Within hours of Whole Lotta Red’s perfectly timed Christmas 2020 arrival, fans were quick to draw attention to a few lines from “Punk Monk” in which Playboi Carti reflected on his efforts to sign Pi’erre Bourne.

In the track, Carti says he thought he had a Pi’erre signing locked down “but the label tricked me.” The mention arrives in the middle of a passage in the song where Carti also recalls trying to do the same with Lil Keed and Trippie Redd:

“I was tryna sign Trippie Redd before they knew ‘bout Trippie
I was fuckin’ with Lil Keed when he made lil ‘Blicky’
I thought I had Pi’erre but the label tricked me
They tried to turn me into a white boy but I’m not Lil Dicky
I remember I used to follow Key! and ManMan Savage
Ridin’ ‘round the hood, I was ridin’ with the ratchet”

In a new Inked interview with Christina Lee featuring photos by Gunner Stahl, Carti elaborated on the Pi’erre lyrics, confirming he “wasn’t really salty” about the Die Lit producer ultimately bagging a deal with Interscope instead of his own Opium. Instead, he’s since come to view such developments as proof of the industry value of his unique ear for rising talent.

“But I slept on it, and I woke up, and he was signed to a major label,” Carti said. “I wasn’t really salty about it. I was just looking at it like, alright, cool. I just need to lock it in when I step into a room with some people from now on, because I feel like people just started looking at my taste and my opinion. ‘Alright, if Carti likes it, sign it—boom.’”

The full Inked chat also sees Carti discussing his MF DOOM shoutout in “Stop Breathing” and the parallels he’s noticed between himself and the late pioneer’s dedicated persona.

“I don’t have to sound like MF DOOM to be inspired by him,” Carti explained. “Nobody can keep a leash on him. Nobody can keep a leash on me. That’s definitely his impact. Even if I didn’t know that at first, I had to look up and think about this shit right here—it had already been done.”

Peep the full thing, which also includes more talk of Kanye’s impact on the final WLR tracklist and his fondness for Sid Vicious, here.

It’s been a monumental fucking week for Carti fans, thanks to a pair of new interviews (including a Highsnobiety must-read alongside Givenchy’s Matthew M. Williams) and official word that a new album is very much on the way. 

On Wednesday, Carti shared a multi-photo post to IG captioned with a mention of “thiS new Album.” It’s unclear, however, if this is a reference to the previously teased deluxe-ified edition of WLR or if we are indeed set for something entirely new. Let’s hope for both.