22-year-old rising hip-hop star Lil Uzi Vert and ’90s shock rocker Marilyn Manson is one of the most unlikely friendships in the music world since Kanye and Lorde were spotted sulking in all black together. What began as Uzi’s pure fandom for Manson has blossomed into a true, mutually beneficial relationship, one that looks like it’s about to yield some pretty tremendous new music.
The bond between Marilyn and Uzi, great as it is, really begs the question — how the hell did it happen? How did one of the most vital new forces in hip-hop today link up with one of the true innovators of industrial goth rock from decades past. Fortunately, we can consult a whole host of tweets and interviews to fill in the gaps.
Uzi has long been a fan of Marilyn, and ’90s rock as a whole for years, but the world only first really found out about it back in 2015 when he tweeted out a picture of himself wearing an Iron Maiden tee, and a fan asked whether it was a style choice or if he was actually down with the band. Of course, Uzi revealed that not only did he ride with the Beast, but shared his love for Manson as well.
The next year, Uzi posted up a couple of Tweets @ing Manson, seemingly trying to get the rocker’s attention to little public avail.
In an interview with Pharrell on Othertone, Uzi revealed that he first discovered Manson while watching MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch back in the day. He also later told Nardwuar that he took a lot of his style cues from the man he dubbed, the Pale Emperor. “I will leave this Earth for this man right here. He’s the pale Emperor,” Uzi said when the quirky interview gave him a Manson poster. “I saw Marilyn Manson. He had like the platinum grills and that’s when I got my first ones. And honestly, I didn’t even buy them. My grandma bought those. I paid her back right away though.”
Finally, after all the public discourse, Manson finally took note of one of his biggest fans after Uzi sprang for a six-figure diamond-encrusted chain of himself wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
He later offered his approval of Uzi’s “XO Tour Llif3” video.
In an interview shortly after the video dropped, Uzi revealed that he’d hung out with Manson in person, and talked about making a rock album for his next project. “I’ma come out with a rock band,” he told Lowe. “It’s kinda hard for it to be bad. I don’t even be looking at my songs like they’re good or bad. Remember, they’re my children. So when I put ’em out, someone accepts them.” As for his opinion of Manson the person? “I hate him,” Uzi deadpanned. “We don’t talk about music.”
Manson later revealed to Consequence Of Sound that the two planned to collaborate on his rock album soon.
“He wants to do a rock album next, and I would love to see that happen because I think that he could make a new thing, not some rock/rap type of thing, something special and new that I think needs to be created just to f*ck the world up more. I think that if I had to pick what Lil Uzi Vert should be, if he’s involved in rock, it’s an early Bad Brains or Faith No More, but with a catchier element. I think he has punk rock in him. He’s a lil crazy motherf*cker. And good. Smart as f*ck. He has an attitude like I did, and I like that about him.”
It’s impossible at this point to know what music made by Uzi and Manson might sound like, but it’s easy to imagine that, like Manson says, it has all the potential in the world to f*ck things up. It probably goes without saying, but it’s truly great to see one of the most disruptive, incendiary rock stars in music today being taken under the wing of one of the most disruptive, incendiary rock stars of all time. Both artists will no doubt come out looking and sounding better for it.