Living up to the hype

Reviewing Whole Lotta Red after over two years of build up


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The cover art for Playboi Carti’s sophomore album “Whole Lotta Red.” The cover art is a tribute to an old punk magazine called “Slash,” which perfectly explains the main feel of the first half of the tape. Despite bad fan reception at first, a lot of listeners have changed their opinion after re-istening to the album.

Carson Fox, Staff Reporter

It has been nearly three years since famous Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti has released an album. His critically acclaimed debut album “Die Lit” captivated the hip hop community with its minimalistic approach. The album is certified platinum, selling over a million units worldwide with over 1.6 billion streams across streaming platforms. 

Carti has teased his sophomore album “Whole Lotta Red” for over two years, with the entire original album being scrapped after it was leaked through multiple social media platforms. Many of the leaks have become some of Carti’s most famous songs, with tracks like “Molly,” “Kid Cudi” and “Cancun” reaching millions of plays on Soundcloud. The consensus between fans was all summed up with one sentence: if the new version of Whole Lotta Red is anything like the original, it will be another classic.

Carti ended up surprising everyone, however with a darker aesthetic and a vampire-inspired punk theme, the album opens up with a killer intro. A brash form of production on the song “Rockstar Made” sets the tempo for the album, with Carti continuing this style for many tracks, having a nearly similar beat on the later track “New Tank.” The first feature shines with the second track, with icon Kanye West snapping in his verse on the fast paced “Go2DaMoon.”

This remains the theme with the first half of the 24 track album, with “Stop Breathing” carrying the most distorted and and demented beats on the track, leading this for multiple tracks up until “M3tamorphosis” featuring Kid Cudi. The song is a two minute trip, with a great verse from one of Carti’s biggest inspirations, capped off by a catchy hook from Carti, repeating “Metamorphosis” over and over. 

The best five song run on the album started with “No Sl33p.” It’s a very old Carti-inspired track with a new spin on the beat. It calms down the listener before the wild “New Tank” where he screams with different infusions in his voice through the song. Future joins the album as a feature on the song “Teen X,” where both artists dive into the “baby voice” that Playboi Carti has popularized over the last couple of years since his hit “FlatBed Freestyle.” “Meh” is another solid track, with some subtle diss lines left around the song, where Carti talks about how “Everyone tryna disrespect me” and be like him. It’s a somewhat similar theme to his 2017 “Wokeuplikethis*” where he vented about how he woke up to every rapper trying to talk and sound like him.

This is all topped off by two of the best songs in the album, with “Vamp Anthem” having a total Transylvania-style synth line backed by a hard, typical Carti beat. Carti drops a couple minutes of bars before repeating “Vamp Anthem” as the song closes, adding a total moshpit banger to the record, similar to Die Lit’s “R.I.P.” “New N3on” is the lone leak that made the album, mainly due to the chorus of “Whole Lotta Bag, Whole Lotta Cash” pertaining to the album title.

Aside from the most brash song on the album with “Punk Monk,” Carti plays it safe for the second half of the album, kind of returning to his typical Die Lit style. It’s quite obvious that if he continued to push the envelope through the back half of the record, this dark album could have ended up a lot better than it did.

There’s still some good songs on the back half despite not fitting the theme of the record, namely the one two punch of “Sky” and “Over.” It feels like some classic Carti work that replicated some of the styles used on the original album, and while they likely would have fit better on a deluxe album, they’re still quality songs that somewhat carry the back half of the album.

My favorite songs on the album were “New Tank,” “Vamp Anthem” and “Over.” My least favorite song was the outro “F33l Lik3 Dyin.” The album is a solid 7.5/10 and was somewhat worse than the leaked original, but still could have been an incredible album if Carti stuck with the themes from the first half of the album. Now it’s time for fans to wait as he teases the deluxe album, which he claims will have those leaks on it.