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Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Playboi Carti’ by ‘Playboi Carti’

Released: 2017

Label: AWGE Label

Featuring: Lil Uzi Vert, A$AP Rocky, Leven Kali

Playboi Carti’s self-titled debut mixtape stands out as a seminal project that encapsulates the zeitgeist of 2017’s rap scene. With its distinct delivery, unconventional sound, and Carti’s unapologetic embrace of mumble rap aesthetics, the album carved a niche that elevated the Atlanta rapper from underground cult favorite to mainstream prominence. Tracks like “Magnolia” and “wokeuplikethis*” not only dominated the charts but also captured the raw energy and anarchic spirit of youth, becoming anthems of a generation seemingly uninterested in the lyrical orthodoxy of hip-hop’s golden age.

Yet, beneath the surface of catchy hooks and ad-lib laden tracks, Playboi Carti’s lyrics on this album weave a tapestry rich with themes of fame, materialism, and hedonism, all the while maintaining a veneer of insouciance that characterizes much of Carti’s persona. The album is a journey through the highs and lows of Carti’s rise to fame, reflecting on the dual nature of celebrity in tracks like “Location” and the introspective “Let It Go.” Despite the initial perception of simplicity, a closer examination of the lyrics reveals a complex interplay of Carti’s minimalist style with deeper underpinnings of vulnerability and ambition.

So let’s get into it. From “Location” to “Had 2,” here are the Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Playboi Carti’ by ‘Playboi Carti’

1 Location

Carti dives into the life of luxury and fame, drawing a vivid picture where Bentleys and Glocks become symbols of success and security. The repetitive nature of the lyrics, especially the emphasis on “Diamonds, they wet on my arms” and “Tats on my neck and my arms,” encapsulates the ostentatious show-off culture prevalent in modern hip-hop. This track, with its hypnotic beat produced by Harry Fraud, acts as a sonic representation of Carti’s lifestyle, blurring the lines between ambition and hedonism. One standout line, “Pull up I sent the location,” not only flaunts Carti’s status but also invites listeners into his fast-paced world, making “Location” a quintessential gateway to Carti’s universe.

2 Magnolia

It’s a vivid tableau of street life, a swirl of illicit activities, and raw, youthful exuberance celebrated with the hook, “In New York I Milly Rock, hide it in my sock,” a line that instantly sticks and resonates with the rebellious energy of the youth capturing the essence of making it big in the city that never sleeps. Carti’s nonchalant delivery over Pi’erre Bourne’s bouncy production makes for a head-nodding experience that’s hard to shake off. The track isn’t just an anthem for dodging opposition; it’s a cultural moment that encapsulates the euphoria and perils of urban life, cementing Carti’s status in the pantheon of hip-hop’s new school.

3 Lookin

Features: Lil Uzi Vert

Here, Carti and Uzi toy with the repetitive, hypnotic hook, “Look at these niggas,” as a mantra that disses their competition while flexing their own success and lavish lifestyles. The track’s backdrop is laced with playful, bouncy beats that underscore Uzi’s signature melodic flow and Carti’s laid-back delivery. The line “Aude’ on my wrist, yuh, might just take your bitch,” exemplifies the braggadocio and the flashy lifestyle the duo is known for, making it clear they’re playing in a league of their own. It’s this unabashed confidence and the chemistry between Carti and Uzi that makes “Lookin” a standout, embodying the extravagant, carefree ethos of their brand of hip-hop.

4 wokeuplikethis*

Features: Lil Uzi Vert

The track’s hook, “Woke up to niggas soundin’ like me,” serves as a direct callout to imitators, showcasing Carti and Uzi’s influence on the rap game. The song exudes confidence, with both artists acknowledging their role as trendsetters, not just in music but in fashion and lifestyle too. A standout line that encapsulates the track’s essence comes from Uzi: “These young nigga don’t like me, but act just like me,” highlighting the paradox of being envied yet imitated. Their collaboration is a perfect blend of Carti’s hypnotic ad-libs and Uzi’s melodic flow, proving why they’re leaders in shaping the sound of contemporary hip-hop.

5 Let It Go

Carti’s repetitive mantra, especially lines like “I came in with a cool hundred / And I got some bitches comin’,” isn’t just flexing; it’s a declaration of his arrival in the game and the lavish lifestyle that comes with it. The lyrics oscillate between the thrill of newfound success and the constant struggle and danger lurking around the corner. Carti’s cavalier attitude towards love, drugs, and violence serves as a reflection of a larger commentary on the desensitization common in parts of hip-hop culture. The standout line, “If she top, I’m in love, I’ma let it go,” is a blunt expression of transient love in the fast life, highlighting Carti’s knack for capturing complex emotions with simple, yet hard-hitting, phrases. In essence, this track is an unfiltered snapshot of Carti’s world, illustrating the highs and lows with an infectious beat that dares you not to nod along.

6 Half & Half

Carti’s reference to arriving “with the Glock” and touting his financial success, all while echoing the nonconformity of rock music, serves as a testament to his unique position in the genre. He isn’t just playing the game; he’s rewriting the rules, mixing the grit of trap with the rawness of rock n’ roll. This fusion, highlighted by lines like “Came in that bitch with a Glock, yeah,” encapsulates Carti’s ability to create a sound that’s as addictive as it is groundbreaking, continuously pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop can be.

7 New Choppa

Features: A$AP Rocky

Through a haze of lean references and braggadocio, this joint cuts deep into the heart of trap culture, laying bare the hedonism and raw ambition that defines much of the genre. The line “I roll up an L in the lobby / My partner’s got wops, and it’s probably a Glock or a Tommy” encapsulates the song’s unapologetic embrace of both success and the firearms culture prevalent in some hip-hop narratives. Rocky’s verse, “That’s my prerogative / Shit on them, that’s on my potty list,” flips the script on critics, asserting their right to live large and unanswerable to anyone’s judgment. “New Choppa” isn’t just music; it’s a statement piece on thriving amidst chaos and controversy, mirroring the life many dream of but few dare to live.

8 Other Shit

The repetitive assertion “You on some other shit” juxtaposes the listener’s supposed ordinariness against Carti’s extraordinary lifestyle filled with clips, whips, and a posse that’s never without luxury, symbolized by Rollies and stacks of cash. This track vibrates with the energy of youth, rebellion, and the relentless pursuit of pleasure and status. A standout line, “The clip, it came with a clip,” underscores the readiness and extravagance that defines Carti’s world—a realm where even accessories have accessories, metaphorically layering the depth of his detachment from the conventional. It’s this nonchalant yet assertive proclamation of difference that makes “Other Shit” resonate as an anthem for those unfazed by societal norms and expectations.

9 NO. 9

This is where Playboi Carti plunges deep into the hedonistic lifestyle that fame affords, swerving through themes of drug use, fast living, and designer obsessions with a nonchalant swagger that’s both intoxicating and cautionary. The track’s repetitive, trancelike beat mimics the cycles of excess and oblivion Carti describes, while his mentions of “OxyContin, Xans, molly” reflect a dark underbelly of dependency and escapism. A standout line, “Big guap, Carti up,” not only flaunts his financial gains but subtly hints at the isolation and emptiness that often accompanies such wealth. By weaving these elements together, Carti doesn’t just rap about his life; he opens a dialogue on the price of fame, making “NO. 9” a compelling narrative wrapped in a cloud of hypnotic soundscapes. It’s a track that dances on the edge, where the allure of ‘the high life’ meets its inevitable descent, urging listeners to look beyond the surface.

10 dothatshit!

The track, dipped in the signature sound that Pi’erre Bourne and Carti concoct so well, thrives on minimalism yet delivers a punchy message about doing rather than talking. Lines like “I’d rather not talk about it, just do that shit” serve as a manifesto of Carti’s ethos, emphasizing action over words. This song, riddled with braggadocio, effortlessly encapsulates the carefree and rebellious spirit of youth. It’s a nod to living in the moment and letting actions speak louder than words, a theme resonant with many in the hip-hop community. Carti’s disregard for the traditional, showcased by his dismissal of Auto-Tune, and his celebration of success, resonate as a raw, unfiltered snapshot of his ascent in the rap game.

11 Lame Niggaz

Throughout the track, Carti’s disdain for those attempting to ride the coattails of his success is palpable, painting a vivid picture of the mistrust and frustration with people whose loyalty is as thin as their veneer of success. A standout line, “I ain’t fucking with these lame niggas,” repeated with a hypnotic cadence, serves as a mantra that echoes the rapper’s refusal to associate with anything less than authenticity. This track, through its repetitive structure and pointed lyrics, not only showcases Carti’s distinctive style but also speaks to a larger narrative within hip-hop culture about maintaining authenticity and integrity amidst fame and success.

12 Yah Mean

Carti paints a vivid picture of his luxurious lifestyle, underscored by references to basketball giant Yao Ming to illustrate the towering height of his stacks of cash. This track is a celebration of Carti’s ascension in the rap game, flaunting his ability to seduce and entertain, wrapped in the trappings of fame and fortune. The repetitive chorus emphasizes the excess and opulence that Carti now considers standard fare. A standout line, “Shawty wanna ball with the team, Money sittin’ tall, Yao Ming,” encapsulates the song’s essence, blending sports references with braggadocio to convey a life of unparalleled extravagance and allure. “Yah Mean” cements Carti’s status as a purveyor of the lavish hip-hop lifestyle, unapologetically reveling in the fruits of his labor.

13 Flex

Features: Leven Kali

Through a mesmerizing blend of ad-lib-heavy flows and hypnotic beats, Carti delivers bars that boast about wealth, success, and the envy it breeds among peers, underscored by the repetitive hook that highlights how his achievements have his detractors “mad.” The line, “I walk in the bank and I laugh,” serves not just as a catchy refrain but as a powerful declaration of Carti’s triumph over adversity and skepticism, transforming the mundane act of visiting the bank into a victory lap for his financial successes. Coupled with Kali’s soulful interjections, the track underscores the complexity of navigating fame and fortune while keeping detractors at bay, all the while maintaining an unapologetic flex as its core message.

14 Kelly K

The track oscillates between boasts about material wealth and encounters with various women, portraying Carti’s nonchalant approach to celebrity and excess. The repetitive chant of preferences—”And I only fuck with thick hoes, ooh, yeah”—not only becomes a memorable hook but also a statement of Carti’s unapologetic desires. This blending of stark, unfiltered content with Carti’s signature ad-lib-heavy delivery creates a soundscape that’s both entrancing and provocative. The line, “I’m a walkin’ lick, bitch, where your camera?” stands out, emphasizing the duality of flaunting wealth while being weary of its consequences, a recurring theme in modern rap that Carti navigates with ease.

15 Had 2

With an infectious call to “Boss up on these niggas,” Carti distills the essence of his come-up and relentless hustle, simultaneously serving as a battle cry for anyone striving against odds. The repeated mantra not only emphasizes his dominance in the game but also reflects a broader cultural narrative of self-made success in the face of adversity. The standout line, “I was brought up different, so my vision different,” speaks volumes about Carti’s unique trajectory and perspective, literally setting him apart in a crowded hip-hop landscape. It’s more than just a flex; it’s an introspection on the uniqueness of his path, acknowledging how his distinct upbringing and inherent vision have crafted the artist he is today.

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