Vital Status: Alive & Stable😴
Fav Tracks: Rockstar Made, Stop Breathing, Vamp Anthem, Control, On That Time, Sky, Die4Guy
Least Fav: Go2DaMoon, JumpOutTheHouse, Punk Monk
Length: 1 hour 3min
Whole Lotta Red is flawed, Whole Lotta Red is abrasive, Whole Lotta Red is hypnotic, Whole Lotta Red is fresh….
Carti has teased fans with his new album Whole Lotta Red for about 2 years now and finally released this 24 track LP on Christmas Day. If you’re not a fan of Playboi Carti’s music you may not find Whole Lotta Red to be all that enjoyable. Shit, even if you are a fan you still may not find it enjoyable. I do however think there are some redeeming qualities behind this new trap electric punk sound. Carti is still as hypnotic as ever with his ad-libs and gives us some unique voices on this record that can’t be found anywhere else.
I loved the first track on this album “Rockstar Made”. It’s a banger and Carti has found a way to make his voice so raspy that it sounds like he’s been smoking cigs for 70 years. Carti is living the rockstar lifestyle and this is just one of the many cool inflections he can put on his voice.
Following that up, Carti does come up with one of my least favorite tracks “Go2DaMoon”. I feel like a Kanye feature was just thrown in because it’s the cool thing to do. This track doesn’t really fit into this albums aesthetic and Carti appears on this track very little. It has a below average Kanye verse that didn’t need to be here.
“Stop Breathing” is another high point on Whole Lotta Red. It features a heavy trap beat with a somewhat wonky electronic sound in the background. Everything Carti does well is on this song. He comes with intense in your face rapping with high pitched ad-libs playing throughout. He changes up his flow multiple times on this track and you don’t know what sounds are going to come out of his voice next.
Looking at the tracklist as a whole the song “Beno!” may be one of the more accessible songs. Carti is pretty straight forward with his sound here and people who really enjoyed Die Lit might find this to be one of their favorite tracks.
Some of the other weaker tracks on the first half of this album include “JumpOutTheHouse” and “M3tamorphosis”. To me “JumpOutTheHouse” sounds like a chorus Future would be on because it’s so repetitive. “M3tamorphosis” features Kid Cudi and the idea of Cudi and Carti sounds better then what turns out here. It’s one of the longer songs and doesn’t evolve into anything special. It has weird buzzing staticky beat that feels to bland.
At this point Carti does start to lull us into his sounds that becomes hypnotic. “No Sl33p” has some cool production sounding like a video game underneath a trap beat. The song “New Tank” and “Meh” both have this spellbinding sound that put you in Carti’s world without realizing it. “Meh” features a slower delivery vocally and exaggerating a lot of his pronunciation. It’s such an odd thing to do and I don’t think it can be found anywhere else in Hip-Hop right now.
“Vamp Anthem” is another highlight and a moment where everything comes together. The execution, production, style, and writing are all on point with this song. They use chords from Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue D Minor” to bring this vampire idea to life. He is able to merge the vampire lifestyle to gang life by describing his crew pulling up on their enemies almost like stalking prey.
“New Neon” has the Carti baby voice controlling the whole song. I like this track but to me it just doesn’t have anything that really stands out. “Control” may have one of my favorite beats just because the synths are so loud and pulsating. He does start to show some more of his emotional side here and this starts to become a trend towards the back end of this album.
The song “Punk Monk” has these weird background vocals that completely throw me off and are just bad. Playboi does discuss his relationships in the rap game with other artists such as Uzi and Trippie Redd on this track. “On That Time” has this raw beat with Carti just delivering frantic loud bars. I can’t get over the sound of this beat it’s so futuristic. Futuristic in a way where there’s no warmth. It comes out of nowhere and I love it.
“Place” produced by Pi’erre Bourne is on the calmer tone. More of a vibey track and the production has these synth tones that wake you up and calm you down at the same time. Next is the song “Sky” that at first listen just feels like another druggy song but Carti uses a large portion of the lyrics here to glance over his relationship. He goes from loving this girl but also wanting to cut her off and then from not kissing her but wanting to know everyone she’s had sex with, I actually think its one of Carti’s finer moments lyrically. The lyric below is just hilarious as well.
I don’t even like to hug I don’t even like to kiss
I just pat her on the ass, and tell her, “Good shit”
The songs “Over” and “ILoveUIHateU” are similar to me in what they present. Both, have higher pitched electronic lazer sounds playing throughout. The songs production are highlights and continue to push us forward.
“Die4Guy” appears that it’s going to come in super hard but instead settles down. It is another one of my favorites because Carti is clear and concise here. The beat and Carti’s lyrics is like a calm agitation in this hectic rockstar lifestyle.
To end the the album we get the track “F33l Lik3 Dyin” which is another sound we have not heard Carti do before. It’s like a harder Drake song do to the bass being ramped up like on most Carti songs. Also, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver is sampled on this. This is a really unique switch up to close out this record from everything that we just heard.
Overall, Playboi Carti was able to find a new sound with Whole Lotta Red and as a listener sometimes that’s all we can ask for. Was this album solid from top to bottom, the answer would be no. But, the way Carti still has a great feel for production and the inflections he can create with his voice are something so many artists would never try and even if they did they wouldn’t be able to pull it off the way Carti does.