Lil Uzi Vert’s latest release, “New Patek,” which dropped late Monday night, is a song devoid of anything resembling traditional pop conventions. It’s an eccentric sidestep for an artist who arguably redefined what a streaming hit could sound like on 2017’s “XO TOUR Llif3.” That song, which reached Number 7 on the Billboard charts, was short and direct, insanely repetitive (bordering on monotonous) and a captivating dissolution of genre boundaries. Here, Uzi bucks all of those trends once again.
“New Patek” is nearly six minutes long, an insanely long runtime for a rap song in 2018. It’s filled with rambling verses, each packed with non-sequiturs. The chorus — about watches, women and white diamonds — doesn’t have the immediacy of the hook for “TOUR Llif3.” Here, it’s almost as long as the verses, devoid of melody and solely identified as a chorus because it’s repeated (and repetitive).
The end result is as brilliant as it is baffling; listening to “New Patek” feels like you’re watching his synapses connect dots only he can see. Uzi’s omnivorous approach to writing is best encapsulated by, “I am a octopus, I cannot breathe without water/So I put diamonds on my tentacles,” which comes just before transitioning to raps about throwing “up gang signs, Naruto” and piercing his nose like the manga villain, Pain.
Lil Uzi Vert is an impressively inventive rap technician. The flow is unwieldy and rarely follows the the parameters of a beat. How he says something is clearly more important than what he’s saying. Everything is a hook, therefore nothing a hook. The song is a sugar rush that never subsides.
“New Patek” is likely a precursor to the release of his rumored upcoming project, Eternal Atake. It joins his recent verses on Lil Baby’s “Life Goes On,” Playboi Carti’s “Shoota” and Young Thug’s “Up” in proving your favorite rapper would likely have a hard time keeping up with Vert, and everything he decides to release is worth paying attention to.