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Heat Check: Homecoming

The laboriously-delayed <em>Eternal Atake </em>finally delivered big time for Lil Uzi Vert fans.
Erika Goldring
FilmMagic/Getty Images
The laboriously-delayed Eternal Atake finally delivered big time for Lil Uzi Vert fans.

After years of simultaneously trendsetting and meandering in a creative purgatory, Lil Uzi Vert finally unleashed his sophomore album last Friday.

Eternal Atake drips with dystopian, digital lurches and ascending choral choruses. The project follows the new-school virtuoso on a hero's journey through space by way of three personas — Baby Pluto, Renji and Lil Uzi Vert. It's ironic that we follow the Philly artist on his journey far away when the album itself is a homecoming celebration for fans.

Uzi's audible adrenaline shot paired with fresh finds from Megan Thee Stallion, Stove God Cooks, Rowjay and more. Peep this week's Heat Check playlist update via Spotify and Apple Music.

Lil Uzi Vert, "Homecoming"

No matter how far-flung Uzi's musical tastes reach, he still remembers his Philly roots. Over a stunt-double-sizzle-reel-type-beat courtesy of Bugz Ronin, Uzi reminds us that he's still close with the plug.

"Straight out the mud, we got that work that turn you to the Grudge / Leave you slime like a snail, you get hit with these slugs / I say how I feel and I do what I want / And not just because it is what it was." Sidney Madden

ilham, "uh huh"

The Queens singer-songwriter doesn't need to raise her tone to show her distaste. Instead, ilham stays perched above the bulls***, interpolates some classic 50 Cent and delivers her warnings with a whisper. — Sidney Madden

Megan Thee Stallion, "Captain Hook"

The Houston MC finally lets her alter ego, Suga, loose and turns up her savage sass for the project's standout, "Captain Hook." You may never be able to watch Peter Pan the same way after this one. — Sidney Madden

Stove God Cooks, "Break The Pyrex"

The Busta Rhymes-endorsed Syracuse native lays melodies on the hook, then seamlessly morphs into an unorthodox flow over a looped vocal sample provided by Roc Marciano. If these two decide to drop a project, I'm first in line. — Bobby Carter

Rowjay, "Kung Fu Margiela 2"

Since dropping Birth of Rowjayzus in 2014, this Montreal MC has slowly blown up beyond his borders. Keep an ear out for a new album dropping later this year. — Suraya Mohamed

Gogo., "Smooth Operator"

Not to be confused with Sade's baby-makin' classic, Gogo. interpolates the "Smooth Operator" hook with muffled percussion, a reggae bass line and plenty of dark liquor.

"I think I need a little more Hennessy in my drink / And then we can link / I just need time to think / Or the ship might sink." Sidney Madden

BOSCO, "Paid In Full"

It took all of 45 seconds for BOSCO to get me over-hyped for springtime and payday. She's back. — Bobby Carter

Emma-Jean Thackray, "Open"

The UK's gifted and emerging Emma-Jean Thackray was conservatory trained in jazz and composition. She's also a producer and multifaceted multi-instrumentalist who blows a fierce trumpet. While this latest EP leans towards R&B, it's clearly shaded with jazz undertones. — Suraya Mohamed

Knxwledge, "Don't Be Afraid"

It's hard for any producer to keep up with the beat tape output of Knxwledge. He's released over 100 projects on Bandcamp, but he pumps the breaks from time to time for an official offering. "Don't Be Afraid" is the latest from his upcoming 1988 beat project. — Bobby Carter

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Bobby Carter is a leader on the Tiny Desk Concerts team for NPR Music. He's brought an ever growing roster of big names and emerging artists through NPR's HQ to squeeze behind the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and record standout performances, including Usher, Mac Miller, Noname, Anderson.Paak and H.E.R.
Suraya Mohamed is a three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, sound designer and editor. She currently serves as the project manager for Jazz Night In America and is a contributing producer on the Alt.Latino podcast. She also produces NPR's holiday specials package, including Tinsel Tales, Hanukkah Lights, Toast Of The Nation, Pink Martini's Joy To The World: A Holiday Spectacular and most recently Hamilton: A Story Of US. You'll also find her work on the Tiny Desk series as either a producer or engineer.
Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.