Playboi Carti Type Beat

Playboi Carti is one of the most successful rappers from the SoundCloud scene in 2014, and also one of the most polarizing. The 24-year-old out of Atlanta has focused less on lyrics and more on shaping songs people love with his signature ad-libs and production, the latter of which producer P’ierre Bourne helped elevate. He’s gained momentum and a No. 1 album this year from that strategy along with being criticized for it. With Carti’s out-there turns of phrase and occasional use of a high-pitched “baby voice,” you never really know what’s coming next from him. A part of Carti’s appeal is the beats he chooses to rap over, which are usually very unique, and tend to be a sound that only he can do. His different production styles have led to a litany of producers whipping up Playboi Carti type beats, attempting to get a handle on the space-age soundscapes that he helped revolutionize.

When looking at breakthrough songs, Carti’s is “Magnolia,” which turned him from an online sensation to one of the most popular young rappers in 2017. At that time, there was nothing that sounded close to it. The way P’ierre Bourne programmed the drums makes them sound slightly off beat and out of place, then when the rest of the beat comes together, such as the flute and organ stabs, everything fits. The built-in bounce P’ierre created began to be emulated by other producers. It wasn’t just the order of the drums, it was how they were filtered; they almost buzz, like speakers in a trunk from a distance. This kind of haze and use of non-traditional sounds became Carti and Pi’erre’s calling card.

In 2018, Carti’s next big song was “Shoota” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. Produced by Maaly Raw, a frequent Uzi collaborator, the production had the glossy sheen that this duo tends to create. The beat is hard, working in chimes and high piano keys and claps; the layers of the beat are almost orchestral. It also takes a full minute for the beat to land. While just as off the beaten path as Carti’s previous work, it’s different from “Magnolia” in where it pivots. “Magnolia” was special for how the drums were timed and the sounds used; “Shoota” is special because it’s almost angelic and was a new sound for Carti to rap over.

Over the years, Carti has expressed himself over diverse beats. For his 2020 LP, Whole Lotta Red, “Vamp Anthem” is yet another departure from his early sounds. The Jasper Harris and KP-produced beat is half horror movie organs and rapid trap 808s. The pace of the song is fast, as is the flow Carti chooses. The bass on this is a little understated compared to Carti’s previous work, and the organs, which are a sample of Johann Sebastian Bach’s organ work, are at two different pitches, making them the star of the show. The beat doesn’t change around much and is mostly consistent all the way through.

With the rapper’s production style in mind, listen to producers who’ve created Playboi Carti type beats, and pick out your favorite below.

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