Atlanta’s new wave of rap is one that will go down in history books as a melting pot of otherworldly sounds and artists that is single handedly taking over the game. Best described as bubble gum rap combined with luxury trap, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, & Lil Uzi Vert (originally from Philadelphia, but moved to Atlanta to further his music career) have become overnight sensations. Taking advantage of Soundcloud and industry connections these three artist have been cast into the spotlight and capitalized on their hype by releasing several mixtapes, doing interviews and making the XXL 2016 Freshmen Class.
There is another artist, also from Atlanta, who has been given even more opportunities than the three artist above: Playboi Carti. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he came into the game with prominent ATL rap group Awful Records, led by Father. Carti quickly became a standout in the early months of 2015 when he dropped his biggest record to date “Broke Boi“. A boppy, marble mouthed record that made Carti one of the leaders of the new school; landing him a record deal with A$AP Rocky and a manager who was, at the time, at the forefront of street fashion, Ian Connor. It was these connections combined with a few more successful singles in 2015 that packaged Playboi Carti as the next big thing. 2016 was supposed to be his year.
So how did a rapper with everything handed to him manage to fall from the leader of the new school to last in line? For starters, he has yet to release an official project, forcing fans to put together massive compilations of his singles and features. Even worse, he fails time and time again to communicate with his followers, an integral part of maintaining buzz in a world where the internet has caused attention spans to become increasingly short. Industry connections and Twitter hype can only carry one so far, and with no release date in sight for his debut mixtape, things aren’t looking good for Carti at the moment. He has repeatedly refused to disavow Ian Connor, whose career is in shambles in the wake of numerous rape accusations and his recent firing from Kanye West’s fashion team.
Complex called Playboi Carti “Rap’s Young and Restless Prince” and Oyster Magazine credited Carti as “Leading A New Generation Of Turn Up Rappers”, but neither of these seem to be true anymore. One can only hope Carti drops a mixtape (or anything really) before the last of his hype drys up and it’s back to the drawing board.
….even Carti seems unsure of what exactly he is doing.