Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti is a highly popular rapper who first emerged in the 2010s. The emcee (real name Jordan Carter) rose to fame as a SoundCloud star who had acquired a cult following a series of online releases with local producer Ethereal.
While uploading songs to SoundCloud with Ethereal as part of the underground label and collective Awful Records, Carter also collaborated with now-famous artists such as Lil Yachty. After releasing an array of tracks with Ethereal, Playboi Carti moved to New York. Here, he fortuitously ran into A$AP Bari, who introduced him to A$AP Rocky.
Following this introduction in 2015, he began working with affiliates of Rocky and released several viral tracks, such as ‘Broke Boi’ and ‘Fetti’ which accrued millions of streams on SoundCloud. After seeing his success in 2016, he was featured on A$AP Mob’s single ‘Telephone Calls’ and ended up signing to Rocky’s label, AWGE.
From here, Carti began to become a star. After releasing his self-titled mixtape in 2017, he began to attract attention from publications including XXL, Pitchfork and SPIN. With the help of AWGE’s distribution and marketing, two singles from the mixtape made the Billboard Hot 100, ‘Magnolia’ peaked at number 29 and ‘Wokeuplikethis’ featuring Lil Uzi Vert, which was less successful at number 79.
Since 2017, Carti has become a household name and a respected rapper. However, there is one fan that Carter didn’t realise he had until it surfaced on social media last year. Since retiring in 2011, NBA giant Shaquille O’Neal has reinvented himself as a DJ under the name DJ Diesel and was caught on camera playing Carti’s ‘New Tank’ during a concert in Tallahassee.
A video clip quickly began circulating social media, which saw fans into a frenzy after dropping the Whole Lotta Red track into his setlist. Commenting on the footage, O’neal wrote, “@playboicarti his shit goes hard.”
Playboi Carti is still active and featured on Travis Scott’s album Utopia on the track ‘Fe!n’. The Atlanta emcee’s long-awaited third studio album has been teased throughout the year, and has simply told fans via Instagram it will arrive in 2024. You can see Shaquille O’Neal playing ‘New Tank’ in the video below.