The Prince of Mumble Validates His Voice : Playboi Carti "Die Lit" Album Review
Written by Kolin Miller
The king of adlibs and prince of leaked music, Playboi Carti has released his second full-length album as of May 11. “Made a mil of that mumbling shit...” pretty much sums up the self-awareness of said album. Where some artists would try to distance themselves from the thematic elements that make up the inappropriately named “mumble rap” sub-genre, Carti doubles down and proves the artistic merit to any “old-heads” or doubters of the aforementioned sub-genre.
As an avid hip-hop listener and obsessive internet browser, I have been exposed to the divide which currently splits the hip-hop industry into two very distinct sides:
1. The supporters of the “mumble rap/SoundCloud rap” movement,
2. The “conscience” or old heads/Joe Buddenites.”
If you’re unaware of the divide, I’ll sum it up: some listeners and artists feel as if the integrity and creativity of the art form have been compromised by the newer “mumble rap/SoundCloud rap” scene who hold melodic style and nuances of timbre in a higher regard than lyrics - to make it simpler: gatekeeping exists because people like to bicker.
Die Lit is definitely a project I wouldn’t recommend to someone who doesn’t like the new wave of emerging rappers. I would, however, encourage said people to listen to the album, as it is a perfect culmination of all the best of the characteristics that define the “SoundCloud/mumble rap” age of hip-hop. That being said, I love the album; I can already hear many of these tracks being played at parties to come in the following months.
Some personal favorites include “Poke it Out,” which features a stellar verse by Nikki Minaj, as well as “Shoota,” which features the rap game's-iguana, Lil Uzi Vert. Now, that isn’t shade at Lil Uzi, I absolutely love Uzi – his image, his persona, his personality, his music, etc. Anyways, Uzi’s feature on the album really stood out to me as a perfect example of the melodic emo-hip-hop form, which we have heard from Uzi before as well as from the embodiment of the colliding sub-genres lovechild, Lil Peep.
Yeesh, got off on quite a large tangent right? Wrong!
Within my favorite track, “Shoota,” alongside an energetic Uzi appearance, sits Playboi Carti, vibing and bouncing along on the same wavelength of his guest. I don’t know why, but the two artists really have such strong chemistry and produce such a unique sound together. This isn’t the first time the duo have appeared on a track together, in fact, on Playboi Carti’s previous self-titled album of 2017, Lil Uzi Vert is featured on two different tracks.
The tracklist is a lengthy 19 tracks long, but with the amount of quality features from some of current hip-hop’s finest, the extensive and impressive work of rapper/producer Pierre Borne, the puzzlingly vast amount of ways Carti can fill empty space within a track with his adlibs, and the even more puzzlingly vast amount of ways Carti can rhyme “lit,” with “clip,” or “bitch,” and other single-syllable-when-mumbled words without sounding repetitive, there is no way you can finish the entire album without missing quite a bit in your understanding of it – much like this sentence!
No, I’m not that bad about writing run-on sentences normally, but this particular thought demanded to be expressed in an entirely too complicated manner. The point is, while the album may appear long, it’s actually fully enjoyable, and doesn’t drag on like many other releases in hip-hop as of late – looking at you Lil Boat 2!!!
To check out more about Playboi Carti, click here for his Genius Profile.
Stream the project below,