It’s been a long time coming.

Lil Uzi Vert first teased the title of a new album called Eternal Atake back in July 2018. Unfortunately, this news was followed by a long series of false starts and delays that included label drama, threats of retirement, canceled festival dates, and plenty of leaks. Several times, it seemed that we may never actually hear Eternal Atake in its entirety.

Then, finally, some hopeful signs have emerged in the past week. First, on February 28, Uzi hinted that the album would be arriving “in two weeks.” Two days later, he dropped a new single called “That Way.” And two days after that, he released a short film that doubles as a trailer for the album. Finally. Uzi’s in full promo mode!

Now that it seems the album might finally be on its way, we can’t help but speculate what musical direction Uzi may have taken with Eternal Atake. It’s been two and a half years since he dropped his last album, Luv Is Rage 2, giving him plenty of time to try new things. Uzi is always somewhat of a mystery, so there’s no telling what shape this album will take, but there are seven things we’d love to hear from him.

The album

Before diving too deep into the rest of this list, we have to make one thing clear: All we really hope to hear from Uzi is the album itself. After years of pump fakes and threats of retirement, we just want to see Eternal Atake show up on Spotify and Apple Music one of these days. Until that moment arrives, this album still feels like a myth that may never actually materialize. All we can really hope for is that Eternal Atake avoids slipping away from our grasps and becoming another Detox. Roc Nation didn’t swoop in for nothing. —Eric Skelton

Happy Uzi

It’s been a rough couple years for Uzi. In the midst of his label drama, he shared messages on social media like, “I wanna be normal,” and repeatedly expressed frustrations about navigating life in the music industry. The 25-year-old rapper has made a career out of writing emo rap songs that jump head-on into sad themes, but he seemed to enter a deeper level of sorrow over the past two years. So, we’re looking forward to hearing Uzi channel this sadness and frustration into some emo-leaning songs, but we also hope to see a few appearances from Happy Uzi. Eternal Atake wouldn’t be complete without songs from the carefree, lovable Uzi who is always shoulder rolling all over the place and making the kind of music you’d expect to hear on an episode of the Teletubbies after gobbling a handful of mushrooms. As we’re finally escaping the depths of winter, we all need more songs like “Do What I Want” for spring. Uzi recently became obsessed with inventing dances, so there’s hope that the inevitably sad songs on Eternal Atake will be balanced by lighthearted dance records from Happy Uzi. —Eric Skelton

What if Eternal Atake is the story of a lovable character named Baby Pluto who gets abducted by aliens and joins some kind of bizarre cult where ladies in purple robes brainwash him?

Bars Uzi

Everyone loves Uzi’s dance records and emo rock songs, but we’d also love to hear some bars sprinkled throughout the tracklist. Uzi recently dropped the Backstreet Boys-inspired anthem, “That Way,” as well as the arcade dance record “Futsal Shuffle 2020,” and both tracks were received well, but they lean towards his melodic and alternative sides. Let’s hope Uzi also finds time to show he can still rap his ass off, like he did on 2018’s “Free Uzi” and 2019’s “New Patek,” where he flexed a wicked delivery on hard-hitting verses, while also staying true to the quirkiness that fans love. Let’s not forget: Uzi had one of the very best rap verses of the year on “Free Uzi.” We need more of that. —Jessica McKinney

A theme

Stylistically, we’re hoping for all kinds of sounds on Eternal Atake, but in an ideal world, the album will be held together by a consistent theme. Uzi won’t stop talking about characters like Baby Pluto on Twitter, and the album’s trailer introduced a trippy, interconnected universe that ties together many of the aesthetic elements he’s been teasing online lately. Uzi has mastered the art of world-building in his visuals (and in his tweets), but we’ve never seen him attempt a full-on concept album. Now might be the time. If he manages to weave together a storyline in which he takes us to another planet where all these characters interract with each other, Eternal Atake will be worth all the wait. Remember when Uzi changed his Instagram avitar to a photo of Heaven’s Gate leader Marshall Applewhite, and shared cult-inspired album artwork? What if Eternal Atake is the story of a lovable character named Baby Pluto who gets abducted by aliens and joins some kind of bizarre cult where ladies in purple robes brainwash him? We’d be here for it. —Eric Skelton

A reunion with Playboi Carti

Now that it looks like Eternal Atake is finally on its way, we can’t help but think of another artist with a long-delayed album of his own: Playboi Carti. For years, Carti and Uzi were inseperable BFFs who recorded together, toured together, and made public appearances together. Then, in late November 2019, a fan asked Uzi, “Are you and Carti on good terms?” He surprisingly responded, “NO.” Later, Uzi backed off a little, saying he “just took a different route” from Carti and explained that he doesn’t beef. He also clarified that the two could still “have a friendly dress off.” Nonetheless, Carti has said in the past that he has “like 100 songs” with Uzi, so it wouldn’t be a shock to hear one of them end up on Eternal Atake. Not only would that mean new music from a pair of artists who work extremely well together, it would also serve as a reunion between two friends. We’d love to see it. —Eric Skelton

Love songs

Some of the best moments in Uzi’s discography have come when he delivers tracks about love and heartbreak. So Eternal Atake will benefit as a whole if Uzi makes an effort to get back in his emo rap bag circa 2016 and 2017, and come out with a few more love records like “The Way Life Goes,” “Feelings Mutual,” and “Scott and Ramona.” In the last couple weeks, Uzi has been in a relatively happy mood, but some of his comments to fans on Twitter suggest he could be revisiting his emo side soon with messages like, “I don’t give a fuck. Baby Pluto off da drank,” and “Allllll The Thingsss Youuuu Said Messing Withhhh My Head Messing with my head woahhhh messing wit my head.” His hair colors also appear to have meaning, hinting that he’ll show multiple sides on the album. When he had neon orange hair, he was in trap mode. But when he returned to blonde, he said, “My heart is all the way gone.”  —Jessica McKinney

A Future collab that unites Big Pluto and Baby Pluto

Uzi started the year off as himself, but then introduced a new name in February. “ORENJI or Renji” is my new nick name,” he tweeted. The name might have stemmed from his new hair color, which was orange at the time. After a month of ORENJI, he introduced Baby Pluto. After announcing the new name, a fan pointed out that Future was the original Pluto. Uzi agreed, saying, “That’s 100% correct I’m just Baby Pluto.” So, it’s only fitting that EA includes a collaboration that unites Big Pluto with Baby Pluto. Uzi has yet to drop the tracklist for the new project, but the duo did previously work together on the 2016 single, “Seven Million,” which appeared on Uzi’s The Perfect LUV Tape. So, it is possible we could see the two Pluto’s reunite again. —Jessica McKinney