as well.
We reached out to reps in an attempt to get comments from all the parties involved here, and there is one point of clarity—Uzi's rep from Atlantic says the project is coming this fall, which at least gives us an idea of what "coming soon" means. Still, that doesn't seem to jive with the time frame suggested by previous posts and claims from Uzi himself.
Perhaps there's a very simple explanation to all this, and maybe some of what looks like petty squabbling has just been done to keep Luv Is Rage 2 on the tips of fans' tongues. But from the outside looking in, nobody seems like they're on the same page regarding the yet-to-be-released project. And that's a real shame, because Uzi is in prime position to make another leap as an artist with Luv Is Rage 2, if he's able to stay focused on the music side of things.