Playboi Carti - Whole Lotta Red
Dec 25, 2020 (updated Jan 14, 2021)
78
This already seems to be a rather polarizing album but it was only set to be one with all the controversy and delay surrounding its release. Playboi Carti is someone who I was not too fond of at first, as when I gave his self-titled and "Die Lit" albums a chance I didn't like either and only learned to appreciate those records after a handful of listens. With this new release over here, the highly anticipated "Whole Lotta Red", you could easily say it does not live up to the hype, but after all 2-3 years is not even that long for music creation, it's only seen that way in the trap/hip hop community, so it's not like I was expecting a masterpiece off of that relatively short amount of time, but, regardless, it is definitely surprising to me that I enjoyed this instantly.

"Whole Lotta Red" seems to be an artistic shift for the rapper, he opts for an approach that's a lot more punk and screamo influenced in the first half and the overall project sees a rearrangement from his more spacey, trippy and atmospheric trap beats to production that's a lot more electronic and high-energy to compliment his unorthodox mumbled and unclear melodic rap approach.

I'm failing to see what's there to dislike about this record in comparison to his other efforts, this might even be better than his self-titled mixtape. Unless you haven't been liking his music up until this point, which is understandable, I really don't know why you wouldn't be into this one, as even if it is a slight change of pace in his artistic direction, it is, nevertheless, also accessible for his usual fans, as he's delivering unintelligible nonsense all throughout the record over really memorable off-the-wall EDM fused trap production. This is even set to attract a newer audience, perhaps people who aren't much into hip hop, as it does vaguely borrow influences from a bunch of other genres and displays a unique atmosphere for its entirety.

I absolutely love the production work that had been done with this record, it is an absolute high point for it, for me personally, perhaps even for 2020 as whole. Sadly, the experience does not only come with positives, as there are aspects that also held back the LP quite bit, that being its runtime and the amount of unnecessary nearly interlude lengthy tracks. Even though the whole LP transitions smoothly all throughout, I'm just not too keen on albums over 1 hour, especially if it's not already a classic record, I'm always set to come in with a negative mindset beforehand if it's too extended. That ended up hurting the album, even though minimally, as there are a lot of short songs with non verses and repeated phrase choruses, such choruses which appear all over the project but don't go over very well specifically on the shorter songs that don't have a well founded structure to begin with.

So yes, we get new Playboi Carti and it's not the same stuff we've heard before plus he delivers a legendary MF DOOM reference? Of course I'm liking it. But on a serious note, upon minimal listening this is not as infectiously catchy as his other releases and clearly Playboi Carti focused much more on creating a compelling atmosphere than to deliver memorable pop rap tracks, which is a choice I commend. He switches it up a bit but still continues to deliver his intoxicating and incomprehensible raps over production that's a lot more boomy, which I feel like bridges the gap between so many listeners that this should only be a massive success for him.

In such manner, "Whole Lotta Red", while being lengthy and lacking a bit of variety throughout its duration, serves as a great batch of unnatural, vampiric bangers that sound like the soundtrack to a new Castlevania game.

Favorite tracks: Rockstar Made, Stop Breathing, M3tamorphosis, Slay3r, New Tank, Teen X, Vamp Anthem, New N3on, Control, On That Time, King Vamp, Sky, Over, ILoveUIHateU, Not Playing and F33l Lik3 Dyin.

Least favorite tracks: Go2DaMoon, No Sl33p and Place.
Rater's Tags
20 Comments
Dec 25, 2020
Love this review, except I thought the lyrics were lacking a bit, being a major reason for the album failing to live up to the hype, they shouldn't have had so much boring repetition! :)
Dec 25, 2020
@Cry i get that cry and i get why u don't like it, i totally understand why somebody wouldn't like this if they weren't fans of carti's previous work and the repetitive lyrics come with that package. thank you
Dec 25, 2020
@Rater Glad that you understand! Merry Christmas! Hope you have a great day! :)
Dec 25, 2020
@Cry thank you, likewise!
Dec 25, 2020
Great review as always! I also found myself being pessimistic about the run time of the album. I really don't have any hopes of being consistent throughout one hour, specially of a trap rapper like Carti, to keep up things interesting without the help of features. I still liked it and hopefully it will grow up on me
Dec 25, 2020
@jragrazal thank you so much. i would've preferred if it had more features too, that's for sure. hopefully it'll grow on you
Dec 25, 2020
eh, i thought the features were the worst parts. imo only future added something. wouldve loved to see uzi though
Dec 25, 2020
@Xanther1379 yeah i agree the features were nothing special but there were a bunch of big names rumored to appear on it, it's a shame it didn't happen
Dec 25, 2020
wow the best review here . I enjoyed reading this
Dec 26, 2020
@thecrissstyle thank you so much :)
Dec 26, 2020
@Xanther1379 he dissed Uzi on Punk Monk
Dec 28, 2020
@Cry bruh i think the thing w carti is that hes just a vibe, he has zero bars and actually rapped better here than before. He just puts his signature style and makes some new waves of sound but he still cant write properly. You should ignore the lack of bars while listening to him
Dec 28, 2020
good review rater
Dec 28, 2020
@TomBejoy thank you
Dec 28, 2020
@TomBejoy Lyrics have to be at least a little good for me to give this anything above a 75, plus he should've spent the two years working on that instead of whatever he was doing during the time
Dec 28, 2020
@Cry i feel like that's not your issue at all, you have plenty of trap albums with mediocre lyricism above 75 on your account. i do agree with tom said, plus lets be honest unless your looking up the lyrics for this u can barely understand anything of whats said
Dec 28, 2020
@Rater I mean, I get what you're saying, but like you mentioned, I can't really understand anything without looking at the lyrics, which shouldn't be the case. I like listening to music with lyrics that I can understand, a reason for why I don't listen to K-Pop often. Carti can be clear at times, but even then, his vocals aren't the most pleasant as there's just an uncomfortable baby-like feeling that they give off. Like I mentioned, I'm not a huge fan at lyrics that show drugs in a bright way which more of what Playboi Carti is doing, while artists like Juice WRLD were doing the opposite if you get what I mean. Out of all the albums I gave above 75, only KSI and DC the Don may have worse lyrics than WLR along with maybe the rappers who talk about violence such as NLE Choppa, 21 Savage, and Hotboii. I prefer all the other albums that I gave above 75 in terms of lyrics
Dec 28, 2020
@TomBejoy Plus, I prefer Gunna compared to Playboi Carti for music to vibe to, with Gunna being everything you described, but having a voice that I like a lot better.
Dec 28, 2020
@Cry that's not really a good way of going at things in my opinion, as in that case any music that's foreign would automatically be inferior which is something i completely disagree with. trap is also a subgenre that has every appeal but lyricism, so take that into consideration. another thing is, and i honestly hate when people tell me this, that carti's music grows on you, he's one of the very few artists that i didn't like at first and now look forward to everything he releases. people didn't like die lit and now it's looked upon as the trap bible, same thing as slowly started happening with wlr. you should definitely try to relisten to this a few extra times
Dec 28, 2020
@Rater Sure, I'll re-listen to the album a couple more times and let you know if my opinion changes! :)
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