Well, here it is. It’s finally here. Playboi Carti has finally released Whole Lotta Red to the public.
Playboi Carti is a rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who first received mainstream attention from his two mainstream hits “Magnolia” and “Woke Up Like This”, both from his debut self-titled mixtape. He then released his studio debut, Die Lit, in May 2018. Just three months after its release he revealed his next album would be called Whole Lotta Red. From then on, things got pretty messy.
There were a lot of rumored features on the album, such as Trippie Redd, Gunna, and of course Lil Uzi Vert. But about a year later in July 2019, Carti announced that he wanted to drop the album in the next 60 days and that there would be no features on the project. The project wasn’t dropped within those 60 days, however, which led to frustrated fans and a ton of leaked tracks, such as the viral “Pissy Pamper”. On this track, he debuted his polarizing baby voice, and took it steps further with his features on Tyler, The Creator’s “EARFQUAKE”, Drake’s “Pain 1993”, and his own song “@ Meh”.
Anywho, the leaks are mostly what caused Whole Lotta Red to be delayed so many times. It got so bad to the point that when he performed an unreleased song (“New N3on”) to a crowd in Seattle, the audience knew every word. But after all the leaks and delays, the album was finally released to the public on Christmas Day of 2020.
Personally, I’ve never been Sir Cartier’s biggest fan. But once news got out that Kanye West was handling executive producing duties and would be featured on the project alongside Future and Kid Cudi, I couldn’t help but be excited. So let’s see what Playboi Carti has to offer us on this long-awaited project.
1. Rockstar Made Produced by Jonah Abraham & F1lthy I have very mixed feelings about this intro. I like the beat, but it isn’t mixed particularly well with his vocals and a slightly overblown 808 being the forefront of the track. Carti is… somewhat tolerable. The repetition did kind of get on my nerves (especially in between the first & second verse), which is kind of what turns me off about this track. It’s not bad, but it could’ve been better. And shorter.
2. Go2DaMoon Featuring Kanye West; Produced by Outtatown & Wheezy One half of this song is a surprisingly good Ye verse, the other is basically the snippet Carti showed before the album dropped. This track does not know what it wants to be at all. One minute it’s a chilled out & vibey, the next it’s menacing & hard hitting. The Ye verse gets me through the song, especially those last 4 bars.
If they don’t play this, call the DJ This verse just shut down the freeway Born in the A, you can’t impeach Ye The case so brief, don’t bring your briefcase
I enjoyed this track but it was way too short, man. I’m not too disappointed because of Ye, but I left wanting more.
3. Stop Breathing Produced by Ssort, Lukrative, & F1lthy I actually flinched when this song came on. The beat isn’t mixed well again, but I don’t mind it after the first 12 seconds. This track is filled with nothing but energy. I get punk rock vibes from his vocals here. I’ve never heard him sound like this before. I’m not that big of a fan of the adlibs, but I can get past it. I also think this song overstays its welcome a little bit. Regardless, I can see this going in my gym playlist.
Also, R.I.P. MF DOOM.
4. Beno! Produced by Ken Car$on, Outtatown, & Lil 88 This is the first track on the album that I knew I liked from the first listen. It’s basically a better version of “@ Meh”. But there’s one lyric that bothers me.
All black 2-3, Lebron with the Heat
Bron wore number 6 when he was on the Heat, stupid. I get that the all-black 2-3 is his gun, but c’mon. Get your references right. But hey, if I can get past Future saying “I be down in Houston like Kareem, I’m a Rocket”, I can get past this lyric too. And the beat’s mixed well too! I’m starting to really get into this album now.
5. JumpOutTheHouse Produced by Richie Souf …and AS SOON as the best song on the album is over he follows it up with possibly one of his worst songs of all time. What is this?? I like the beat, but MAN. THE REPETITION IS ALL OVER THIS TRACK. And GOOD GOD his voice is horrible. What a waste. Get this outta my face.
6.M3tamorphosis Featuring Kid Cudi; Produced by F1lthy & Gab3 Aaaand we’re back to the low-grade mixing. When this beat drops I’m really just wondering how long they spent on this because other than Beno! it doesn’t sound like-
Kid Cudi literally just humming: STFU & LISTEN!!
I kid you not, I was thinking how much better this song could’ve been if it was mixed, and I was immediately shut up by Kid Cudi’s ethereal humming. Having that in the background of the instrumental was a very smart move. That might be my favorite moment of the album. But BEFORE we get to his verse, we have to listen to Carti singing off-key (how you have Auto-tuned and still sing off-key I have no idea), him saying he feels like God after releasing Satanic looking merch and embracing the fact that he’s a mumble rapper.
They can’t understand me, I’m talkin’ hieroglyphics
Yeah ok, bro. Carti’s the least interesting part of this entire track & the fact that we have to wait three minutes and eight seconds to get to Cudi’s verse is ridiculous. But the hums alone make me like the song.
7. Slay3r Produced by Roark Bailey & Juberlee The title of track 11 is how I feel about this track. The beat’s nice & well mixed though. I actually used to listen to Slayer in 9th grade, so considering how aggressive & fast-paced their music tends to be, maayybe shouting them out on a chilled out & low tempo track wasn’t the best idea.
8. No Sl33p Produced by KP Beatz & Jonah Abraham No. This beat reminds me of that annoying boss on an 8-bit video game that I can never get past. And MY GOD THE REPETITION. Hard pass.
9. New Tank Produced by Jonah Abraham & F1lthy Another badly mixed beat. Someone, PLEASE teach this F1lthy kid how to mix & master. Anyway, this is basically “Stop Breathing 2.0” so you can copy & paste everything I said about “Stop Breathing” on here, minus the punk rock vocals. And of course, there’s the lyric that had everybody talking:
10. Teen X Featuring Future; Produced by Maaly Raw Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD. This track sucks so much I’m actually getting annoyed at this album. Future’s had a great feature run this year but this is WITHOUT A DOUBT his worst of the year. He’s doing his best Carti impression & Carti’s doing his best 645AR impression. The only good thing I can say about this is that the beat kinda reminds me of “Shoota” from Die Lit. I actually really like the beat, which is why I’m so mad about how terribly these two did over it.
11. Meh Produced by Star Boy, Outtatown, & Art Dealer It REALLY sounds like he’s saying “Fuck her up” at the beginning, but he’s saying “Fuck a opp”. Another terribly mixed beat. I knew this was trash when he said
Rockstar shit but I’m not Machine Gun And I feel like I’m the only rockstar, the only one The only one, the only one, the chosen one
My dude went from referencing a rockstar to saying he’s the only one, to saying he’s the CHOSEN one. Sir, I can assure you that you are NEITHER.
12. Vamp Anthem Produced by Jasper Harris & KP Beatz The beginning of this caught my attention, but the rest bored me to sleep because of the structure. I don’t care to hear Carti get through a 27 bar verse and then hit me with a weak chorus that goes on for longer than necessary. However, my ears perked up when he said “I done made a mil’ in a white tee but I ain’t Franchize”. Probably the best line he’s ever spit in his career.
13. New N3on Produced by Maaly Raw I’m not too mad at this, partially because of the beat. It’s nice and has a few different layers to it. I’m not a big fan of the baby voice, but for some reason, I can get past it in this song. The song would be better if it wasn’t so short.
14. Control Produced by Outtatown, Star Boy & Art Dealer Not a fan of the Akademiks snippet at the beginning. Not a fan of the song either. At all. This is “stand outside of your crush’s window in the rain and tell her how you feel” music. This ain’t what we go to Carti for. I’m not annoyed anymore, I’m mad. This dude’s wasting my time now. Before the Ak clip ends, he said “expect a classic”. Yea this album isn’t and will NEVER be anywhere near classic status.
15. Punk Monk Produced by Lucian (Neilaworld), Lukrative, & F1lthy I don’t know what to say about this other than the mixing sucks AGAIN. I don’t know what a punk monk is either. All I do know is that this is trash. Where’s Pierre Bourne when you need him??
16. On That Time Produced by Ojivolta & F1lthy Why he had to spell out Draco 50 million times I have no idea, but this song is an unmixed mess. It’s pissing me off that this is only 2⁄3 of the album. Listening to this album feels like a chore at this point.
17. King Vamp Produced by Art Dealer, Outtatown & Star Boy This vampire reference I wouldn’t mind if he implemented it in a more creative way instead of just spelling it out to me like I’m a second-grader. This song is a snoozefest. And do NOT put Kobe’s name anywhere near this.
18. Place Produced by Pi’erre Bourne A Pierre-produced track! Finally! Too bad it’s mid. The 5-second pause in the beginning made me think my phone died. I don’t know why they put that in there… but then again I don’t know why they did a lot of things on this album.
19. Sky Produced by Art Dealer I’m not mad at this. I’m done with it after about 2 minutes though.
20. Over Produced by Art Dealer This might be my personal favorite song on the album. The instrumental is samey and I understand why it’d get annoying to some people, but I just like listening to it. The songs I do like up to this point I can name at least one thing about it I don’t like, but I can’t name something I actively dislike about this song. It would definitely be better if there was a chorus, but for some reason, I don’t mind that here.
21. ILoveUIHateU Produced by Pi’erre Bourne Another Pierre Bourne produced track. And just like the last one, it’s mid. I’m just so tired of listening to this album and I don’t think Carti intends to change that. The energy I praised at the beginning of the album is no longer there & I’m just so bored.
22. Die4Guy Produced by Star Boy, Outtatown, & Art Dealer Ok, I kinda like this beat. I hear the energy coming back but the repetition on this is bothersome.
23. Not PLaying Produced by Art Dealer This song’s alright but I’m too agitated at this album to really appreciate it. It follows the same formula that “Vamp Anthem” does which does bore me and ultimately turns me off in the end.
24. F33l Lik3 Dyin Produced by Jay Kreased, Roark Bailey, & Richie Souf THANK GOD IT’S FINALLY OVER. Carti croons about wanting to find love over some vocals from Bon Iver’s song “iMi” which gets annoying in the second verse. It’s also kind of annoying that he gets off-topic in the third and fourth verse, but overall it’s an ok listen. Too little too late though, because I just want to be done listening to this album.
If there’s one good thing I can say after listening to this, it’s that it made me appreciate Die Lit WAY more. I’m gonna be blunt here: Out of all the long-awaited projects that have dropped within the last few years, this was without a doubt the worst. I understand that Playboi Carti isn’t the strongest lyricist, but there’s a problem when your beats have more personality than you do. Carti’s main problem is that he’s the least interesting part of his own music, and this album is no different at all. For that reason, there should not be a Carti project longer than an hour, and we shouldn’t have to skim through mediocrity to get to arguably some of the best tracks on the album.
Tracks like “Rockstar Made”, “M3tamorphosis”, and “Stop Breathing” drag on longer than necessary for no good reason, while tracks like “Go2DaMoon” and “New N3on” left me wanting more. Production-wise, it’s not bad but not great. Honestly, you can listen to the first 20-25 seconds of every song & you’ve pretty much heard the whole song, except for “Go2DaMoon” & “M3tamorphosis”. The features (except for Future) all did their thing.
I wouldn’t be as hard on this as I was if it wasn’t teased for two years. If you tease a project for that long, you cannot deliver a barely mixed mess of a project like this, leaks or no leaks.
Most of these songs would be great in concert though. Too bad we won’t be having one of those anytime soon.