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Last week, Lil Uzi Vert and popular Twitch streamer, Adin Ross finally linked up for a long awaited collab, breaking the internet with a highly entertaining 2 hour-long stream featuring hilarious back and forth between Adin and Uzi, off-the-cuff freestyles, DIY hair dye, and even a few punches thrown. This week, a two-minute clip from the 2+ hour-long livestream of Uzi kicking a rather impressive freestyle is being billed as a real song on YouTube and Soundcloud, lyrics and all - going viral and trending on YouTube with over 3M views in less than a week.
“Ballin” is a prime example of the magic of Adin Ross. By being so unfiltered and unafraid to be the butt of the joke, he creates a safe space where some of the biggest artists in the world feel comfortable to come and let loose (oftentimes in his literal bedroom). It’s obvious to anyone watching that Adin is genuinely excited to be hanging out with Uzi, and just as amazed as the rest of us at his ability to freestyle a complete, catchy song off the top - bookending the video by saying what everyone was thinking: “You literally just made a song, wtf”.
In the span of just two minutes there are several awesome moments that you just can’t help but smile at. There’s the line: “My hair’s blue, Adin’s hair is green” in reference to how he had just spent most of the stream dying Adin’s hair supposedly to match his, only to reveal he had actually switched it to green midway through. There is also the key, incredibly wholesome moment where Adin joins in for the line “I am a floater” used in the thumbnail - followed by the impressive “I hit my shoulder” in reference to his signature dance move. Along the way Uzi even drops a reference to JT, referring to his very public relationship with JT of the City Girls. Following the livestream, the hype around “Ballin” only grew over the holiday weekend as Adin hilariously tagged along with Uzi to his neighborhood in North Philly for Thanksgiving.
In the end, “Ballin” captures a really cool moment in time and truly is undeniably catchy. Its unexpected success as a stand-alone song is a testament to 1) Uzi’s impressive ability to improvise and 2) the demand to see artists in relaxed, casual settings where they don’t take themselves too seriously. Furthermore, Adin continues to cement his place as one of the key bridges between the increasingly important worlds of hip hop and livestream/gaming/online culture - and it will be fascinating to watch how he continues to leverage his unique and growing platform.
Check out the video for Lil Uzi Vert’s “Ballin” feat. Adin Ross below.