February 06, 2023

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Playboi Carti’s ‘WLR’ getting a whole lot of Criticism

Playboi Carti was Playing Santa

Eight months of teasing a new project and being absent from the music game for two years, Playboi Carti finally gifts his fans with his second studio album. Whole Lotta Red includes 38-tracks with features from heavy-hitting artists like Drake, Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, and more.

The rapper announced on social media on December 21st, the album’s tracklist, cover, and the scheduled Christmas day release. As well as a pre-order link with some accompanying merch to go with it.

Twitter has been the center of the anticipation and some frustration from die-hard fans. Carti posted multiple statuses of the album with photos of people he has been in the studio with. Every one of his posts carries threads of frustrated fans hyped up too much or ones doubtful of a release.

Leading up to ‘Whole Lotta Red’

However, Carti has been keeping his fans at bay by posting statuses that state his love for his loyal fans and how this is project is his best work yet. Playboi Carti also released the first single–@ MEHsince his debut album Die Lit in May 2018.

Despite the long-awaited album, Carti has not been silent in his two years off. He has helped with features on songs like Tyler, the Creator’s Earfquake, Drake’s Pain 1993, Lil Yachty’s Flex Up.

That trap artist is known for his dark style and punk rock influence; that aesthetic only goes further with ‘WLR’. The music itself is on par with what we are used to from Carti: an active and hard-hitting instrumental over minimal lyrics. The album cover artwork is also reminiscent of punk rock publication: Slash Magazine.

It’s too early to see if WLR will live up to the timelessness of his debut album and mixtape. With all the work and features that have been put into this project, many listeners had expectations that this will be Playboi Carti’s best work yet.

The Response

Carti’s album is on track to pass Taylor Swift’s Evermore in total album equivalent units next week, but without the numbers, the picture looks different.

Just few hours after its release, Carti’s Twitter was met which a whole lotta disappointed fans. As a Carti fan, I was personally surprised at the low quality of some songs and the lack of flow  throughout the whole album. As a rapper not known for his lyricism, Carti found other ways to sound great. But with a production level that seemed lower than his previous projects, his fans were left with more questions than answers.

Some of the songs leaked prior to the official release of the album. Released in August, the leaks include features from Travis Scott and Pharrell that did not appear on the official. Many suspect the deluxe will contain the music that was previously leaked as well as some new music.

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