Playboi Carti: Hip Hop’s Reclusive Superstar


Playboi Carti performing during his 2017 Die Lit tour in Richmond, Virginia. Photo taken by Reddit user @mudcat_.

Brandon Strambler, Copy Editor

Since his breakout in 2017, Atlanta-born rapper Playboi Carti has been slowly building a name for himself in the hip hop community and catching the attention of audiences and critics alike. With hit songs like “Magnolia” and “Shoota,” he has created major noise and attracted a loyal fan base in the process. His music (and the scarcity thereof), unique online persona, and caricature are what keep his dedicated fans fiending. 

Fans are (im)patiently waiting for his upcoming album, Whole Lotta Red, which he first teased in August of 2018. Carti’s avoidance of the public eye has fans starving for any sign of him, for he typically refrains from posting on social media and is both careful and calculated when he does so. 

Since the 2018 release of his last album Die Lit, leaks have given great insight into what Carti has been working on for the past year. The song “Molly”, which Carti had only previewed twice in two concerts, was arguably one of the most anticipated rap songs of 2019 before it leaked in early June of this year. In addition, an unreleased feature on the song dubbed “Kid Cudi” with Young Nudy reached number 1 as an unofficial upload on Spotify quickly after it leaked to the public. The songs feature his signature “baby voice,” a high inflected tone which many fans adore and what reviewers have called innovative. On other other hand, Carti is actually notorious for having his songs leaked. Dozens of tracks intended to place on WLR have already leaked online so far.

By developing a unique, aesthetic way of typing featuring symbols, random punctuation and emojis, the man has also became a meme. Fans joke by emulating its style, and have treated it as its own language, Cartinese. Websites like will take any text input and put it into this unique style.

Author’s Note: This article was written prior to the release of Whole Lotta Red.