With the Whole Lotta Red live experience still not a realistic possibility for the time being, Carti’s most exciting era yet has at least continued to provide fans with plenty to celebrate in the form of highly replayable talk show appearances and flatteringly freewheeling interviews.
For the latest example of the latter, we turn to a new Highsnobiety cover story feature featuring both Carti and friend Matthew M. Williams, the co-founder of 1017 ALYX 9SM and the current creative director of Givenchy.
Tucked into Adam Wray’s piece, featuring photography from Aijani Payne, is a reflection from the recent Cudi and ’Ye collaborator on his ethos of intentionally going left when the world goes right. Carti cited specific examples of aesthetic choices (i.e. inverted crosses and cigarettes) he’s made, particularly during the Whole Lotta Red era, that are all exemplary of his dedication to being fully himself at all times. None of this, per Carti, is done in the spirit of contrarianism for contrarianism’s sake.
“If your cross is straight, then I’m gonna put my shit upside down,” Carti said. “If you hate cigarettes, then I’m gonna smoke as many as I can. I’m anti-everything. I’m not going out my way to have people like, ‘Oh, what the fuck’s Carti on? Is he gay, or is he trolling?’ No, bro—I don’t give a fuck. I’m being myself.”
Carti added that he hates that he “waited so long” to be himself, though—in retrospect—the hints of the artist he would become with WLR were always there from the beginning.
“I wish I came in like this,” he said. “But if you look at my career you see little signs of that shit. Even if I wasn’t wearing all black and all that shit, I always had a glimpse of this. ‘Oh yeah, bro out here, he on some whole other shit’—it’s always been me. From the moment I came into this game.”
And as for the oft-mourned lack of WLR live shows, Carti—who previously addressed the inadvertent benefits of the delay during a conversation with Cudi—reaffirmed to Highsnobiety that fans can take solace in knowing it’ll all be worth the pandemic-required wait.
“I dedicated this album to just making it a fucking movement and a fucking lifestyle,” he said, teasing that arriving at a Whole Lotta Red show will feel like stepping into the Matrix. “A mob response will be on that stage.”
Peep the full piece here.
Meanwhile, fans are still awaiting the previously teased deluxe edition of the Billboard 200-topping WLR. Shortly after the original release, Carti took to Twitter to ask fans to share their picks for what should end up on the deluxe tracklist. Given that the album arrived on Christmas Day 2020, perhaps—and this is pure speculation on this writer’s part—it wouldn’t be out-of-character to (maybe?) get the deluxe songs near or around Easter.
On Wednesday, Carti also took to Instagram with the note: “LeTs dr0p thiS new Album . w3 noT done.”