It goes without saying that Lil Uzi Vert shook up the Hip Hop landscape when they dropped “XO Tour Llif3” in 2017. Since the rapper broke into the scene with Luv is Rage, they have continued to push boundaries and defy genre norms in music. Consequently, their unique fusion of trap beats, punk aesthetics, and emotionally charged lyrics have catapulted them into the limelight. Despite their deserved success now, we could never forget how, with “XO TOUR Llif3,” Lil Uzi introduced a new sound to the big stage. The Diamond-certified single turned seven on February 27, 2024, and yet, its impact continues to be felt. Here’s how Lil Uzi Vert used the groundbreaking track to usher emo rap into the mainstream. 

Read More: Young Thug Vs Lil Uzi Vert: Who Had The Better Debut Album?

The Emergence Of Emo Rap

Emo rap is a subgenre of Hip Hop that was popularized in the mid-2010s, characterized by its emotional and introspective lyrics. It often touches on themes like depression, heartbreak, and personal struggles, motifs Lil Uzi effortlessly conveys in their music. When artists like Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, and Juice WRLD began to explore similar themes within their music, it resonated with millions of listeners. Likewise, Lil Uzi Vert is another exemplary artist from that era, and “XO Tour Llife” put their name on the map forever.

Due to the emotional content in many of their hits, Lil Uzi Vert is often associated with this genre. When they debuted, their music was noticeably peculiar, blurring the lines between rap, rock, and punk. Undeniably, Uzi’s music defied easy categorization. Before long, the rapper’s distinct style and eclectic sound became a symbol of the evolving genre. The energetic delivery in their music, coupled with introspective and often melancholic lyrics, appealed to a wide audience. These audiences were hungry for a new, emotionally charged musical experience, and Uzi was there to supply it to them.

The Breakout Moment: “XO Tour Llif3”

On March 24, 2017, Lil Uzi released “XO Tour Llife” as the lead single from their debut album Luv is Rage 2. Surprisingly, it soon became a sleeper hit, peaking at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Presumably recorded during The Weeknd’s European leg of Starboy: Legend Of The Fall, “XO Tour Llife” is the breakout track that pushed both Lil Uzi Vert and emo rap onto the main stage of the music industry. The song’s haunting melody, paired with Lil Uzi’s raw and vulnerable lyrics, struck a chord with listeners grappling with the same or similar issues. 

By the end of 2017, it had impressively garnered over one billion audio and video streams across major platforms. Evidently, the song had found its audience, and they were loving it. “XO Tour Llif3” contains themes of betrayal, heartbreak, drug use, and emotional turmoil which are vividly painted in the lyrics. Despite these themes that are typically perceived as dark, listeners were hooked. The song’s chorus, with its memorable refrain, became an anthem and resonated beyond traditional Hip Hop circles.

Lil Uzi Vert Makes History With “XO Tour Llif3”   

“XO TOUR Llif3” not only dominated the charts but also paved the way for other emo rap artists. After its release, the song was quickly dubbed an emo rap anthem and helped push the subgenre forward. Interestingly enough, on the same day that Lil Uzi Vert released his debut album, Luv Is Rage 2, fellow emo rap pioneer, XXXTENTACION, also dropped his debut album, 17, which was not only a commercial success but became a seminal body of work within the subgenre.

Read More: Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3” Is Expected To Make $4.5 Million

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” significantly contributed to catalyzing the mainstream acceptance of emo rap. The song broke down barriers and showcased the power of blending emotional depth with rhythmic beats. As an artist unafraid to push boundaries, Lil Uzi Vert’s impact on the genre continues to reverberate. With “XO Tour Llife,” they certainly left a mark on the ever-changing landscape of contemporary Hip Hop.

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