Symere Bysil Woods (born July 31, 1994), known professionally as Lil Uzi Vert, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Characterized by his face tattoos, facial piercings, eccentric hairstyles and androgynous fashion, his music is defined by often dark subject matters and imagery built on a melodic emo approach to trap. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Lil Uzi gained initial recognition following the release of the commercial mixtape Luv Is Rage (2015), which led to a recording contract with Atlantic Records, to whom he signed to under DJ Drama's Generation Now imprint.
Symere Woods was born July 31, 1994, in North Philadelphia's Francisville neighborhood. He grew up listening to Mike Jones and Ying Yang Twins; Jones' debut album was the first album he purchased. Woods later began listening to Wiz Khalifa and Meek Mill, who influenced his future style. He also began listening to Marilyn Manson, Paramore, Smash Mouth, The Rocket Summer, Simian, My Chemical Romance and The All-American Rejects when he was 13 years old, and has said he is a "big Marilyn Manson fan" and called Mechanical Animals his favorite album.
Woods began to rap in 2010 and began to associate with musical groups like Steaktown and in what he says was "just for money" under the name "Vert" originally which he says stood for "vertical" like a "vertical jump". He later changed his name to Lil Uzi Vert from the way someone described his rap flow, saying his flow was "Fast, like a machine gun." Woods' first project, an EP titled Purple Thoughtz Vol. 1 was released on January 19, 2014. The project, which was described as "phonk" and having cloud rap beats from The Guardian due to its psychedelic and "trippy" production features Woods with a bigger focus on lyricism than most of his career and was released with the single "White Shit" which included a video. The track, which was produced by Spaceghostpurrp, went viral in 2017 within hip-hop circles following Wood's entry into the mainstream. Shortly after the release of Purple Thoughtz Vol. 1, Woods caught the attention of then industry-mainstays like ASAP Mob.
The project and following features caught the attention of producer and Def Jam A&R Don Cannon after DJ Diamond Kuts played one of Woods' songs on a local radio station, who signed Woods to his The Academy imprint and produced his first mixtape, The Real Uzi which was released on August 5, 2014. After the release of The Real Uzi, Woods signed a record deal with Atlantic Records through DJ Drama, Don Cannon's and Leighton Morrison's imprint, Generation Now.
Following his signing to Atlantic Records, Woods was featured alongside Rich the Kid and ASAP Ferg on Carnage's single "WDYW". He also released several songs on SoundCloud including the Metro Boomin produced "No Wait", "Pressure" which is a collaboration with Lil Durk and "Dej Loaf". He was featured on Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa's "Boys of Zummer" tour in August 2015. Woods released his second mixtape, Luv Is Rage on October 20, 2015. The project, which features production from then-bubbling producers such as Sonny Digital, TM88 and Maaly Raw with features from Billboard charting rappers such as Wiz Khalifa and Young Thug, was received positively and was featured on numerous music blogs such as Fader, XXL and Vibe. He was further called a "breakout artist of 2015" by HotNewHipHop.
Complex called Uzi "one of those names to pay attention to in 2016", and Spin wrote "the 22-year-old has solidified his spot as one to watch...[with] his signature rapid delivery." Noisey called him "articularly charismatic", a "natural entertainer" who is "for better or for worse, yanking people into the future."
Lil Uzi Vert attracted mainstream attention following the release of his debut single "Money Longer" in 2016. The song would act as the lead single for the subsequent mixtape Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World (2016), which also contained the song "You Was Right". After releasing two additional mixtapes in 2016 and 2017, including one in collaboration with Gucci Mane, Lil Uzi Vert was featured on the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping Migos' single "Bad and Boujee". He later secured his first top ten single with "XO Tour Llif3", which won the MTV Video Music Award for Song of Summer.
Woods started 2016 with a show to honor the deceased producer, ASAP Yams in New York City and the release of the single, "Money Longer" on his SoundCloud following a radio debut on Shade 45. Controversy arose in March 2016 after a riot broke out at SXSW's final day during Woods set. On April 15, 2016, Uzi released his third mixtape and first commercial mixtape Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World. The mixtape debuted at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart, making its Woods first entry on the chart. The project spent 55 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart, eventually being certified Gold. Woods and Kodak Black embarked on a joint tour in May 2016, titled the "Parental Advisory" tour.
On April 29, 2016, Atlanta rapper OG Maco went on a rant on social media where he claims that he "paved the way" for Woods and that Woods was "stealing his sauce", referring to his style. Maco implied there was no issue between Woods and him though Woods took offense to Maco's comment who mentioned Atlanta rapper Reese LaFlare who Woods was feuding with. In August 2016, Woods attempted to assault Reese LaFlare at Day N Night Fest after seeing him through a security barrier, though he was stopped by security. In September 2016, OG Maco and Woods resolved their feud. In January 2018, Woods punched Reese LaFlare in the face and bragged about it on social media, later deleting the tweet.
He was named as one of the ten 2016 XXL Freshmen on June 13, 2016. Riding the wave of recognition the XXL Freshmen list gave him, Woods released the video for the single "Money Longer" which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 the following week, his first entry on the chart, at number 92 on July 2, 2016. The song later peaked at number 54 and is currently certified two-times platinum in the United States. Woods second entry on the chart, Metro Boomin produced "You Was Right" debuted at 89 on July 30, 2016 and peaked at number 40.
On December 13, 2019, Uzi released a new single titled, "Futsal Shuffle 2020", which is the lead single of Eternal Atake. He then released the second single of the album, titled "That Way", on March 1, 2020. Eternal Atake was released on March 6, 2020, with a sole guest appearance from American singer Syd. The release date of the album was a week earlier then fans expected it to release. "New Patek", "That's a Rack" and "Sanguine Paradise" did not appear on the album. Eternal Atake debuted atop the Billboard 200. On March 12, 2020, Lil Uzi teased that the deluxe version of Eternal Atake and the sequel to his July 2016 mixtape, Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World, titled Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2, would release the following day, the date fans expected the release date of the original album. The deluxe edition would have fourteen new tracks, featuring guest appearances from Chief Keef, 21 Savage, Future, Young Thug, Gunna, Lil Durk, Young Nudy and Nav. The first half of the album maintained a leading number 1 position (equal to 288,000 album sales in the United States) with 400 million streams in early 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This marked the largest streaming count for any album since 2018 when Lil Wayne's twelfth studio album, Tha Carter V, got 433 million streams. On April 24, 2020, Lil Uzi Vert released a new single titled "Sasuke", the first since the release of the deluxe version of Eternal Atake. On July 10, 2020, Lil Uzi appeared on the remix of StaySolidRocky's "Party Girl". On July 21, 2020, Lil Uzi and Future hinted at an upcoming joint project titled "Pluto x Baby Pluto" on their social media, which would be released on July 31, 2020.
On July 12, 2016, Woods announced his fourth mixtape, The Perfect LUV Tape, which was released on July 31, his 22nd birthday. The mixtape featured the singles "Seven Million", featuring Future, and "Erase Your Social", both of which failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The mixtape debuted at number 55 on the Billboard 200 album chart and is certified Gold by the RIAA. In October 2016, Woods was announced to be an additional artist on Canadian singer The Weeknd's tour.
Uzi featured on the hip-hop trio Migos' single "Bad and Boujee". The single was released on August 31, 2016, and is from the trio's second studio album, Culture (2017). In January 2017, around the time the album released, the single debuted atop the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Uzi's first number 1 single as a lead or featured artist, and his highest charting single as both. On February 27, 2017, Woods released the EP Luv Is Rage 1.5 whilst on tour with The Weeknd. The EP was positively received for its "nerdy" nature with Kingdom Hearts themed instrumentals and lyrics referring to anime, Steven Universe and hentai. The EP was also credited as the start of Woods' affiliation with the "emo-rapper" label due to the heartbreak-associated lyrics on the song "Luv Scars K.o 1600" and references to threats of suicide and depression on the stand-out track "XO Tour Llif3".
Woods announced a collaboration mixtape with Gucci Mane which was released on November 23, 2016. On the 27th, Woods announced Luv Is Rage 2 which eventually went through a series of delays.
On December 8, 2016, Woods was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia for recklessly driving a dirt-bike. Woods and a friend was driving a dirtbike without lights and helmets before being noticed by police. While being chased by the police, Woods fell off his dirtbike and attempted to run away on foot before being caught and held on $6,500 bond. In November 2017, the charge was eventually resolved with Woods receiving community service.
Luv Is Rage 2 was delayed again on April 2, 2017 with Woods blaming it on DJ Drama. On April 9, Don Cannon confirmed the project wasn't getting released "any time soon" and confirmed that "XO Tour Llif3" would be on the album. Uzi was featured on fellow rapper Playboi Carti's single "Woke Up Like This". It was released on April 7, 2017, and is from Carti's debut commercial mixtape, Playboi Carti (2017). The single was performed by the pair at Coachella 2017. "Woke Up Like This" was eventually certified platinum and peaked at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100. Uzi was featured alongside ASAP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Quavo and Frank Ocean on ASAP rappers collective ASAP Mob's single "RAF". The single was released by surprise on May 15, 2017 and is from the collective's second studio album, Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy.
"XO Tour Llif3"'s significant popularity on SoundCloud resulted in Woods playing it live on the European leg of The Weeknd's tour and the following week the song was added to streaming services and released as an official single. On April 4, 2017, "Xo Tour Llif3" debuted on Billboard Hot 100 at number 49 and peaked at number seven, becoming the rapper's highest charting song and biggest song, being certified six-times platinum as of August 2018.
Woods dated fashion designer Brittany Byrd from 2014 to 2017. Byrd, a popular figure among Woods' fans, was attending Parsons School of Design after moving from California to attend the school when she met Woods. Woods first referenced Byrd in the song "Nuyork Nights at 21" from Luv Is Rage and has since made multiple songs about the designer, even appearing in the music video for Woods breakout single, "Money Longer". On June 26, 2017, the couple broke up with Woods announcing the news with a new song titled "Stole Your Luv."
In August 2017, Woods created controversy by adding satanic imagery to his social media accounts and saying phrases often associated with Satanism such as "666". Woods frequently promotes Satanism on his social media, which went far enough to warrant his Instagram access being taken from him by his record label.
At the start of August, it was claimed by social media personality and hip-hop media personality DJ Akademiks that Luv Is Rage 2 is dropping within 30 days. On August 24, 2017, Luv Is Rage 2 was announced for a surprise release at midnight and on August 25, 2017, Lil Uzi Vert released his heavily-delayed debut studio album, Luv Is Rage 2, which included top ten single, "XO TOUR Llif3" as the lead single. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with 135,000 album-equivalent units and has since been certified platinum. The album also created ten Billboard Hot 100 charting singles, with two, "The Way Life Goes", featuring Oh Wonder, and "Sauce It Up" becoming singles. During British singer Ed Sheeran's set at the Video Music Awards, Woods and Sheeran performed a medley of "XO Tour Llif3" and Sheeran's chart-topping single, "Shape Of You".
In September 2017, Woods teased a possible sequel project to Lil Uzi Vert vs The World possibly titled Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World 2 and a collaboration project with Playboi Carti titled 16*29. In October, a joint-tour with Playboi Carti called the "16*29 tour" was announced further promoting the possibility of a collaboration project. The tour was cancelled shortly thereafter due to Woods claiming he needed to "focus". In October 2017, Woods headlined Power 105.1's annual Powerhouse music celebration, alongside The Weekend, Migos, and Cardi B, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Woods was also featured on Canadian rapper Nav's platinum-certified single "Wanted You". The song was released on November 3, 2017, Nav's 28th birthday, and is from Nav's debut studio album, Reckless (2018).
On December 4, 2017, "The Way Life Goes" music video was released with a remix, featuring Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj. The song subsequently peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Woods performed on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show performing "The Way Life Goes" on February 6, 2018 Uzi was featured alongside Kanye West on Travis Scott's song, "Watch", which was released on May 3, 2018. "Watch" debuted at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He was also featured on a remix for fellow rapper Lil Tracy's single "Like a Farmer".
In January 2018, Uzi announced that he had completed a mixtape with record producer Wheezy. In May 2018, Don Cannon confirmed that a new Uzi project was dropping in 2018 and speculation arose in July 2018 when Woods tweeted the words "Eternal Atake", his second studio album (2020), pinning the tweet and announcing it was "coming soon" and then at the end of the month sharing the then-chosen cover art for the project. The then-chosen cover art for Eternal Atake references the logo of the cult Heavens Gate. The two members who survived the cult suggested that legal actions could be taken against Uzi for copying the logo style. The art was the source of a threat from the two remaining members of the organization over legal attack. The then-thought lead single from Eternal Atake, "New Patek" was released on September 18, 2018. Uzi was then featured on Lil Pump's single, "Multi Millionaire". The single was released on October 5, 2018, and is from Pump's second studio album, Harverd Dropout.
In early 2018, Woods had tweeted about how he was unhappy at DJ Drama's label, Generation Now. In response, fellow rapper Rich the Kid had replied saying that had Woods signed to his label, Rich Forever Music, he would have never had that problem. Woods responded by saying "Boy I'm not signing for 20racks" ($20,000). Rich then replied that it would have been worth accepting the offer either way. Soon enough, things escalated with disses on Instagram and Twitter between the two. In March 2018, Rich the Kid released a diss track on Woods, titled "Dead Friends", a play on words of Woods's catchphrase in his hit single, "XO Tour Llif3". An incident occurred in June 2018 at a Starbucks between Rich the Kid and Lil Uzi Vert, who attempted to attack Rich the Kid but was stopped by security.
Woods has been accused of being a Satanist, originally by battle rapper Daylyt who claimed that Woods worshipped Satan. Woods has been said to be inspired by Marilyn Manson's worship and support of Satan, who he called his biggest inspiration. In July 2018, Woods told a crowd of fans that they were "going to hell" with him.
In April 2019, following label trouble with Generation Now, it was announced that Uzi was now signed to Roc Nation. Two new promotional singles were released in April 2019, titled "Sanguine Paradise" and "That's a Rack", originally thought to be from his highly anticipated studio album, Eternal Atake.