Playboy CartiAug 03, 2018
Is Rap the new Punk or is that just something that music journalists say to generate some extra hate-clicks? If Playboi Carti’s show at First Avenue this Thursday is any metric, that statement might be more than an incendiary comment. Fresh off of the release of his well-received debut album Die Lit, Carti held the packed venue in the palm of his hands. Frantic mosh pits dotted the landscape of the venue’s floor. Tornadoes of souls destroying those within and even pulling in those who thought they were safe on the sidelines. Carti’s aggressive energy, clear excitement, and infectious confidence gave the audience all the permission they needed to completely lose their minds.
The night started with brief disappointment. Openers Duwap Kaine and Sheck Wes weren’t in attendance. Instead, the audience was treated to a far from stellar performance who didn’t even bother to give us his name. When that auditory cringe fest finally ended, Playboi Carti finally stormed the stage. Starting his set with Die Lit’s penultimate track “R.I.P Fredo”, he ran through other tracks from the album, last year’s self-titled debut mixtape, and his deep library of Soundcloud cult-classics. Songs were separated by hails of gunfire sound effects and blinding flashing lights. On top of all of that Carti commanded the crowd to “OPEN UP THE PIT”, to which they happily obliged. There were a few breathers, coming in the form of slower tracks like “Love Hurts” and “Home (KOD)”. Carti even took the time to preview his unreleased track “Cancun”, better known as the “My stummy hurt” song. Otherwise, Carti’s Punk energy made for one of the wildest shows this summer. My life flashed before my eyes and my body turned into a ragdoll when “R.I.P” dropped. By the end of Die Lit intro “Long Time”, my voice was completely gone. Throughout the show, it was clear that Carti was excited to be on stage. The crowd’s excitement to see him was even clearer.
Rap isn’t the new Punk, but there’s definitely a growing Punk influence within Rap. Carti’s live show is clear evidence for that. He thrashes around the stage, calls for mosh pits, and belts out his spacey lyrics from the bottom of his soul. Trailblazers of moshing and stage diving at Rap shows like Tyler, the Creator and Travis Scott paved the way for Carti’s live set. Carti uses these examples and others like Bam Margera to create a live experience straight out of CBGB’s.