Playboi Carti is a new age rapper hailing from Atlanta, Georgia; adding to the huge movement currently occurring in Atlanta through the likes of Migos, Lil Yachty and 21 Savage. Much like Andre 3000 and Gucci Mane before him, Carti has built up an impressive fanbase through a specific style of hip-hop which makes them so recognisable. Playboi Carti has made a name for himself collaborating with the A$AP Mob and Lil Uzi Vert recently and it’s now time for him to venture into his own world of mainstream rap with this, his self-titled debut mixtape.
One thing that stands out for me with this mixtape is the atmospheric production chosen for the project. There are plenty of heavy synthesisers and slick snares for fans of turn up hip-hop to enjoy. The project’s opening track, and my personal favourite, ‘Location’ has stunning production which has a space aged feel to it, a theme which is often utilised with solid effect. Thanks to this particular theme we get a nice flow to the project and each track follows one another nicely. The production and beat making is without doubt my highlight of the mixtape as a whole.
Lyrically it’s safe to say you’re not going to find anything culturally important or socially mind-blowing, just a lot of bragging about his lavish lifestyle. Whether it’s girls or chains on the agenda, Carti has a way with words that won’t end up in novels, but instead be chanted by an adoring crowd and I have nothing but respect for that, he is doing his own thing. Not everyone has to be J Cole levels of conscious. One criticism I have of him is that one of his lyrics suggests that other rappers are imitating his style, the irony of that is that he sounds almost identical to Lil Uzi Vert. As well as this I worry that his ability to vary from track to track is highly limited as a few of the songs sound basically identical, from ‘Other Shit’ to ‘Yah Mean’.
The features do their thing. A$AP Rocky is red Hot on ‘New Choppa’ and certifies to us all that he is one of the game’s most talented artists. As for Lil Uzi Vert, we all know what to expect from hip-hop’s self-proclaimed rockstar nowadays; especially after his Bad & Boujee verse. On both ‘wokeuplikethis*’ and ‘Lookin’, the latter of which is an undeniable banger, Uzi provides the hype and keeps things boiling over as he does every time he’s on a trap hit like this one. Compared to the features it is plain to me at least that Cash Carti isn’t on their level in terms of rapping, but his artistry is the reason he can attract names of their stature on his work.
Best 3 songs: ‘Location’, ‘Magnolia’ & ‘Lookin’
Worst 3 songs: ‘Other Shit’, ‘Yah Mean’ & ‘Kelly K’
All in all this is a very solid opening project from Atlanta’s latest product, as Carti demonstrates a wide array of artistry and modernised hip-hop. I would definitely recommend this mixtape to anyone looking for new artists from the new wave of rappers. My main criticism of him, however is the lack of originality he shows vocally, as he sounds a hell of a lot like Lil Uzi Vert and a handful of other artists, not to mention the fact that he is lyrically simple. In fairness though, for what he is and what he intends to create, he smashes it with this project and I’m highly excited to see what direction he goes in next. Shout out to his producer who worked wonders throughout.