WJ community reacts to Playboi Carti’s “Whole Lotta Red”

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Playboi Carti releases his highly-anticipated album, Whole Lotta Red, this past Christmas. This came following public attention of his first two albums.

Courtesy of Pitchfork

Playboi Carti releases his highly-anticipated album, “Whole Lotta Red,” this past Christmas. This came following public attention of his first two albums.

Playboi Carti’s highly anticipated album, Whole Lotta Red, was finally released on Christmas Day of 2020. Whole Lotta Red’s existence was first brought to the public’s attention in August of 2018, right after Carti’s second album, Die Lit, was released. Over the past while, Whole Lotta Red has reached a level of infamy amongst mainstream hip-hop fans. Many of Carti’s best songs that were meant to be on the album were leaked and gained millions of illegitimate streams. This caused huge setbacks to the album which made fans even more impatient. This also devastated Carti’s creative process since he obviously had to change the entire direction and sound of the album. He enlisted the help of Kanye West and Matthew M Williams, who were able to bring the project into a new life. Carti put out 24 songs, a number that he had hoped would satisfy fans fiending for new music. However, the more industrial sound that the album consists of has been very controversial ever since the album was released. While many fans love the edgy and aggressive beat selection and the heavy experimentation of vocal techniques, a huge portion of his fanbase finds it unbearable to listen to. 

Senior Michael Baumel is someone who thoroughly enjoyed the album and has had it on repeat ever since Christmas.

I really enjoyed Whole Lotta Red. Carti is the type of artist that’s always evolving and switching up his style. While not known for his lyrics, his energy is unmatched. After his last album from 2018, Die Lit, fans were expecting a classic. After starving the fans for almost 3 years, he delivered. Prior to dropping the album, all the features and leaks we heard from him were using a high-pitched voice, which the fans call his ‘baby voice’.  While this was popular, Carti decided to switch up his sound. The album visuals and sound were heavily influenced by the 2000’s punk aesthetic. Whole Lotta Red delivered hard-hitting bangers such as, ‘Stop Breathing’ and ‘New Tank’ but he also experimented with his voice on songs like ‘Teen X’ with Future and ‘M3tamorphasis’ with Kid Cudi. A personal favorite song of mine has to be ‘ILoveUIHateU’ or ‘Beno!’. Overall, it was a great experimental album that was much needed going into 2021,” Baumel said.

While Baumel is a die-hard Playboi Carti fan, many average Carti-goers thought it was mediocre at best. Even those who enjoyed Carti’s previous two projects.

“I think the three year wait made fans really look forward to this drop. There were some hits but for me the album was not what I expected. Also having some of his songs leaked probably led to mediocre songs being released on the album. I didn’t really like his flow in some of the songs. I’ve listened to his older songs and I don’t think this album measures up to the quality of other drops. The wait wasn’t really worth it but it wasn’t a complete miss,” Sofia Lopez-Lamia said.

However, there were a handful of religious Carti fans that disliked the album for the most part but began to enjoy it more over time.  “This album sounds like Playboi Carti made it in a week, this can be seen through the repetitiveness of lyrics, and while Playboi Carti is not a lyrical mastermind this is disappointing compared to Die Lit. Besides lyrics, the beats do hold up on this album, I thought the beats were kinda wack at first listen, but over time I started to enjoy them more, it’s different than what I expected and that’s probably why a lot of people don’t like it because they’d think there would be songs from the leaks. My personal favorite songs are ‘King Vamp, Teen X, Control, Over, New Neon, ILoveUIHateU Sky, and Slayer.’ My least favorite songs are probably ‘Go2DaMoon’ – it was one of the worst Kanye features ever, Kanye just seems like he’s spitting garbage, the end of it is fine with Playboi Carti finishing, but it was a disappointment to hear such a bad verse from Kanye. ‘JumpOutthehouse’ has a good beat, but it’s just too repetitive to listen to. I also didn’t like ‘Meh,’ it had good potential at the beginning with the introduction of the beat, but Carti’s verse ruins the song. I think I didn’t initially like it because a lot of the beats seem raw and incredibly electronic and distorted compared to his earlier works, but it’s grown on me and honestly, it’s good to have a different style and switch it up, as much as people may of enjoyed the leak became the album this also isn’t that bad. The mix of industrial electronic beats will make a new path in the trap genre of rap or even punk rock as he was going for,” junior Steven Johnson said. 

In conclusion, while the backlash of the album was quite harsh at first, it has aged well over the past month or so and hasn’t completely ruined Carti’s career like critics said it would.