I have wanted to talk about this record for a while(I haven’t yet because I wanted to cover what I covered in my last few posts first), but the time has finally come; I just need to put my opinion about Whole Lotta Red out into the universe. This is one of those albums where I knew I would have to listen to it multiple times in order to form a good opinion about it; Playboi Carti’s music is usually so eclectic and so off the wall sounding when you first hear it that it may take the listener multiple listens(this is true for me, at least) to appreciate the intricacy of the instrumentals and vocals on his records. I honestly wish this record would have come out before Christmas, so I could have properly reviewed it and possibly could have included it on my end of the year list. I say this because I love Whole Lotta Red. A lot of people who criticized this record thought it was too weird and that he pushed the boundaries too much, but I do not know what they expected. Playboi Carti is always going to push the limits with his sound as much as he can, and this record does that in such an interesting and unordinary way. The instrumentals on this record are so weird and crazy and go so hard, and the vocals on this record push Playboi Carti to a strange level that he has not reached yet. There is nothing about this record that is expected or typical, and that is what is so cool about it. In this piece, I am going to write about my favorite songs from Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red. Please let me know in the comments below if you agree with my picks for the best songs on this project, and let me know in the comments what other songs you enjoy from this record.
GO2DAMOON (FEAT. KANYE WEST)
This list starts with what is one of the weirder songs on the album. ‘GO2DAMOON,’ which features none other than Kanye West(Kanye was an executive producer for Whole Lotta Red as well, which may explain why it is so different and eclectic in some regards) has a very strange and dark instrumental that constantly keeps switching up on itself. Honestly, it does not sound like a Playboi Carti instrumental at all, to me, it sounds a lot like something that should be on Kanye West’s Yeezus album. ‘GO2DAMOON’ actually sounds more like a Kanye song featuring Playboi Carti instead of vice versa. Most of the song consists of Kanye rapping, with Playboi Carti coming in at the end for a sort of chorus and post-chorus. It sort of feels like Kanye made this weird song with this crazy instrumental and had no album of his own coming up to release it on so they just put it on Whole Lotta Red instead. Regardless, ‘GO2DAMOON’ is a banger, and it deserves to be on this list because more people need to listen to it.
There is a reason that ‘Slay3r’ is one of the most popular songs on this album, even among people who were not huge fans of the record. ‘Slay3r’ has a lot of qualities about it that will remind the listener of some of Playboi Carti’s older music. This track has a melody that sounds like it should have come off of a video game that was made in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Playboi Carti’s vocals on this track match up perfectly with the melody and instrumental. The way the auto-tune is used on his voice makes him sound like an old video game character or a high-pitched character on an old animated TV show. ‘Slay3r’ is a song where Playboi Carti is bragging about his crazy lifestyle, stating that he is living like a rock star at this point. The energy of the lyrics match up so well with the instrumentals and vocals; everything about this song is so fun and just makes me want to dance and party. ‘Slay3r’ is one of those songs that anyone who enjoys melodic Trap music should love.
‘Vamp Anthem’ is one of the weirdest and most unique songs on this record. Surprisingly, it is one of the most well-received songs on this record. I would not expect this song to have done as well as it did considering how critical so many people were of the album as a whole, as this song is so strange and so different from anything that Playboi Carti has released in the past. The melody for ‘Vamp Anthem’ sounds like the “Dracula Theme Song” by the classical composer Bach, but it is super synthesized and distorted. I love the distortion incorporated in this melody; it adds such a weird layer to the sound of the song that makes it so unlike everything else Playboi Carti typically does. The energy of the vocals of this song goes with its melody so well. Playboi Carti brings the heat in the best way possible for a song like this. ‘Vamp Anthem’ is a pretty odd song compared to other Melodic Trap music, but it is so catchy and so fun.
Compared to the rest of the record, I feel like ‘New N3on’ is one of the more tame songs on Whole Lotta Red. Obviously, a lot of the instrumentals and vocal styles on this album are kind of off the wall and zany. ‘New N3on’ to me sounds a lot closer to typical melodic Trap music that would come out today. This song reminds me a lot of Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug. With that being said, ‘New N3on’ is a fun Trap track that fits in perfectly with the rest of what is popular among Trap music in 2020. Playboi Carti does not do anything too crazy with his vocals and the instrumental is pretty calm compared to the rest of the record, but it is still very high quality. For fans of Playboi Carti to expect something off the wall and innovative, this is not a song they would enjoy that much. But if you are just a fan of melodic Trap music and do not care who the artist is, ‘New N3on’ is a song you should download.
I recently saw a tweet from the musician Lil Aaron that said the song ‘Control’ by Playboi Carti sounds like the feeling of being on Molly. I do not know if there is a better way to describe the sound of that song. This is one of the more off the wall and weird sounding songs on this record… in the best way though. The background melody for this song is so saturated and intense and bright; it sounds like the Chocolate River scene in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory looks. If that does not make sense, listen to the song and you will understand. The weird vocal ad-libs that contribute to the melody are so interesting as well. Playboi Carti’s vocal performance is just as strange and bright and intense as the melody is. Playboi Carti always does such a great job of matching the energy of the instrumental, and this song is no different at all. ‘Control’ probably is not a song for everyone, but if you like listening to music that is unlike everything else that is being made currently, it is a song you have to check out.
‘Punk Monk’ is a song that I would expect most Playboi Carti listeners to love. It is not considered to be one of the general public’s favorite songs on Whole Lotta Red, though, I do not think the overall online opinion of this song has been very high. Honestly, I have no idea why this would be the case. It seems to be that a lot of fans ask for change and more innovative music, but when they get this they do not appreciate it. ‘Punk Monk’ to me sounds like older Playboi Carti music on steroids. It has a bright and fun melody that is super distorted and sounds like it is being played on a demented organ, and it has so much bass that the bass brings the distortion and saturation the song has on another level. The bass so intense that it distorts every aspect of the song, and I love that. Playboi Carti’s vocal performance on this song is a bit goofy, but it is not overly crazy or distracting. One thing that is interesting about ‘Punk Monk’ is some of the lyrics. Playboi Carti explains some of the situations around when he first blew up in the Hip Hop game, talking about interactions with Key, ManMan Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Tjay, and Offset. In my opinion, ‘Punk Monk’ is easily one of the best songs on this record, and I think everyone reading this should listen to it and get into it because it deserves so much more praise.
‘Sky’ has been considered by most Hip Hop listeners who are online to be the best song on Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red. I can specifically remember when the album was initially released, so many of the people complaining about it did admit that they love this song in particular. To date, ‘Sky’ is the most streamed song from Whole Lotta Red so far. I do understand why so many people love this song because it does sound like it could have been on Playboi Carti’s last album, Die Lit. With that being said, though, the melody and sonic pattern do also match up with the sound of Whole Lotta Red pretty well. This track has a very saturated and distorted piano melody that is kind of creepy but also super fun and makes any listener want to party. This song reminds me a lot of Lil Uzi Vert. Specifically, the way Playboi Carti delivers his vocals sounds like Lil Uzi Vert. I know that these two already sound pretty similar, but something about this song just sound a lot like Uzi. Considering how successful Lil Uzi Vert was in 2020, it makes sense that a song that sounds like him would be so popular and well-liked. ‘Sky’ is exactly what most Hip Hop fans want from a melodic Trap song in 2020 and 2021.