Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Lil Uzi Vert ft. Nicki Minaj – The Way Life Goes (Remix)

Had the scores gone differently this subhead absolutely would have been “The ‘Landslide’ will bring you down”…


Micha Cavaseno: Nicki’s verse is certainly competent, but her position on the remix feels like an unnecessary distraction from the original record. “The Way Life Goes” is essentially Uzi’s “A Praise Chorus” moment; a frustratingly easy comparison in the continued “OMG UZI LAVS PUNK!!!11!” narrative of forced rockist comprehension, but at the same time so fittingly an example of his harnessing of teen nostalgia and angst into such a perfectly palatable form. The Oh Wonder sample gives his wistful insecurity an aura of self-protective insularity that betrays stubborn pride and sensitivity and projects it sonically for all to see. That Nicki’s performances are so mannered and insistent to her charms without allowing for emotional sensitivity is in fact a detriment to the original song and a shame, because it’s one of the few times I’ve enjoyed her recently.

Crystal Leww: Lil Uzi Vert and I pretty much get over breakups with significant people in our lives the same way: cut off all contact with that person, talk about how we’re focusing on our careers to anyone who will listen, and act out and get on top of someone else. Maybe if you repeat these things enough times, it won’t hurt enough. Nicki’s great most of the time, but she’s unnecessary on this. This isn’t a grown woman’s breakup — this is a dumb boy’s.

Alfred Soto: The warmth of the production and show of vulnerability in the Oh Wonder interpolation may land Uzi his first breakout hit (actually, he cedes the last third to the Oh Wonder interpolation). Allowing Nicki Minaj to present herself as the aggressor is a shrewd move too. 

Ryo Miyauchi: I’m most likely not the first one to trace Lil Uzi Vert’s sing-rap cadence or his navel-gazing to Kid Cudi, but I particularly hear the connection in “The Way Life Goes” simply from the sample flip. Uzi does his thing over a straight loop of the Oh Wonder song, reminiscent of how A Kid Named Cudi slid in Band of Horses’ “The Funeral.” What separates these two from not-so-great examples like Chiddy Bang or early Childish Gambino is how Cudi and Uzi hardly acknowledge this indie-rap synthesis as an ironic product.

Julian Axelrod: Every Soundcloud rapper loves bland white dude rock, so it’s no surprise Lil Uzi Vert fucks with midday festival mainstays Oh Wonder. But the flip works here because his enthusiasm is so palpable. It’s easy to imagine him wailing along to “Landslide” as he barrels down the highway after a breakup. (Nicki’s verse came from an Instagram video of her lip-syncing to Uzi’s bars, adding another layer to this fandom saga. Maybe that’s why her playfully sung outro is more memorable than her admittedly solid verse.) Lil Uzi Vert is one of the most nakedly emotional rappers around, so even his feigned indifference drips with regret and denial. There’s something heartbreaking about his flexing in the face of loss, like deleting a drunk tweet thread in the sober light of day. Every time Uzi caterwauls over the hook, it’s hard to tell if he’s consoling an ex or trying to talk himself down.

Stephen Eisermann: Nicki runs away with this chill, pop-heavy rap beat while Uzi is left scrambling to catch up. Unfortunately, he never does, so after Nicki mows through her verse, all we’re left with is a couple of sleepy verses and a sample that I’m still not entirely sure works.

Reader average: [7] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Lil Uzi Vert ft. Nicki Minaj – The Way Life Goes (Remix)”

  1. Landslide ft. Nicki Steves