OGM Editorial: The evolution of Playboi Carti

Photo courtesy of @lottareds

September 13, 1996 holds significance in the hip-hop history books as the day we lost Tupac Shakur, one of the most prolific names in music to date. Little did anyone know that this would also be the birthday of one Jordan Carter, famously known as Playboi Carti, as the genre of rap began to evolve and change for decades to come.

From his self-titled debut album to his transcendent, genre-shifting Whole Lotta Red, OGM pulls back the curtain on the many eras that made Carti the artist fans know and love today.

Sir Cartier

Long before achieving his most coveted accolades, the Atlanta native started his humble music career making songs under the moniker “Sir Cartier.” Releasing his debut mixtape titled Young Mi$fits, he began to gain a following on SoundCloud with atmospheric bangers and a laidback delivery. Sir Cartier became Playboi Carti in 2013, finally beginning to hone his sound and find himself as an artist.

Awful Records

In 2014, Carti linked with his first go-to producer Ethereal, eventually connecting with Father and the rest of the Awful Records label. Working with artists like Thouxanbanfauni, Yung Bans, Lil Yachty, UnoTheActivist and ICYTWAT, his singles began to gain some momentum and he built a core fanbase that pushed his career even further. This success prompted Carti to move to New York, where he quickly integrated with A$AP Mob. As he began to gain momentum, his tracks “Broke Boi” and “Fetti” with Da$h and Maxo Kream went viral on SoundCloud, skyrocketing his popularity and prompting another move to Texas.

AWGE

A$AP Rocky seemed to take a special interest in Carti, showcasing the young artist on Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 and appearing in the video for “What” with UnoTheActivist before signing him to AWGE. His undeniable chemistry with artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Pi’erre Bourne made him hard to ignore, especially after “Magnolia” and “wokeuplikethis” charted in the Billboard Top 100. Playboi Carti’s self-titled album was a momentous debut, charting at No. 12 on Billboards Top 100 and receiving critical acclaim from publications like Pitchfork and XXL. The follow-up to this project was Die Lit, an album that is widely considered one of the staples of modern trap music.

Whole Lotta Red

It would be almost three years until fans would receive an official release from Playboi Carti as he perpetually teased Whole Lotta Red. With multiple versions of the album and associated singles leaking on the internet on a seemingly daily basis, Carti would scrap and rework the project multiple times until Christmas of 2020, when he finally dropped his most experimental release to date. Collaborations with Ye, Drake, Trippie Redd and more would soon follow as he adopted a punk-inspired vampire persona.

The Future of ‘NARCISSISTCarti

That brings us to present day, as fans patiently wait to see what Carti has in store for us. He has already teased a new project titled NARCISSIST as well as a deluxe for WLR, but given his tendency to jump the gun on announcements, it may be a while before we get more solo material. Regardless, Playboi Carti is here to stay so prepare yourselves for whatever comes next as we follow his journey to legendary acclaim.

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