Album Review: Whole Lotta Red by Playboi Carti

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Jordan Carter, or better known by his stage name, Playboi Carti, is a rapper and singer from Atlanta. Carti first started to gain traction with his track, Magnolia, and that’s the track that first got me into his music. Once his debut album came out, Die Lit, that really solidified Playboi Carti’s role and fame in his career. Ever since his debut, people have been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for his follow up. Now, on Christmas day, Playboi Carti releases Whole Lotta Red.

The first track from the album is Rockstar Made. The track and album opens up with a booming bass and trap styled beats. It definitely brings the energy to the album. While he opens up the track with his normal vocals, he does experiment with it a bit throughout the track. It sounds like he takes the auto-tune off during the chorus which makes his voice sounds more rough than usual, but that could be a reference to being a ‘rockstar’. Other than that, I enjoy the high energy and lifestyle he presents on the track.

We surprisingly get a Kanye West feature on Go2DaMoon. The track opens up with a low trap-styled beat, but eventually switches to a string-styled sample after the first thirty seconds. There have been a lot of memes about Kanye carrying the album since he has a pretty solid verse on here. Kanye continues to talk about his faith with God and Playboi Carti raps about, well, the usual things you would normally hear on a hip hop track.

Stop Breathing is another bass heavy, and I mean heavy like rumbling in your car. I could definitely see them playing this at a club or bar, but it kind of overpowers the rapping from Playboi Carti. I guess that isn’t necessarily a bad thing with his interesting and rough rap vocals. It seems like he’s definitely laying low with the auto-tune on this track. However, I did enjoy the line about MF DOOM where he talks about the mask since MF DOOM uses a mask to hide his identity.

Beno! opens up with a light electronic like beat, which sounds like something you’d find in a video game. While I don’t mind 8-bit like sounding tracks, this one just seems very poorly produced and turns me off from the very beginning. On this track, Carti flexes his wealth, but also talks about how he uses his wealth for good. He talks about how he has bought nice things for his son, as well as his sister and bought her a Jeep.

JumpOutTheHouse is a sub two-minute track from the album. Just like before, you have the booming bass, but you have some ascending and descending notes thrown in there. Playboi Carti opens up the track by saying the name of the track. It’s mostly just a lot of repetitive lines repeated over and over, which in general isn’t always bad. However, Carti decides to switch up his voice and flow when he decides to change the line that he is going to repeat. Hands down the worst track on the album.

We get another exciting feature from Kid Cudi this time on M3tamorphosis. However, we don’t have much from Kid Cudi so I’m a bit disappointed by how much Playboi Carti utilized him. This time we get a spooky beat with an electronic guitar/synth. On this track, Carti seems to throw some Greek mythology in there by mentioning Morpheus who is the God of sleep. He also mentions the title, metamorphosis, which is the process of turning into an adult from a previous, younger self. Caterpillars turning into butterflies is one example.

Slay3r is another track that opens up with some synths and your usual trap-filled beat. Just like the title suggests, this track pays homage to Slayer, which is a bit strange since I’m not really seeing any Slayer inspired beats on this track. Again, Carti talks about his fame as well as the amount of wealth that he has. He also talks about some of the partying and the women he’s able to get. Other than that, nothing too exciting, just seems like a generic beat.

No Sl33p is another electronic filled track. This is also the shortest track on the album, just under a minute and a half in length. It’s definitely an interesting track, but I guess you never know what you are going to get on this album. Playboi Carti talks about how he thinks about murder when he goes to sleep, which probably explains the title and why he doesn’t want to sleep, or why he shouldn’t sleep. This could also do with the fact of him growing up in Atlanta.

After that, we have another short minute and a half track titled No Tank. I like this one a bit more. When you have these crazy bass heavy tracks, you need to have more ecstatic and aggressive rapping, and Carti definitely delivers with this one. However, one thing that a lot of people have been commenting about was the “They thought I was gay” line that he throws out. However, the comments people have thrown at him don’t seem to bother him.

Teen X has a light and playful beat, and also brings back Playboi Carti’s baby voice that people immediately recognize him by. Of course, this track is laced with drug references since the X in the title references drugs. We also have a Future feature which I have mixed feelings about as a rapper, but he isn’t there much. Other than that, the light and playful beat does throw me off for a second so it may seem like a shot in the dark on this album.

Meh continues to bring the vibey bass lines as well as some high electronic notes that are sprinkled into the beat. We do get Playboi Carti’s baby voice again at times, but it’s mostly during the ad lib parts instead of his verses. As I said before, there isn’t really anything new that he is talking about on this track, mostly just his wealth and his rockstar lifestyle. He does mention how there are people that are inspired by him, but he also has a lot of haters against him.

Vamp Anthem opens up with the organ filled snippet that is used in several older horror films. They’re surprisingly able to make a beat out of those organ notes after the quick introduction. I’m not a huge fan of it but I have to give them credit for making a beat out of it. While he does keep up with the ‘vampire’ aesthetic of the album, he seems to mention some gang activity, as well as freeing some of his family members.

New N3on opens up with an almost vaporwave-like beat, minus the heavy bass booms ofcourse. Besides that, it’s another playful and light beat from the album, which is strange for a dark and vampire-inspired album. It seems like we are seeing more of Playboi Carti’s baby vocals right now, but the beats he’s rapping over really aren’t catching on at this point. There was actually a different version of this track leaked over a year ago, but Carti changed it up with new verses.

Control opens up with a short introduction from DJ Akademiks. He talks about how Carti fans are some of the most loyal fans out there. Before the EDM beat starts to come in, he talks about how this album is going to be a classic and that is a great gift for his fans. I think I can finally call this track like a normal Playboi Carti track. It’s catchy and you got your usual Carti rapping and vocals sprinkled on throughout the track. He talks about doing everything for his girl, and also talked about how some day he might propose to her.

Punk Monk has an abrupt beat change from the previous track. Not necessarily a bad change, but a huge jump from what we experienced on the previous track. As always we have our baby voice Carti back, but there are some parts where he’s singing which doesn’t sound as great to be honest. On this track, he name drops a lot of rappers and talks about how he had the chance to sign all of these younger rappers that made huge leaps in their craft and fame.

On That Time is another sub two minute track from the album, but it is definitely a heavy banger on here, even with the somewhat distorted bass and electronic notes. There’s honestly a lot of things going on during the track so it can be confusing keeping up with everything, but he knows how to get the blood and energy flowing. He seems to be heavily mentioning Draco again, which if you don’t know is a type of gun.

King Vamp is another vampire filled track from the album. However, this time we don’t have the organ carrying the beat. On this track, he mentions himself as The Dark Knight which is one of the films in the The Dark Knight Batman series. He also mentions how he can’t sleep which might be paying homage to the track earlier about no sleep. Other than that, it seems like Carti is back on an upward trend after an iffy first half of the album.

Place has a funky synth-like beat that keeps me coming back. The best part about this track? It features one of his long time collaborators, Pi’erre Bourne. Playboi Carti is definitely at his peak when he’s able to have him as a producer so I’m glad he was able to collaborate with him on the album. One thing that I don’t like as much is that the beat cuts out for a few seconds at the very beginning, so it almost tricks you like the track just stopped out of nowhere.

Sky opens up with some more crazy beats with the video game-like music. Since people sometimes say the ‘sky is the limit’, this track is all about living the high life, but also being way too high at times. The synths are definitely the highlight of the track and just keep you entranced throughout. While he does talk about getting high, he also addresses his love life again. However this time he talks about how he has been falling out of love with his girl.

Over continues to take advantage of the video game-like synths that were on some of the previous tracks. He is also joined by Art Dealer on this track who helped him open up his Die Lit album with Long Time (Intro). On this track, he talks about how some of these drugs help keep balance in his life, as well as the quick living life. Carti also continues with some of the same themes on the last track and talking about how his love for this girl isn’t the same as what it used to be.

ILoveUIHateU brings back Pi’erre Bourne into the mix. Not what you would usually expect from him, but I do enjoy his beats over some of the other ones we have heard on this album. At least we don’t have the loud over powering bass on this track. Carti seems to be talking about how he solves all of his problems with different drinks. He also seems to be talking about some of the partying he does with these women.

Die4Guy has another generic trap-fueled beat. While there are over 20 tracks on this album, It’s a bit difficult to sit through some of these tracks when they sound similar and have some similar formulas to the other 20-some tracks. Besides the generic beats on this track, he talks about his loyalty and respect for his brother, Reggie Carter. However, it also talks about how sometimes he was inspired by his brother’s reckless decisions.

Not Playing has another high-pitched and playful beat. At least this time we are back with Carti’s normal rapping that we have heard a little bit on this album. It’s nice to hear this track after some of the others we have heard on the album. At this point of the album, Carti talks about how his life is great right now and his progression to get where he is now. At the very end of the track, he says he isn’t playing anymore which might mean he’s going to be focusing on his real life issues first.

The final track on the album is F33l Lik3 Dyin. Not going to lie, from the introduction on the track, it sounded like something Bon Iver could have produced. After digging through some more, I see that Justin Vernon was featured throughout different parts of the track. Definitely was not expecting this feature on the album. Other than that, the emotion put into this track definitely makes this a worthwhile closer for the album.

Just like many others, I had high hopes from this album, but the problem with having so many tracks is that a lot of these tracks seem like throwaways or extras. Also, a lot of these beats are just generic and too polished over for Playboi Carti’s rough and aggressive vocals he tried to use on some of these. Other than that, the hype over this album got a lot of our hopes up.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Favorite Tracks: Rockstar Made, Go2DaMoon, No Tank, Control, On That Time, Place, F33l Lik3 Dyin

Originally published at https://www.lazymusicguru.com

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