This week, NYC’s Levi Carter reemerged to drop off an impressive new project, n2Deep, signaling the start of a new chapter for the quiet underground veteran from the Bronx.
Carter’s unique appeal comes from the way he fully embodies all of the gritty elements of a streetwise drill rapper, while taking an experimental sonic approach that taps into many of the most compelling sounds of the underground.
On n2Deep, he finds interesting new pockets for his ominously understated delivery over a wide range of production, from experimental trap to stripped-down instrumentals to Detroit-type beats, as well as some definite plugg and rage influence — even incorporating thought-provoking skits that don’t beg to be skipped. As a whole, Carter’s new tape feels fully baked and impressively diverse, hopefully a sign of more to come as the first-wave underground veteran reintroduces himself to the “new new wave.”
Throughout the tape, Carter walks listeners through a wide range of vibes all the while staying true to his unique approach and raw delivery – in the best way loosely reminiscent of the very different but similarly raw deliveries of Chicago goats like Chief Keef and LUCKI.
n2Deep’s opening track “Heaven 4 a Gangsta” sets the gritty, introspective tone for the project with a provocative news segment asking a loaded question “Is there heaven for a gangster?” before giving way to eerie production and Carter’s idiosyncratic, half-chanted flow.
Really flexing his versatility, on tracks like “Bloody Mary,” “Still Outside” and the likely fan-favorite “Rule #1,” Levi leans into hard-hitting, sinister-sounding Detroit-style beats that feel tailor-made for his distinct delivery. He takes a softer, lightly melodic approach over what feels like plugg-inspired production on tracks like “Family Prayer,” “Not Tryna Link” and “I Don’t Recruit.” And towards the tail end of the project even sprinkles in some light rage influence on another likely favorite, “Scattpacc.”
There’s also standout moments like the crashing symbols on “Tha Wash,” the relentless vibey flow on “Time of the Essence” and the swirling production and cinematic finale on “DOA” that don’t quite fit into any of the above categories but definitely deserve their own shoutout.
After entering the game amidst the first wave of the underground boom as one of its few NYC-natives, Levi Carter captivated fans and impressed fellow rising artists with his distinct sound and prolific output — dropping numerous projects and popular singles like “Smoke Up,” “Sophisticated Intellect” and a very notable collab with LUCKI in 2018 “Feels Like Death.”
While fans have seen less from him in recent years, he’s continued to flesh out his uniquely compelling style and pump out impressive projects like Heaven Must Be Ghetto and 4me&U2 — consistently innovating on his one-of-a-kind style.
Now, with a core fanbase from his early days and a unique sound that is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the prevailing trends of the underground that have started to take root in the mainstream, Levi Carter is one to watch for sure.
Listen to Levi Carter’s new project, n2Deep below