Review: Playboi Carti’s Die Lit

Die Lit album cover

Die Lit album cover

Die Lit album cover

Ryan Ausden, Reporter

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Die Lit is Atlanta born rapper Playboi Carti’s debut full-length album, released after a rather explosive 2017 for the 21-year-old rapper. He featured on the famous XXL Freshman 2017 performance which showcases up and coming rappers and released of his self-titled mixtape Playboi Carti which included his two times platinum hit song Magnolia.

Die Lit features 19 songs running for a total of 57 minutes and has a list of alluringly large features including the likes of Skepta, Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki Minaj, Chief Keef and Young Thug.

At a first glance Die Lit has a lot of simplicity to it, but this is what makes Carti who he is. This album seems to be an extension and more improved version of some of his earlier music, such as Magnolia. Carti has a talent for making mesmerizing lyrics and hooks, along with his use of adlibs that set you in a trance, a perfect artist if you’re having a night out and Die Lit is no exception.

Perhaps the most mesmerizing song on the entire album is Lean 4 Real featuring Skepta. The beat is mystical sounding, with some high hats and snares throughout it with Carti repeating “Im on ‘em beans for the real, I’m on the lean for real”. Bean is a reference to Molly or MDMA/Ecstasy which is regarded as a hallucinogen, and Lean is a mix of codeine cough syrup with Jolly Ranchers (a sour hard candy available in the US) and Sprite, that allegedly induces a very heavy dreamy trance-like high.

Despite these lyrics being simple and repetitive I want to view this as a reference to Carti’s potential life problems of taking MDMA and then using Lean to calm himself down in the evening, and him being trapped in this constant cycle of addiction. This point is also reinforced by the effects of the substances that Carti is referring to.

This phrase repeats itself throughout a majority of the song until Carti’s very brief first verse. What switches up this song and keeps it fresh is most certainly Skepta’s feature, the style of his rapping on this song changes it from that trance mentality into something more grim and dark, due to Skepta’s vocal style.

An example of this simplicity is on the track R.I.P which features a very trap heavy sounding beat that would absolutely slam on a good sound system. Accompanying this beat is, of course, Carti’s vocals that are rather repetitive and don’t really tell much of a narrative with lyrics.

I find it hard to compare someone like Carti to someone like Lil Uzi Vert or even A$AP Rocky that have songs that delve into life experiences that have shaped them, as they are almost two different styles of rapping. Uzi and Rocky have a more lyrical depth to them, but in saying that, Carti is staying to that specific style of trap, sticking to what he is good at, which I can respect.

All the songs from Die Lit flow together well and the entire tone of the album doesn’t change from song to song, rather it’s one big melody, with no songs having next level unique lyrics that aren’t repeated throughout the song. This being said, this isn’t a bad thing, as this is what Carti is trying to establish.

In conclusion, Die Lit is far from a perfect album, but there are some absolute bangers on it and I love how Carti can create so many emotions and almost hypnotize the listener with such simplicity in his songs. The best feature on the album was Skepta on Lean 4 Real and the standout songs of the album are: R.I.P, Love Hurts, Old Money, Shoota, Poke it Out, Home, Foreign, FlatBed Freestyle and Home.

If you’d like to listen to the album, check it out on Spotify here.

Disclaimer: This album review is an opinionated piece and I am by no means a music professional, rather just an avid fan of the rap, trap, and rock genres.

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About the Writer
Ryan Ausden, Reporter
Ryan Ausden is 21 years of age and currently studying Broadcasting at ECU. He has a strong passion for graphic design, film and photography, having formally switched out of majors for the three before settling into Broadcasting. As many young people, he also loves to travel and absolutely froths the snow, meaning most of his...
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Review: Playboi Carti’s Die Lit