Playboi Carti at MTELUS, Dec. 1 2018

Playboi Carti made a stop in Montreal on Saturday night as part of his Neon Tour, and an eager crowd awaited the artist’s much-delayed performance at MTELUS.

Atlanta native and long-time A$AP Mob affiliate Playboi Carti is on the last stretch of his tour,  continuing to promote his debut studio album Die Lit that dropped in May 2018.  The album came after the success of Carti’s eponymous debut mixtape, featuring his breakout single “Magnolia” that put eyes on the 22-year-old trap rapper. 

With an expected start time of 8:45PM, Carti only got on stage at a late 10:45PM to an impatient, and perhaps slightly annoyed, crowd. However, all tension left the room as the performer walked on stage to “R.I.P Fredo (Notice Me)”. Immediately, the venue erupted into complete carnage as the audience was bulldozed closer and closer to the stage by aggressive fans that were eager to catch a front row view.

The rapper went on to play an unreleased song titled “Cancun” from his recently teased upcoming Whole Lotta Red album. Yet, it was not until the beginning of the third song that Carti demanded everyone open up the crowd and chant along to his “MOSH PIT! MOSH PIT!” request. As the crowd split in two, fans waited for the music to drop as they heard the introduction to “wokeuplikethis*”. From there, anyone that was sucked into the audience had no luck of being reunited with the friends that they came with. Shirts began to come off as men in the crowd could not take the heat that came along with hundreds of aggressive, very sweaty, Carti fans bopping to his greatest hits. 

The rapper played a multitude of fan favourites, both old and new. Several tracks were those that featured Lil Uzi Vert verses such as “Shoota” and “Of Course We Ghetto Flowers”. Carti played some of his earliest tracks that put him on the hip hop radar such “Fetti” and “Broke Boi”. For many songs, he played only short snippets as they were tracks assisted by other rappers, such as “Mileage” featuring Chief Keef and “Lean 4 Real” featuring English grime artist Skepta.

While the crowd may have found itself calming down at one point in the night, it was surely due to a sheer depletion of physical energy. Regardless of one’s place in the audience, various different pockets of mosh pits found themselves scattered throughout. Whether it was a group of 10 or a group of 40, one misstep and you may get lost in the chaos with no guarantees of coming back.
As expected, Carti saved the best for last. “Telephone Calls” from A$AP Mob’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 led into “Lookin” and of course, “Magnolia” to finish off the night. As dozens of people left throughout the show because they could not keep up with what was to come, the crowd gathered their last remaining energy to rage to the rapper’s  2x platinum hit. 

When Carti wrapped up his final track, he ended the night by paying homage to one of 2018’s hip hop martyrs. As he exited the stage, “Take A Step Back” by Ski Mask the Slump God featuring the late XXXTentacion began to play as Carti greeted the fans farewell.

Although a slight delay may have frustrated fans in the beginning, it can only be assumed that the energy Playboi Carti gave out in his hour long set was met with forgiveness by his loyal fans.

Jacob Carey is the host of  Trappin' in Traffic, CJLO's newest hip-hop show, every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.