There is no denying Playboi Carti’s influence on the mainstream rap world. So many casual hip-hop fans may have not vibed with him back when he popularized the baby voice and had such a unique, individualistic style, but songs like “Magnolia” and “wokeuplikethis*” would have anyone in the right mind thinking that he was a star. Ever since he created his record label Opium back in 2019, it seems like he has really leaned into the rockstar persona that he was showing off, and this label is something that took off much more than I ever thought imaginable.
This label is home to artists like Destroy Lonely, Ken Car$on, F1LTHY, Homixide Gang, and a handful of others, and even though it seems like some of these roster members may diverge from the classic sound that Carti became known for, I feel like it makes this endeavor much more well-rounded and exciting to pay attention to by far. I have said it before, but I’ll say it again that Ken Car$on is definitely one of my favorite rising emcees, and with the announcement of his upcoming album X slated to release this Friday, July 8th, I think he will have been officially indoctrinated into the scene as one of the most influential artists of our generation as it stands currently.
That’s not even mentioning the fact that Carti executive produced the entire thing, so it is absolutely going to be a spectacle by far, especially with the release of a brand-new single called “The End”. Produced by OUTTATOWN and Starboy, the track is amazing which can be expected, but the Oliver Shore and Kevin Von Puttkammer-directed video is just too unbelievable to ignore.
Ken makes his way around a pretty much entirely abandoned mall, walking up and down hallways as an inverted camera filter shows everything with a trippy black and white effect. This concept in and of itself is beyond compelling, but my favorite scene comes when he sits down in a movie theater surrounded by skeletons, which just levels up the ominous nature of this visual. Friday seriously can’t come soon enough, but the fact that “The End” was so incredible makes me confident that the wait is going to be well worth it when we finally get the chance to check out X.