Playboi Carti definitely marches to the beat of his own 808. As one of hip-hop’s leading nonconformists, Carti is constantly pushing the boundaries of the traditional rap artist when it comes to music and especially when it comes to his visual presentation.
When Playboi Carti had entered the rap game around 2015, he was rocking the typical SoundCloud rapper starter pack: dreads, Jordans, Supreme tees and skinny jeans. Over the years, the self-described "thrift store kid" has grown into a look of his own. He quickly moved on to the designer threads from Raf Simons and Balmain, and even modeled in Kanye’s West’s Yeezy Season 5 fashion show in 2017, before being named "a leader of youth style" by GQ the same year.
From there, Carti’s looks have only gotten more eclectic as he’s evolved into his rock star phase. To go along with his vampire persona, the Whole Lotta Red rapper has shifted toward darker motifs, with tight, black leather, masks, horns, pentagrams and makeup being oft-utilized themes in the eccentric artist’s wardrobe. Recently, Carti has been wearing Joker-esque face paint during shows, a similar aesthetic to Kansas City rap legend Tech N9ne.
"I really studied [Tech N9ne's] shit before I even get into things," Playboi Carti told XXL in his Spring 2022 cover story interview. "Tech N9ne is the pioneer of this shit. Rock stars. He embraced the rock star, punk shit in hip-hop and it’s fire.
"You got rock stars. Punks. You got emos. You got goths. With me, I’m just being myself and I feel like it’s a lot of people who really want to be themselves and do a lot of different things."
Take a look at the Atlanta rapper’s most eye-catching looks from the pre-"Magnolia" days until present.