Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert is celebrating his 24th birthday today!
Born Symere Woods, Uzi Vert gained nationwide attention after releasing his debut single Money Longer and mixtapes Luv Is Rage, Lil Uzi Vert vs The World and The Perfect Luv Tape. Growing up in the Francisville neighborhood in North Philly, Uzi Vert only started rapping while in high school. But in the little amount of time that he has been rapping, the rapper has collaborated with rappers such as Young Thug, Wiz Khalifa, and the Migos. Migos’ Bad and Boujee became Lil Uzi Vert’s first US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single.
As we celebrate his 24th birthday, here are 5 facts about Lil Uzi Vert that you may (or not) know:
1) Symere is christened as Lil Uzi Vert:
As young Symere looked for a stage name that would set him apart from the rest. During an interview with VIBE magazine, Uzi explained how a random man helped him come up with his now-infamous name. “Some guy was just like ‘you rap fast, man. Like a little machine gun’ and from that moment I was Lil Uzi,” says Vert about how he came up with his rap name.
2) Uzi has a fascination with Rock legend Marilyn Manson:
As of today, (July 31, 2018) Manson is the only person he follows on Instagram, crediting the rocker as “his greatest inspiration” during an interview with Billboard last year. When Lil Uzi was between the ages of 6 and 8 years old, he used to watch MTV’s late 90’s animated series Celebrity Deathmatch. After watching an episode that featured a match between Manson and singer Ricky Martin, young Uzi immediately became a fan of both Manson and his music. In an interview, Lil Uzi Vert was heard saying that “he’s my father he’s like God for me. I’ll leave the Earth for this man (Marilyn Manson) at the age 27”. (Let’s hope not!!)
3) Grandma Vert saw potential in Lil Uzi’s career:
Before being the mega star that he is today, Uzi worked as a stock boy at Bottom Dollar store in Philadelphia. “I had a job for fucking four days,” Uzi said, during an interview for Fader magazine. “I couldn’t do it. I’m not normal. I was in there just thinking, Why am I doing this?” After quitting the only job that he ever had, Mama Uzi decided to send him to his grandmother’s house. Grandma Vert was very supportive of her grandson’s rap career and she knew he had the potential to make good music one day. His grandma gifted him both Mike Jones and Ying Yang Twins CD. “My grandma was with the shits all the time, and my grandma [was] like, ‘Go ahead bro, like yeah I know you gonna make it, like yeah, just do it.’”
4) A$AP Mob co-founder Steven “Yams” Rodriguez gave Uzi his first music industry co-signs:
In early 2014 when Uzi was only 20 years old, the late A$AP YAM$ gave him the shout out that would help parachute Uzi’s career to heights he could never imagine. Making him the first to champion the Philly native online. “He was the first A$AP member I ever spoke to, he was a real genius with it,” he said in a VIBE magazine interview in 2016, “I started sitting back and looking at how he was putting things together and making everything move…Just him being him.” Although Uzi never had the opportunity to meet Yams in person, Uzi believes that Yam had faith in him and believed that he would make it big.
5) Uzi’s main purpose for getting facial tattoos was so that he wouldn’t get hired for jobs:
After getting kicked out of his house by his mother as a result of quitting his job at Bottom Dollar, Uzi decided to have the word “Faith” tattooed on his forehead, becoming his first of many facial tattoos. “It was like, If I get this face tattoo, I got to focus. I can’t go in nobody’s office with a suit on with this shit on my face. I got to focus on what I want to do.” Beginning with the “Faith” tattoo, Uzi Vert now has close to a dozen tattoos on his face, many of which the rapper shared are Adinkra symbols from the Asante tribe of West Africa. His most prominent face tattoo is the round piece below his left eye, which means “God is king.”