Playboi Carti

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About Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti is one of those rappers who represents a creative line in the sand: Either you’re with it or you ain’t. Punky, exhilarating, and daringly simple, Carti’s music pushes the bright minimalism of 2010s trap to almost abstract extremes, combining twinkly synths with noisy bass and a flow that sounds like one long ad-lib, or—yeah, let’s get it out there—baby talk. The gambit is clear: Like Cam’ron’s embrace of the color pink or Young Thug’s trailblazing singsong, Carti’s babble is a middle finger to preconceived notions of what it means to be a rapper, and to rap’s general tendency toward masculine tough talk—or, as a line on 2018’s “R.I.P.” went, “F**k that mumblin’ shit, f**k that mumblin’ shit/Bought a crib for my momma off that mumblin’ shit.” Forget being a voice of authority, there are times it doesn’t even sound like Carti is saying words. Born Jordan Carter in 1996, Carti got his start in the Atlanta underground, connecting with A$AP Rocky at a festival in 2015—a relationship that vaulted him toward the mainstream and also put him at the emerging junction between streetwear and high fashion. (He may be one of the few people to have eaten nuggets from McDonald’s while being outfitted for a Louis Vuitton runway show.) If 2017’s Playboi Carti (which included the Lil Uzi Vert collaboration “Wokeuplikethis*” and the ubiquitous “Magnolia”) set the bar, 2018’s Die Lit ripped it out and knocked a wall down with it.

September 13, 1995
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