Playboi Carti’s New Album is a Whole Lotta Disappointment


AWGE/Interscope Records

Album cover for Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red.

Jack Kelleher, Contributing Writer

Whole Lotta Red, Playboi Carti’s long-awaited third album was not bad by any means, but it did not come close to living up to the hype surrounding it. Releasing on Christmas 2020, two years after Die Lit and three years after his debut album Playboi Carti, the album failed to meet expectations.  The album is ok but not as good as Die Lit, and arguably worse than his breakout Playboi Carti. However, The album is still doing great. It is number 1 on Billboard’s top 200 albums, surpassing Taylor Swift’s Evermore for the number 1 spot. Although this is aided by a relatively quiet time, with not many other major releases. Whole Lotta Red was better than the last music Carti released, @ MEH, which lived up to its name. The album is composed of 24 songs and is 1hour and 3 minutes long.

Playboi Carti has been a pioneer in rap for years. His experimental music focuses more on beats and how the music sounds than lyrics or deep meaning. He often repeats phrases multiple times. Carti is known for rapping in a “baby voice” and consistently pushes the boundaries of hip hop. Whole Lotta Red is no exception and follows the pattern of being more about how it sounds. If you are looking for lyrical masterpieces and genius work play, this is not the album you are looking for; but does not take anything away from the quality of the album. WARNING, all of the songs on the album are explicit. As for themes for individual songs, there are none, and all of his songs are about selling drugs or about women, most often both. Also, all comments on individual songs are my opinion and are not objectively correct or incorrect.

1. Rockstar Made

The first song on the album, this song was not good. The beat is not great, and the lyrics were not helping. It gives listeners a poor first impression of this album.

2. Go2DaMoon (feat. Kanye West)

The second song encapsulates everything loved about Carti. One of the better verses Kanye has done, on top of a great beat with moments of strings that sound great, with catchy bars from Carti that all add together to create one of the best on this album. Kanye, another pioneer in rap, with experimental albums like 2013s Yeezus, has a slower or articulate style of rap that goes great on this track.

3. Stop Breathing

I think this song represents the majority of songs on this album, not bad but not memorable. 

4. Beno!

This song is better than the majority of other songs on this album as a result of a catchy beat produced by 808 Mafia but is nothing special

5. JumpOutTheHouse

To start, the line “Jump out the house” is repeated 15 times, and I think that perfectly captures how I am jumping out of that song and into the next

6. M3tamorphosis (feat, Kid Cudi)

This one of my favorites on this album, M3tamorphosis has a strong second feature, this time by Kid Cudi. One memorable line, “They can’t understand me, I’m talking hieroglyphics” is a reference to Carti’s distinct style of rap

7. Slay3r

Another one of the great songs on this album, Slay3r features a great beat and good sounding lyrics. As with other songs, the lyrics are not very deep or meaningful, but it is more about how they sound.

8. No Sl33p

I like this song, and I think it was of the more captivating intros besides Vamp Anthem. Overall a solid song on this album

9. New Tank

New Tank, same old sound. This song is extremely average and blends into other Carti songs so that you would never know where one song ended and the other started.

10. Teen X (feat. Future)

The third and final feature artist on this album Future, another innovator in hip hop. The song predominantly features baby voice Carti, and I think the weakest of the three features. With the song just not reaching the same levels as the other two.

11. Meh

Better than @ MEH, but still meh.

12. Vamp Anthem

The most interesting song on the album and I think the best on the album. Sampling Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, a piece written for organ by Johan Bach in the 18th century, the sample gives ideas of vampires that fit perfectly with the lyrics and overall sound, and with the theme of the album itself.

13. New N30n

Another great song, the beat on this one is great, and combined with lyrics creates a song that reminds me of Die Lit, Carti’s best album. If only there were more songs of this quality on the rest of Carti’s Whole Lotta Red it would have been his magnum opus

14. Control

Featuring a clip of a fan talk of how he had been anxiously waiting for Carti to release, and then speculating the album will drop on Christmas in the intro, this is a very good song, and sounds like something off of Eternal Atake, Lil Uzi Vert’s latest album.

15. Punk Monk

This song references numerous incidents in Carti’s career, as well as other artists he worked with and was close to. As for a song, I think it is pretty good, as with most of the second half of the album.

16. On That Time

With a dark, yet energetic beat, On That Time, is about firearms that Carti has, namely the Draco, a semi-automatic pistol that resembles an AK-47 without a stock. This song is another good song that if there were only more like it the album would be much better. Overall a good song, with great production.

17. King Vamp

Another good song, although not as good or unique as Vamp Anthem. Continuing with the vampire theme of the album, it is another solid addition to a great second half of the album.

18. Place

A song I do not like, yet the most interesting part of the song is when there a no noise, there is a five-second pause at the very start of the song that made me question if my phone died.

19. Sky

A solid song, but still unable to fulfill the sky-high expectations of his fans.

20. Over

A song I like, and I think is good with great production, but not a song I will be playing over and over.

21. ILoveUIHateU

Excellent production by Pi’erre Bourne, who has been featured on many of Carti’s songs on his other two albums, creates a song that I love.

22. Die4Guy

This song is about is Carti’s brother (not biologically) Reggie, and I think it is a pretty solid song, but nothing to die 4.

23. Not Playing

Not a strong penultimate song on this album. I suspect this song is not playing on many people’s speakers.

24. F33l Lik3 Dyin

The final song on this album takes a somber turn. It is slower and a more melancholy sound than some of the earlier songs on this song. Overall this is a solid end to a solid album, one that will age like a fine wine.

In conclusion, I think this is an album that gets better the more you listen to it, and that it will age very well, although it will never reach the level of Die Lit. When asked what he thought about the album, junior Will Bernstein replied “It has good songs and it’s overrated, production carries [the album] and Carti’s voice isn’t very good, but he has some catchy bars.” Similar to my viewpoint on the album, that it is a good album but could not meet the expectations set for it, and as a result was hated when it dropped.” Junior Brain Odell gave his take on the album, saying “It’s a different kind of sound for Playboi Carti, more of a punk style.” The punk sound also tried into the vampire motif, which even appears in the title, with red meaning blood. Brian also replied “I prefer his first two albums over it right now, but it could grow more on me” which I think perfectly sums up Whole Lotta Red.

In other rap news, legendary rapper MF DOOM has tragically passed away, and the masked villain of New York, famous for incredible rhymes and excellent lyrics is no longer with us. Rest in peace DOOM.