album review: whole lotta red

As an avid fan of new school rap and hip hop, of course, I was looking forward to the long-awaited Whole Lotta Red by Playboi Carti. Personally, I consider myself somewhat of a Carti fan, particularly his self-titled mixtape and Die Lit, so it was a Christmas miracle when he dropped WLR this past holiday season. You know those pranks people do for Christmas where they give you a lame appliance box as a gift, but once you open it, it’s the iPhone 15 or something? Well, this felt like the exact opposite. The first time I listened to WLR, I literally thought two things: he really just threw a bunch of odd pitched samples together into one record, and this man is REALLY embracing his emo vamp persona. I have given this album a few rounds of listening since its release and hope to save you the 1 hour it takes to listen to it.

My overall impression is that it is probably the least impressive album he’s released; his current style is too eclectic for my taste. Throughout the album, I got the impression he was focused more on experimenting with different types of voices (ranging from baby Carti to a sort-of-metal-genre-raspiness) than on creating a cohesive album.

Despite trying to listen to this album from front to back a few times, it really just seems like a combination of entirely different songs, which at the same time feel as if they are all the same in terms of style (I don’t even know if that makes sense). Despite its lack of luster, it does have some good features (Kanye and Cudi) and a few catchy songs, which actually made it to my “Liked Songs” playlist on Spotify.

The Good

I recommend taking this review with a grain of salt because I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur of good rap/hip-hop, but it also doesn’t take that much for a song to impress me. These songs were pretty catchy, maybe not on the first try, and are worth giving a second chance.

Beno! – Really enjoyed the playful, almost child-like beat, which goes hand in hand with Carti’s baby voice despite it sounding like another variation of his earlier pandemic single @ Meh.

Slay3r – Another playful and catchy beat with a good repetitive chorus to sing along to, so do not expect lots of lyrical substance.

Vamp Anthem – The fact that Carti made a beat that I can imagine Dracula would play if he were to host a kickback makes this song worth being in this category. I will for sure play this at the next Halloween party I attend.

New N3on – The beat honestly feels like something that should have been on Uzi’s Eternal Atake, but baby voice Carti seems to blend in pretty well. If you are looking to hear his baby voice at its peak, this is your go-to song.

Control – The song provides a good build-up with a hype beat (disregard Akademiks talking), which then drops into some sort of “love” song where you can hear more of Carti’s singing in parallel to his rapping.

Not PLaying – For some reason, this song makes me think of something that could have been in his self-titled mixtape (maybe with a less raspy voice). Perhaps that’s why I like it so much.

The Aight

These songs could not stand out despite the features or some of their catchy beats, which I think would have been better if given to other artists (I’m talking about you, F33l Lik3 Dyin).

Go2DaMoon, M3tamorphosis, New Tank, Meh, Punk Monk, On That Time, King Vamp, Sky, Over, ILoveUIHateU, F33l Lik3 Dyin

The Ugly

This list of songs sounded messy to me; the beat felt like airplane turbulence at times and could not catch my attention. His rapping either did not flow well, involved wayyy too much repetition, or had a weird off-putting voice that seemed violent at times.

Rockstar Made, Stop Breathing, JumpOutTheHouse, No Sl33p, Teen X, Die4Guy

I guess if you enjoy his Count von Count persona and ad-libs, which sound like they were intended for a children’s TV show, then this album is for you. But for me, I think I’ll stick to my good old Soundclound leaks and classic early Carti songs.

Grade: 4 out of 10 slatts

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