Playboi Carti’s sound has become more recognizable since the release of his self-titled debut project. Carti’s recent admiration can be directly attributed to the success of hit song, “Magnolia” which demonstrates Pierre Bourne’s potent production and attention to detail through nuanced flute loops. This song contains the hottest tagline since, “Metro Boomin want some more.” Thus, Playboi Carti’s latest collective of songs places him firmly atop the ‘new wave’ artists.

The ‘new wave’ of artists’ like Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti exist within multiple spheres of influence. Rap is not just about sound quality, musical ability, and/or lyrics anymore. Today’s rap game has incorporated several other avenues by which rappers may discover success. For example, Lil Yachty’s song, “One Night” blew up through social media, when his lyrics became the punchlines for a viral video posted on Twitter. In this ‘new wave era,’ stardom directly correlates with the amount of traction gathered on social media platforms. Nine times out of ten, the media outweighs the music in terms of what the audience clings onto as ‘hot’ or ‘trendy’.

The landscape of hip-hop constantly changes per day, as users grow eager to discover new artists. Unfortunately, the current hip-hop environment has become saturated with artists whose ideologies represent a desire for capital gain and not artistic expression. When hip-hop initially emerged, the rhythm, cadence, flow and passionate wordplay served as vital elements when it came to ‘breaking’ a new artist.  Instead, today’s demographic of hip-hop fans glorify ‘mumble rappers’ rather than taking the time to appreciate lyrical craftsmen of the game.

Many new songs today are revealed prematurely. These underdeveloped releases can be often be directly attributed to the ‘churn and burn’ method. The ‘churn and burn’ method pits quantity over quality as artists ‘compete’ to see who can complete the most songs in one studio session. Every artist reserves the right to use studio time in whatever manner they prefer. However, not every artist posseses the proper pace, motive and technique to successfully execute the difficult task of producing three songs in three hours. Rather, boastful social media posts accompany the ‘churn and burn’ method in order to symbolize the relentless effort and significant achievement within a certain time period. The success rate of the ‘churn and burn’ varies especially depending on the artist’s approach, timing and talent.

Playboi Carti’s ‘laissez-faire’ approach to the game of hip-hop has paved the way for his alternative blueprint to thrive. Rather than utilizing the ‘churn and burn’ method, Carti prefers to give his songs time to breathe in between releases. As a result, Carti’s low output of music has caused his demand to skyrocket.

King of the Soundcloud Era

In 2015, Carti’s song, “Broke Boi” made a major splash on Soundcloud and attracted the attention of important hip-hop individuals like A$AP Rocky. Rather than trying to release a mixtape to snowball his newfound popularity, Carti nonchalantly focused on releasing individual tracks via Soundcloud from time to time. His ‘laid back’ tactics indicate a distinct refusal to appease consumer demand. Sporadic releases, limited posts on social media and the occasional feature became the status quo Playboi Carti’s fanbase.

The status quo definitely shifted when Carti decided to drop his debut mixtape on April 14th. The self-titled debut, released in conjunction with Interscope Records and A$AP Worldwide included features from Lil Uzi Vert, Leven Kali and A$AP Rocky. The collection includes smooth production, simple patterns and infectious confidence. Some of Carti’s strongest qualities are charisma, flair and finesse. Carti quenches his loyal fanbase’s desires in the form of broken up tough talk and hazy boasts in stop and start chunks.

Nonetheless, Playboi Carti appears to be at ease with the performance of his role as an artist. Simply put, Carti is more than just a rapper. His involvement in fashion, photography and apparel culture shows that an artist does not have to solely occupy one role. Carti exemplifies unique individuality and has chosen to follow an intricate path toward hip-hop stardom.

Listen to Playboi Carti, here!

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