'The way life goes' makes no sense, but neither does Lil Uzi's world

Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 5:24pm

Lil Uzi Vert and Nicki Minaj would seemingly be a nice fit. Each rapper brings his / her own brand of paradox to the industry: Uzi, an emo cloud rap rockstar, and Minaj, a glamorous wrecking ball of bars. Such a dynamic could have made for a colorful collaboration in the video for “The Way Life Goes” remix, but in this case it’s a bit too much.                                  

Minaj spends the entirety of the video seductively prancing in a cabin, while Uzi spends all of it dejectedly tied up against a tree. In this separation there’s symbolic dissonance — their styles naturally conflict, Minaj’s combative verse impeding on one of Uzi’s most sensitive cuts. A precariously chained bulldog, a burial grave and a dominatrix-type figure Saran-wrapping Uzi’s face further complicate the narrative.

“The Way Life Goes” is half-savaged by the understanding that, in Lil Uzi Vert’s world, not everything needs to make sense. He’s more aesthetically-oriented than anything, and the visuals work fine. Browns (of Minaj’s cabin) and blacks (of the dark forest) dominate and lend a muted feel to an otherwise ominous video.

It’s unclear which life goes like this, sexual savagery clashing with isolation clashing with nature. The sensual charge isn’t a stale trope as much as a confusing one, because neither rapper commits convincingly enough to their role to sell the tension. Some viewers will need clarity out of such a promising duo, but ultimately, many will just want something more.

NodeBox: 

"The Way Life Goes Remix" (Feat. Nicki Minaj)

Directed by DAPS

Lil Uzi Vert 

Atlantic