Playboi Carti’s Most Essential Songs You Need to Hear
Playboi Carti intentionally keeps his music stripped down to the bare bones. His simplistic approach is intoxicating, providing the perfect soundtrack for people to connect and let loose to. While he’s not often credited as being a wordsmith, and is neither seen as a genre pioneer or chart-topper, surprisingly—considering the fact that this is rap we’re talking about—he’s needed none of the above to thrive as one of Atlanta’s most promising young talents.
The rapper got his start in hip-hop in 2015, shortly before he met his soon-to-be mentor A$AP Rocky when Carti says he "moved to the Bronx." He had already been navigating the underground rap scene in his hometown of Atlanta, making a name for himself as a whimsical artist with an insanely catchy flow. His priority on providing a lit atmosphere captured the attention of the A$AP Mob, eventually leading to his signing with AWGE imprint and Interscope Records.
In 2017, he released his platinum-selling, debut mixtape, Playboi Carti, led by the bangers “Magnolia" and “Woke Up Like This” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. He wrapped up that year with a 2017 XXL Freshman Class nod before going on to drop his debut album, Die Lit, the following May. While Carti hasn’t dropped an official project in two years, he has teased a collaborative mixtape with Lil Uzi Vert, and his next album, Whole Lotta Red, has remained heavy on everyone’s mind since its announcement.
Over the past few years Playboi Carti has built a prized name for himself and easily has one of the most anticipated projects on the way. His persona is now more low-key than ever, but whenever he drops a song or project, he’ll be propped into the spotlight once again. Fan or not, that’s just how it is for Carti. In the meantime though, XXL highlights 20 essential Playboi Carti songs to hold you over.—Kemet High