Playboi Carti: debut album, VLONE, the future of Soundcloud rappers.

Playboi Carti, otherwise known as Cash Carti, has been chalking up major W’s after the release of his self-titled debut album in April and continued affiliation with the likes of A$AP Rocky and the VLONE crew.  Carti’s album garnered 28,051 units in sales during the first week (a notable performance for a debut album with little promotion), and was dubbed by  Vogue Magazine as the fashion world’s “latest rapper heartthrob” in the same week.  To say the least, April was a time for Carti to reap the benefits of his work and flex for a little while.  But how does a rapper from Atlanta with a Soundcloud-based audience blow up on such a large scale?  There’s so many others in the same city under similar circumstances who continue to struggle to promote themselves, so what has Carti’s edge come from?  For starters, the young rapper was able to win the respect of hip-hop hero A$AP Rocky and eventually inked a deal with him.  You can catch him Carti and ASAPperforming with Rocky on The Fader about a month before the album drop.  The duo are clearly inspired by each other’s work, it was only a matter of time before Carti was able to benefit from Rocky’s already well-established image and knowledge of the industry.  His recent come up and recognition in the realm of fashion was no doubt influenced, in part, by his affiliation with the likes of Ian Connor and the rest of VLONE.  If you haven’t heard of him, Ian Connor has made a name for himself working as Wiz Khalifa’s fashion designer, modeling for Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 1, and other endeavors that have won him a hefty social media following.  Carti has made multiple appearances Connor’s Instagram, some of which date all the way back to early 2015.   In surrounding himself with individuals who catch some of the most media exposure in rap and fashion, Carti was able to further establish himself as a legitimate icon and build upon his fanbase.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 5.23.48 PM
Fashion icon Ian Connor promoting a Playboi Carti show via Instagram in May, 2015

Though there are many other factors that contributed to the Playboi Carti’s success, this claim to fame is promising for the future of talented Soundcloud rappers who refuse to stray from their unique sound.  Now that groups like A$AP Mob have such a heavy influence on the culture, those who label specific rappers as too “underground” to be recognized on a large scale may begin to be silenced.  Carti’s self-titled album holds features from both Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert, and is definitely worth a listen (on loud).  It’s safe to say this is only the beginning for the 21 year-old Atlanta native, currently signed with AWGE and Interscope Records.  It will be entertaining to see what the young rapper chooses to do with this new burst of recognition.

 

Carti album 1
Playboi Carti – Playboi Carti (April 13, 2017)

Top 3 Spotify Streams:     

1 –  wokeuplikethis*

2 – Magnolia

3 – Lookin

CZ Top 3:

1 – Lookin

2 – NO. 9

3 – Let It Go

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