“Telephone call from Young Carti, said it’s LIT!” That’s the first bar from the song ‘Telephone Calls’ by A$AP Rocky Ft. Tyler, The Creator off ‘Cozy Tapes: Volume 1’ by A$AP Mob. I’m sure you know the common phrase “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” There are some bars, where, even though it seems like a ‘trash’ line, the way it’s said makes it sound 10 times better, and that opening line of ‘Telephones Calls’ is an example of that, which I found weird at first, but now I totally get it. That line isn’t complex in the slightest way, but boy is it a fact.
When I saw that Playboi Carti released his debut album ‘Die Lit’ last week, I told myself that I was going to listen to it but I didn’t actually really care to until I was at my new job, talking to my coworkers about music, and one of them, born in 2000, told me that Carti’s album was “so good” when I brought it up. I normally wouldn’t take that seriously but I can tell when someone has good taste.
So I finally listened to it. I was kind of surprised to see that there were 19 songs on ‘Die Lit’ because usually these rappers either have a bunch of songs, or not many songs on their albums, but since ‘Die Lit’ is Playboi Carti’s first album, it makes sense that it has 19 songs. It runs for only 57 minutes, so it’s not that long anyways. There’s only one song over 4 minutes.
To be honest, my initial thought before pressing play was nothing. I feel like I just wanted to get the first song out of the way because I figured I wouldn’t like it. So I hit play, and let it play, and when it finished, the next song, ‘R.I.P’, played, and so on. I have no problem saying that I was flummoxed; Playboi Carti made a great album and I’ve never listened to any of his songs before ‘Die Lit’ came out; I couldn’t even finish listening to ‘Magnolia’, his most popular song.
‘Die Lit’ also features verses from big names in music: Skepta, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki Minaj, Bryson Tiller, Chief Keef, and Young Thug. I was pleased with all the bars I heard from them, especially the song with Lil Uzi Vert called ‘Shoota’ and even the song with Nicki Minaj called ‘Poke It Out’. I’m impressed because I went from not liking any of his songs to liking most of the songs on his album. Even though he’s not at all lyrical, the beats he uses are completely baffling; pure talent in the production game. The beats are so detailed, and precise. So smooth and crisp, and it all goes well with the madness that Carti is saying most of the time; those few times when you can actually understand what he’s saying.
Which leads me to mumble rap: A lot of ‘fans’ of rap / hip-hop believe that being a rapper only means telling stories about your life and being conscious. Even with rappers who aren’t considered ‘mumble’ rappers, if they don’t rap about important subjects, then you’re not a real rapper; according to them. But, I won’t lie, in the past I was very closed minded to listening to ‘mumble’ rap, but it grew on me a lot these last few years, starting with when I listened to ‘Jefferey’ by Young Thug. Rap is more than lyrics, it takes a whole collection of people to make a song, and it all starts with the beat and production. Usually ‘mumble’ rappers have outstanding production. The beat, and vocal tones / pitches of artists adds a great deal to the quality of the song, and it takes a genius to be able to master it. (i.e. Travis Scott)
The thing about being a human being is choosing to do what you want to do, and not caring about what they think. People can listen to whatever they want, from ‘woke’ rap, to ‘mumble’ rap. from rock to country, music is music, and whether it’s lyrical or seemingly nonsensical, at the end of the day, music is about making you feel good, and if you feel good listening to Jay Z, listen to Jay – Z. If you feel good listening to Lil Uzi Vert, listen to Lil Uzi Vert. If listening to an artist or style of music doesn’t make you feel good, don’t listen to them. But don’t hate on the art or the artist because that’s them, living their life. Hating on them only makes you a hater; one of the worst things to be. Live a hate free life. (Another important thing to know is that just because a person doesn’t like something doesn’t make them a hater, either. Use your discretion when throwing that word around.) So, for example, is it a problem to think that ‘Die Lit’ by Playboi Carti is better than ‘KOD’ by J Cole. No.
With that being said, I’d rate ‘Die Lit’ a 7.5/10; It’s surprisingly a pretty dope album. I played the whole album twice, so far, and there are quite a few songs that will make one of my playlists. A$AP Rocky was correct; young Carti’s lit.