By Jon Fuchs, Music Director
Key Tracks: “New Choppa”
Playboi Carti’s career is minimal at best. With only a small handful of projects under his belt, the A$AP Mob member gained an insane amount of hype through his many singles and features. He’s also one of the most talked about artists for this year’s XXL Freshman list, which is where some of today’s biggest rappers received their mainstream status, from Chance the Rapper to Kodak Black. With extreme hype put on him to release an official record, Carti’s self-titled debut could’ve been promising. Instead, the 21-year-old lazily stumbles his way through the worst bars of the year, giving listeners an endless series of tired trap tropes that couldn’t be more derived of personality.
The album starts off sour with its worst track, “Location,” with its exhausted, horrendous beat, and Carti ad-libbing over nothing, adding bars about his several tattoos, diamonds and how he wants a Mercedes. It’s clear through this track that this album isn’t going to contain anything of substance, unlike a lot of other records members of A$AP Mob create. That really isn’t a problem, but everything provided is so careless and spoiled, it might as well just not exist.
The combination of terrible production, lack of energy and awful hype bars do nothing to make the 15-track project worth your time. The line “Money sitting tall Yao Ming” in “Yah Mean,” for example, is already enough to make you cringe, but mixed with a stale delivery and the beat’s boring atmosphere, it becomes even worse. Lil Uzi Vert is featured on tracks “Lookin” and “wokeuplikethis*,” but his verses are weak and average, to the point where they might as well not even be here.
The only track that’s actually worth mentioning here is “New Choppa,” which has the only memorable production on the entire record, as well as a pretty good A$AP Rocky feature. It isn’t even a very good track and feels really abrasive upon first listen, but compared to the rest of the album’s material, it’s the only song here that won’t put you to sleep.
You remember that one popular Filthy Frank video where he makes fun of how mediocre Internet rappers are? Playboi Carti is the perfect example of that, offering zero substance and only giving those “born in the wrong generation” idiots more evidence. It’s not like all hype records are bad, there’s plenty of great songs by hype rappers like Famous Dex, Ugly God and XXXTENTACION, but the difference is that they have some sort of personality in their voice and flows. Playboi Carti feels like every SoundCloud rapper stereotype combined into 46 minutes of pure laziness.