The Working-Class Retiree
By Edina Hadzic
Earlier this month, 24-year-old rapper Lil Uzi Vert shocked fans with an unexpected announcement on his Instagram story: a picture of his feet captioned, “I wanna take the time out to say I thank each and every one of my supports [sic] but I’m done with music.” Vert continued, “I deleted everything I wanna be normal… I wanna wake up in 2013.” Lil Uzi added messages reading, “You are free,” and “Thank you love you.”
Lil Uzi began his rapping career in 2010 as Symere Woods. Woods began to associate with bands like Steaktown. In an effort to optimize his public image, Woods changed his name to Vert, which he says is short for “vertical,” or “vertical jump.” He continued to work with smaller groups and began to release his own mixtapes. His first project, “Purple Thoughtz Vol. 1,” was released in 2014. It featured Vert with a much larger focus on lyricism in comparison to the rest of his career. He continued to release tracks, with several of them going viral in 2017.
The momentum that Vert had been building within his career in recent years came to an unexpected, screeching halt. Fans and critics alike have speculated over whether the rapper is genuinely considering retirement. Some think that his claims are tied to his recent struggles with his record label. Many believe that his actions have been nothing more than a publicity stunt and a way to express his anger with his superiors at Atlantic Records. He is known to make negative comments about record companies, and compared signing a record to snitching. Vert has maintained a slight level of activity within music over the past few weeks, making his fans hold onto the hope that he will return. Fans attending a Lil Baby concert in Philadelphia on Jan. 26 received a surprise performance from the alleged retiree. Vert’s appearance at the show prompted his fanbase into an excited frenzy, but the rapper was quick to extinguish any rumors of his return. “Still retired only come out for the guys,” he reported in another Instagram story. Since then, Lil Uzi mentioned that he missed the studio.
Despite Vert’s shutdown, rumors of his return to music arose when a video of him working in a studio went viral on Twitter. He announced on his Instagram yet again, “... happy and retired.” Though it might be a hard reality for some fans to face, it appears that Lil Uzi Vert is adamant about leaving music.