It’s been said that Georgia-born rapper Playboi Carti is more comfortable with the performance of the role than he is with the actual act of rapping. That might be true, but it doesn’t really matter. Hip-hop fans love him, and if his current net worth is anything to go by, he’s too busy living in the lap of luxury to care what anyone else thinks. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Carti made more than $8 million in 2017 alone, earning him a place among the highest-paid figures in hip-hop. Since then, his fortune has grown to even bigger proportions: by the current reckoning, he’s worth around $9 million. So, how did Iggy Azalea’s baby daddy manage to come about such a huge fortune? Stay tuned to find out.
Hoops or Hip Hop?
Playboi Carti was born Jordan Terrell Carter on September 13, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up, he spent more time on the basketball court than he did in the classroom. He even considered pursuing the sport professionally for a while. But after he started showing up late to practice and got into an argument with his coach, he decided to drop any plans of becoming an NBA star and concentrate on making music instead. At around the same time, he picked up a job at H+M: although it helped his cash flow situation, the combination of spending all his time either making music or making money didn’t exactly leave much time for school. In the end, he just about managed to scrape through graduation – although everyone from his family was so convinced he wouldn’t, no one bothered turning up for the ceremony. But by then, he didn’t care too much either way. His sights were already set on the big time.
Moving to New York
After deciding to pursue his music career full time, Carti packed up his stuff and headed to New York, where he promptly found a drug dealer and moved in with him. Deciding to live with your dealer is rarely sound thinking, but in Carti’s case, it paid off. Because this wasn’t your average street dealer: this was a dealer with connections. Over the next few months, Carti ran into various members of hip-hop collective ASAP at the house; when he finally bumped into the collective’s founder, ASAP Bari, his future was sealed. After hearing Carti’s work, ASAP Bari introduced him to ASAP Rocky. At that point, Carti decided he stood a better chance of making it big by living with ASAP Rocky than he would by continuing to live with a New York drug dealer. So that’s what he did.
With ASAP Rocky as his mentor, the only way was up for Carti. After the older artist started introducing his young protege to other members of the hip-hop scene, Carti began attracting attention in a major way. In 2015, he released the single ‘Broke Boi’ and ‘Fetti’. Both did well. So did his collaborations with the likes of UnoTheActivist, Thouxanbanfauni, Yung Bans, and Lil Yachty. By 2016, Carti was on track to the big time. He’d signed up to tour with ASAP Ferg and Lil Uzi Vert and had landed a record deal with Interscope Records. But if he thought he was big already, it was nothing compared with how big he’d be by the end of the following year.
Making It Big
In April 2017, Carti dropped his self-titled debut mixtape on AWGE and Interscope records. Almost straight away, the rave reviews started pouring in. Pitchfork described it as “an exercise in efficiency” and “the soundtrack to a mindless good time.” Pop Matter called it the “sonic equivalent of the laissez-faire worker who breezes through presentations on sheer personality alone” and “a hell of a lot of fun.” And people bought it. Despite facing off against Kendric Lamar in the charts, it still managed to climb all the way to No 12 in the Billboard 200. Its two singles, ‘Magnolia’ and ‘Woke Up Like This’ fared equally well.
The following May, Carti released ‘Die Lit’, his first full-length album and his first time in the top 3 on the Billboard 200. He followed up on the album’s success with the single ‘Baguettes in the Face’ and collaborations with DJ Mustard and Tyler the Creator. In April 2020, he gave us our first peek at what to expect from his sophomore album, ‘Whole Lotta Red’, with the single, ‘@ Meh’.
After the release of his debut mixtape, Pitchfork claimed that Carti was a rapper by ‘loose definition’ who was less interested in making the music of a rap artist than he was in living the lifestyle of one. Whether or not he sees music more as a means to an end than an end in itself is something Carti would need to answer for himself. But there’s no doubt he’s picked up where his mentor ASAP Rocky left off in carving as much of a place for himself in the fashion pages as in the charts. With a style that GQ has described as a midpoint between the ‘fashion gloss of ASAP Mob, the punk-rock attitude of Uzi Vert, and the playful camp of Yachty’, Carti has become something of a fashion icon – and he’s making it pay. In addition to modeling for the likes of Kanye West and Louis Vuitton, he’s also starred in a commercial for Nike and won a lucrative design contract for ASAP K’s streetwear label VLONE
Staying in the Limelight
Since 2017, Carti has released only one single as a solo artist. But that doesn’t mean he’s dropped out of the public eye. In 2018, his relationship with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea hit the headlines. In May 2020, it emerged that Azalea had given birth to the couple’s first child. Apparently delighted with the new addition to the family, Carti splashed out on a kid-friendly 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullina so he could transport his son around in style. But it wouldn’t take long for things to sour. In October, Azalea announced that the couple had split.
Fans of both rappers are still holding out hope that they’ll eventually reunite. Whether or not that happens, who knows? But in the meantime, Carti is in no danger of leaving the limelight. No one quite knows when his 2nd album is due to arrive (he’s been teasing its release since April), but until then, he’s still generating enough news to make sure that when it does finally drop, we’re still going to care. And in the meantime, that $9 million net worth isn’t going anywhere.