_In Process Ep. 9
Somebody once said, “Hip Hop is dead.”
Since then it’s been reanimated and resurrected… and if you take a close look at Playboi Carti– it’s recognizable. Hip Hop culture, without a doubt, has been reincarnated.
In this episode, we’re taking a look at the AWGE artist, Playboi Carti. Born Jordan Carter and raised in Atlanta, he’s been carving his own lane in Hip Hop for the past few years. Originally named Sir Cartier, Carti started out making tracks on Garageband. The local popularity of these songs eventually lead him to connect with Atlanta producer Ethereal. Upon their first meeting, Jordan made a request for more unique beats– which Ethereal supported, because he grew up wanting to craft Japanese video game-style music. The two instantly clicked over their want to break the mold.
Taking on the new moniker of Playboi Carti, he would join AWFUL records, an art-rap label founded by Father. Around this time, Carti made the decision to put academics and work secondary in his life, and focus solely on music. Even at the risk of dropping out of high school, Playboi Carti made a commitment to personal success. He was willing to forego education, athletics, and even short term financial stability in order to perfect his craft.
After numerous sessions in the booth, Playboi Carti dropped his single; Broke Boi. A wave of small hits followed, and Carti made his way to a XXL Freshman cover. Around this time, he moved in with budding hip hop influencer, Ian Connor. As the two Atlanta eccentrics began to develop their personas, they began to ride the shift in Hip Hop culture.
Through his friendship with Ian Connor, Playboi Carti would connect with key A$AP Mob members– A$AP Rocky & A$AP Bari. Carti would eventually sign to AWGE, as he & Rocky would drop hits like Magnolia and New Choppa. Carti’s approach to music lent itself well to fashion, as he modeled for OFF WHITE, Raf Simons, and Louis Vuitton.
Playboi Carti represented something new and emerging in Hip Hop, by borrowing imagery from the past and combining it with the sound of today. Because of this, he’s a great representative for AWGE– A combination of different influences fused into one artist. Playboi Carti’s work helps bridge gaps between the soundcloud generation, while having roots in the older generation’s nostalgia. Playboi Carti & AWGE are on the forefront of trying to carve a new path, with utmost respect to their influences.
Playboi Carti moves the new generation, and he’s the product of a more connected world– via soundcloud, social media, and the internet as a whole. And he fits together nicely with with his contemporaries, from Virgil Abloh, to Ian Connor, to Raf Simons. This punk energy has found new life in Hip Hop, as Carti and his peers take us into the 2nd Golden Age of Hip Hop. There used to be turntables, street outlets, graffiti, and breakdancing: Now it’s garageband, soundcloud, instagram, and fashion. The message maybe lost to some, but the fiery passion has returned.
So what can we learn from Playboi Carti? He’s an artist that has connected with key respected figures in the culture because of these specific values: FIND YOUR OWN VOICE, DARE TO BE DIFFERENT, & BE AN EVOLUTION.
There’s a reason why Playboi Carti was hand picked by Ethereal, Ian Connor, and A$AP Rocky. He gave up being a student in High School to become a student of Hip Hop. When you invest everything into the artform of self expression, you’ve become the embodiment of the artform itself.
That’s what it means to Push Product.