Playboi Carti – “Whole Lotta Red” review

This is the highly anticipated sophomore album from Atlanta superstar Playboi Carti. Coming up as an affiliate of the A$AP Mob, he would break out in 2017 off his eponymous 3rd mixtape & then the following year with one of the greatest trap albums of the 2010s: Die Lit. But after countless leaks & rumors, Carti is finishing off this shitty year by releasing Whole Lotta Red.

The album kicks off with “Rockstar Made”, where Carti talks about how it’s never enough over a trap metal beat. The next song “Go2DaMoon” with Kanye West sees the 2 talking over a Wheezy instrumental some prominently dramatic string sections while the track “Stop Breathing” talks about hoes going crazy when he takes his shirt off over a distorted beat. The song “Beno!” talks about over an instrumental with some video game-like synthesizers while the track “JumpOutTheHouse” is a cacophonous moshpit starter down to the Richie Souf beat.

The song “M3tamorphosis” with KiD CuDi finds the 2 talking about how can’t nobody tell you shit over a trippy instrumental with CuDi’s trademark humming being incorporated during the hook while the track “Slay3r” talks about how everything’s good & I almost wanna say the beat kinda has an 80’s new wave feel to it. The song “No Sl33p” talks about dreaming about murder over a synth-heavy instrumental while the track “New Talk” talks about being posted with his brother over a droney beat.

The song “Teen X” with Future sees the 2 talking about being on drugs over a manic instrumental from Maaly Raw while the track “Meh” talks about fucking a bitch up over some keyboards & heavy bass. The song “Vamp Anthem” perfectly lives up to it’s name down to the organ-laced instrumental while the track “New N3on” talks about having swag for days over a more uptempo beat.

The song “Control” talks about this woman driving him insane over an instrumental kin to LUV is Rage or even Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World while the track “Punk Monk” name-drops everyone from Trippie Redd to Lil Tjay over a beat with some synths buried in the bass. The song “On That Time” talks about ridin’ around with a draco over a noisy instrumental while the track “King Vamp” talks about being a dark knight over a frenetic beat.

The song “Place” talks about over a cloudy instrumental from none other than Pi’erre Bourne while the track “Sky” is an intoxicating weed smoking anthem. The song “Over” talks about how “this love don’t feel how it felt when we started” over some infectious synth-melodies while the track “ILoveUIHateU” talks about how “what you don’t know won’t hurt” over a Pi’erre beat that gives me self-titled vibes.

The song “Die4Guy” talks about loyalty over a chaotic instrumental while the penultimate track “Not PLaying” talks about how he ain’t playing games no more over a futuristic beat. The album ends with “F33l Lik3 Dyin’”, where Carti talks about his current well-being over an instrumental sampling “iMi” by Bon Iver & the multiple background vocalists throughout (including Justin Vernon himself) are all breathtaking.

Even though it’s not as fantastic as self-titled or Die Lit, this album was still very much worth the 859 day wait. Some filler cuts are thrown in here & there, but I do appreciate him experimenting a more in comparison to his previous work.

Score: 3.5/5

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